Tag Archives: Mia Berardino

Triton sweeps Pentucket on Senior Night

Triton wins sixth game of the season
Molly Kimball (8) blocks

(Byfield MA) Triton shut out Whittier last night and did the same thing to Pentucket tonight.

Senior Night is as good as any to put on a good showing.

Mia Berardino, Molly Kimball, and Raegan Falooon were honored pre-game.

“Tonight was really special,” said senior Mia Berardino. “I’m so thankful that our friends and family came and supported us.”

“We had a lot of people come out for the first time,” said senior Molly Kimball afterwards.

The Vikings (6-7) swept the Sachems, 25-6, 25-17, and 25-15.

Pentucket (1-11) had times of competitive play, led by senior Jillian Sheehy, but consistent play continues to be missing.

The Molly (Kimball) and Mia (Berardino) Show has been fun to watch.  Just when you think that it may go on forever, Senior Night arrives and the two of them are part of it.

Mia Berardino (1) spikes

Molly is the setter you dream about if you’re a finisher.  She consistently puts the ball into the hitter’s sweet spots.  “I love playing with her,” said Mia afterwards.

Molly ended up with twenty-three assists versus Pentucket in just three games. 

“Molly has been averaging over twenty assists in the last seven or eight matches,” said Triton coach Bob Van Etten.

Mia is the finisher that every setter dreams of setting up.  Mia is tall, can jump, and hits the ball with authority.  Pentucket struggled to block Mia’s hard hits at the net.

“Mia had twelve kills on just seventeen attacks, which is crazy,” admitted Coach Van Etten.

Mia will be playing for Division 2 Stonehill next year.

Mia gave praise to her teammates: “It all starts with the passers.  They were very, very good tonight.  It helped us get good sets and hits.”

The Vikings will need to get to .500 to make the playoffs.

Jillian Sheehy returns a shot

“We’re going to keep pushing,” said Mia. “We really want to make the playoffs.”

Triton has five matches left and several of them are with teams they have already won against.

“We’re going to get to .500,” Coach Van Etten promised.  “We’ll be 9-9 or 10-8.”

I was impressed with the serving skills of Pentucket’s senior Nicole Zahornasky and the net play of sophomore Ava Snyder.

Grace Romine, Emma Campbell, and Kendall Liebert should be key pieces in the 2022 version of Triton volleyball.

Emma had five kills.  Kendall had big blocks at critical times.

Coach Van Etten: “I thought we played well on an emotional night.  They enjoyed themselves but got right down to business when the game started.”

Molly Kimball: “I am undecided on college.  Recently I have been in contact with the basketball coach at Salem State.  We have a fall league and she’s planning to come to some of the games.  If that doesn’t work out, I could take a gap year.”

The most difficult sport for me to photograph is definitely volleyball.  The action is so unpredictable so getting in position to get a shot is elusive.  But I love the challenge!

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Mia Berardino
Molly Kimball
Raegan Faloon
Jillian Sheehy
Grace Romine
Jocelyn Bickford
Brianna Welch (21)
Mia Berardino dives for a return
Mia Berardino set to return a shot
Nicole Zahornasky serves
Maisie King blocks Mia Berardino
Kendall Liebert blocks Ava Snyder
Eloise Kirkpatrick serves match point
Triton poses during the game

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Newburyport rallies to defeat Triton 3-1

Sophia Messina had fourteen kills for the Clippers
Clippers break a five-game losing streak

(Byfield MA) Newburyport hadn’t won in over two weeks.

And they were blown out by Triton (25-10) in tonight’s first set.

After that, the Clippers (5-7) managed three straight happy endings to catch a 3-1 win over the Vikings.

The endings, however, weren’t so happy for Triton.

“Those last three games could have gone either way,” lamented Triton coach Bob Van Etten afterwards.

Mia Berardino had nineteen kills

The Vikings (4-7) led 23-22 in the second game, 25-24 in the third game, and 24-21 in the fourth game.  The Clippers were able to rally back each time; 25-23, 27-25, and 26-24.

“I don’t know what it is about Triton,” said Newburyport coach Lori Solazzo post-match, “it’s always a battle.”

Last time the two teams met, it took five games before the Clippers prevailed.

“We always end up having drastic highs and lows against Triton,” said Coach Solazzo.

“The first game was certainly a low, but we worked through it,” she added.

Anna Rossi had six aces

A key to the win was the play of Newburyport junior Sophia Messina who had fourteen kills.

“I switched her to the outside part-way through the set and she made a huge difference for us,” said Coach Solazzo.

“We struggled with our offense the first two sets and Sophia came out and hit well tonight,” explained Coach Solazzo.

“We’re a work in progress,” explained Coach Van Etten.  “We have a lot of new players.”

Two of the Vikings veterans (Mia Berardino and Molly Kimball) carried the team tonight.  Mia had nineteen kills while Molly had twenty-two assists.

Molly Kimball had twenty-two assists

Mia will be playing volleyball for D2 Stonehill next year.

“The team was very welcoming,” said Mia about Stonehill.  “I love the coach.  I’ll be playing at a D2 level in a very competitive conference.”

“We dominated the first set tonight,” recalled Mia, “but Newburyport adjusted.”

One of the “adjustments” was moving Sophia Messina to the outside.

Coach Van Etten noticed another one: “They kept feeding our setter (Molly Kimball) on free balls to take her out of the play.”

When Molly has a chance to set Mia up, good things usually happen for the Vikings.

Ava Hartley

Newburyport’s Ava Hartley is a senior and has seen Mia play numerous times.  “Mia is insane,” laughed Ava.  “You can’t necessarily stop her.  We wanted to keep the ball away from her and on our side.”

Ava did a good job of blocking some of Mia hits and receiving some of her hard serves.

“Coach has been stressing blocking a lot recently,” added Ava.

Ava is hoping to play volleyball at Endicott next year.  “I’ve been talking with the coach,” said Ava, “and things look good.”

Trinity Cole had twelve digs

Triton has now lost three straight, but they are optimistic about the future.

“We have a path to .500,” said Coach Van Etten with seven matches remaining.  “We have a lot of new players but by the end of the season we’re going to be ready to go.  We should make the states.”

Mia was also optimistic.  “I’m really proud of our team,” she said.  “Almost all of the girls were JVs last year.  They are improving and getting better.”

Mia Berardino up to finish

Ava Hartley: “Tonight was important for us mentally so that we know that we have a team.  We’ve had a lot of losses the last couple of weeks.”

Coach Solazzo: “We knew that this would be a rebuilding year, but we do have a lot of talent.  It’s a matter of who plays where and trying to get that magic combination.”

Anna Rossi had six aces for Newburyport while teammate Abby Dwyer had four blocks.

Trinity Cole had twelve digs for Triton and teammate Kendall Liebert had three blocks.

My wife and I are officially back in Amesbury after 3 ½ months in Maine.  Hoping to cover several area games each week.

(All of the pictures above and below should enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Brianna Welch with blockers Abby Dwyer and Sophia Messina
Molly Kimball (8) sets up Kendall Liebert
Brianna Welch blocks
Sophia Messina up for a big hit
Mia Berardino set to block and Ava Hartley set to spike
Ava Hartley blocks at the net
Mia Berardino spikes and Anna Rossi blocks
Ava Hartley spikes
Emma Foley sets for Newburyport
Abby Dwyer and Emma Campbell

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Newburyport edges Triton in back-and-forth thriller 3-2

Sydney Yim and Evelyn Pearson at the net
Emma Campbell finds an opening

(Byfield MA) Triton coach Karen Christian said the game was “probably the highlight of the season,” and her team lost!

The Vikings (5-5) took Newburyport to five games on Wednesday night at Triton.

The Clippers (8-2) extend their win streak to seven. Their last loss was to Triton in March.

Newburyport won the first two games tonight, 25-19 and 25-15.

In those first two, Sydney Yim (Purdue commit) gave Triton trouble serving, setting, and finishing.  Many of her finishes weren’t hard hits but, instead, dropped into open spaces.

Sydney Yim

I started thinking sweep and early evening.

The Vikings had other ideas.

“We flipped the switch in Games 3 & 4 and started making the plays we weren’t making before,” said Mia Berardino afterwards.

Suddenly the Vikings began to look like the team that had defeated the Clippers, 3-1, in March.

Triton took the next two games, 25-13 and 25-17.

The Vikings got off to good starts in both games and rode Newburyport errors to the two wins.

“We weren’t ourselves today,” said Newburyport coach Lori Solazzo post-match.  “but player for player we’ve improve so much.  My frustration is that I didn’t see the team I usually see most of the time.”

The level of play was remarkable at times. Hard hits were not definite winners. 

Both teams had terrific setters (Molly Kimball and Sydney Yim) so there was a steady diet of hard hits provided. 

Kate Sarra gets low

There was a play in Game Four in which both Sydney Yim and Abigail Gillingham launched hard hits, only to have Triton find a way to play on and eventually get the point.

In three of the games, the team with the early lead went on to victory.

That held true in crucial Game Five.  “We were overthinking it a bit early and we fell behind,” said Coach Christian.

The Vikings went down 6-1 and later 14-9. in the fifteen-point, deciding set, before turning on the “not-done-yet” button.

The Clippers struggled with four straight Evelyn Pearson serves and suddenly we had ourselves a 14-13 nail-biter!

Evelyn Pearson

A hard, deep hit by the Clippers was called in, and then it was called out, and then they decided to play it over again.

Fortunate for Triton because an “in” call ends the game.  Fortunate for Newburyport because an “out” call ties the game at 14-14.

“Thank goodness that out-of-bounds play didn’t end it,” said Coach Solazzo afterwards.

Given a second chance to win the game, the Clippers got it done.

Newburyport seniors keyed the set/match winner.  Kate Sarra received the serve and sent it to Sydney Yim.  Sydney set the ball near the net for Abigail Gillingham.  Abigail hit the ball through the Triton defense.

Clippers celebrate winning the match

“Abigail had an amazing game,” said Sydney Yim.  “She has been a huge part of our team this year.”

Abigail Gillingham at the net

“The team buckled down at the end, showed some grit, and pulled this one out,” said Coach Solazzo.

“It certainly had the feel of a championship game to me,” said Coach Christian.  “I would love to see them next week with the same energy.”

There will be a Cape Ann League tournament next week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

“Triton is a great team,” said Coach Solazzo.  “They’re scrappy.  They played their hearts out.”

Evelyn Pearson: “I’m proud of my team.  We pulled our energy together.  Newburyport was a lot more competitive than the first time we saw them.”

Mia Berardino: “It wasn’t the outcome we wanted but I’m proud of the way we played.  I think if we play like this we can go far in the playoffs.”

The Clippers ended up undefeated (5-0) on the road. 

All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.

Sydney Yim and Mia Berardino
Sydney Yim sets
Mia Berardino serves
Mia Berardino spikes
Sydney Yim and Em Hoggard
Abigail Gillingham and Molly Kimball
Evelyn Pearson and Ava Hartley
Mia Berardino blocks Sydney Yim

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Triton defeats Hamilton-Wenham for the first time 3-0

Triton celebrates its record-tying fifth win of the season
Jess Manganello and Molly Kimball

(Byfield MA) Triton had never won a match against Hamilton-Wenham.

They had won a game, back in 2016, but that was it.

When you’ve lost every match (twelve straight) to an opponent, you can’t call it a rivalry.

But that all ended today, as Triton (5-2) swept the Generals (3-4), 3-0, on Monday at Triton.

Labeling it as a sweep, betrays how competitive two of the three games were.

“It’s always nice to compete against Hamilton-Wenham,” said Triton coach Karen Christian afterwards, “they traditionally have been very strong.”

Charlene Fibbe at the net

The Generals were strong in the first and third sets suffering tough, 25-23 and 25-21 losses.

The middle set was all-Triton as junior Mia Berardino served the Vikings to eleven straight points on their way to a 25-7 rout.

“Triton, like Newburyport (D1 commit Sydney Yim), has a player who is a strong leader,” said HW coach Jen Flynn referring to Mia Berardino.

Mia ended up with nine kills and seven aces.

The first and third sets were close and entertaining.  There were multiple, extended volley’s that brought ooh’s and aah’s from those on both sides.

“There were some amazing plays,” said Coach Flynn.  “Some balls you just didn’t think would get over, but they did.”

The close games got Triton senior Jess Manganello tired.  “All of us were hustling and talking,” she said.  “I am not used to running so much in a game.”

Hamilton-Wenham volley

The Generals looked ready, in the first game, to continue their dominance over the Vikings.  They jumped in front, 11-7, before Triton tied things at 13-13 and 19-19.  Hard hits were handled by both teams.

The visitors moved to 23-19 before the home team rode the hard-to-handle serves of Evelyn Pearson on a six-point run and a 25-23 win.

The game ended on a terrific Molly Kimball setup that Mia Berardino finished.

“Molly had a great game,” said Coach Christian.  “She was very smart with her sets and she was hustling, getting to everything.”

Molly ended up with twenty-five assists.

In the third game, HW led early (8-7) before the Vikings rolled on Evelyn Pearson’s serving to a commanding 18-11 advantage.  HW’s Charlene Fibbe and Hannah-Marie Akoury kept the Generals in the game.

Mia Berardino had nine kills for Triton

HW was able to cut their deficit to, 23-21, as they just refused to make mistakes.

Fittingly however, Triton’s two big hitters (Mia Berardino & Evelyn Pearson) were set up on the next two plays for hits that would have been challenging for D1 college players to return and the Vikings had a 25-21 win……and the match.

“This was one of the more exciting matches of the season,” said Coach Christian.  “The kids came with lots of energy.”

Evelyn Pearson (eleven kills): “I thought we played pretty good.  Our communication was excellent.”

Senior Jess Manganello: “We’re all proud of how we played tonight.”   (Next year): “I am going to take a gap year, work, and take some courses at community college.”

Both teams have three games left.

Battle at the net

Triton’s win tonight gives them five and ties them with the most wins in a season the Vikings VB program has ever had.  They were 5-15 last year and 5-11 in 2015.

This has certainly been a special season for the Vikings……with more games to go.  I believe that there also will be some post-season playoffs.

The best team in the Cape Ann League is certainly undefeated Lynnfield.  After the Pioneers, however, the remaining teams are on the “any-given-night” level.

All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.

Block at the net
Jess Manganello
Mia Berardino gets low for a return
Emma Campbell and Molly Kimball
Molly Kimball and Evelyn Pearson
Trinity Cole
Maggie Firicano
Emma Day
Grace Roebuck
Evelyn Pearson spikes (eleven kills)
Mia Berardino serves (seven aces)
Action at the net
Emma Campbell at the net
Mia Berardino and Em Hoggard at the net for Triton
Mia Flynn serves for Hamilton-Wenham

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Mia Berardino leads Triton VB past Newburyport 3-1

Mia Berardino up for a block against Viive Godtfredsen

Mia Berardino had five aces

(Newburyport MA) Two of the best volleyball players (Mia Berardino & Sydney Yim) in these parts had at it tonight as Triton visited Newburyport.

On this night it was Mia Berardino’s Vikings winning three sets to one in Cape Ann League action.

Mia (just a junior) has offers from Babson, Stonehill, and Bentley and is talking to Holy Cross.

“I love volleyball,” said Mia afterwards.  “This was a huge win for us.  It seems like we’ve lost so many times to Newburyport.”

Volleyball is a team game but Mia’s five aces, eighteen kills, eight digs, and two blocks were crucial in the Vikings (2-1) win.

“We made the plays when we needed to,” explained Triton coach Karen Christian.  “The energy and enthusiasm was great.”

Even though Newburyport (1-2) won the first set (25-16) Clippers coach Lori Solazzo wasn’t fooled.  “We won but it didn’t feel like we did.  We weren’t executing well even in the first game.  We had our highs and lows.  We need to find the middle ground and be more consistent.”

Evelyn Pearson and Emma Campbell of Triton battle Sydney Yim at the net

Ava Hartley (9 kills) for Newburyport

The second game was tight and tied at 15-15 before Mia led a run of nine unanswered points and Triton won, 25-16.

“In the first set we were all over the place,” explained Triton senior Evelyn Pearson.  “After that we settled down and covered a lot more.  We started diving.  Volleyball is all about coverage and communication.”

“We lost the first set and never gave up hope and came back with a vengeance,” said Coach Christian.

Sydney Yim went out with an injury in the third game with the Clippers trailing 20-15.  Newburyport would lose that one, 25-19.

Sydney returned in the 4th game, but her team was behind, 13-9.  Triton continued to make plays while the Clippers struggled with consistency falling, 25-18.

Sydney Kim (18) at the net

“We learned from playing a strong team,” explained Sydney post-match.  “We just need to communicate more.  We’re very young and still getting used to each other.”

Sydney is committed to Purdue.  “I leave June 12th for Purdue to start early training.  It will be nice to get playing time in the summer.  It looks like there will be a Big Ten season in the Fall.”

Sydney collected eighteen assists tonight against Triton.

Mia and Sydney play on the same club team (Smash Volleyball – Newton).

“Mia was awesome tonight,” said Sydney.  “She’s definitely looking to play in college.”

Evelyn Pearson and Abigail Gillingham battle

Mia: “They had a big block, so we had to be smart with our shots and we did that.”

Coach Christian: “I am consistently impressed with the effort the girls do day in and day out.  It was a sweet win and I’m happy for our seniors.”

Coach Solazzo: “Triton has definitely improved.”

Evelyn: “I am going into bio-medical engineering.  I’m not sure what college yet.  I have been accepted by my top choice (Northeastern).”

Sydney: “Purdue is now ranked #10 in the country.  We were #20 last year.  There are two graduating seniors.”

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

The link to this coverage will be on Twitter (@mcclellandpeter). Pictures should appear on Instagram (@mcclellandmiscellanea).

Vikings celebrate 3-1 win

Emma Campbell block

Viive Godtfredsen (7)

Mia Berardino

Laney Lucci

Emma Campbell and Sophia Messina

Kate Sarra

Jess Manganello

Sydney Yim waits on a serve

Emily Hoggard

Sophia Messina and Emma Foley at the net

Kate Sarra

Sydney Yim setup

Mia Berardino spikes

Emma Foley (3 aces)

Sydney Yim (18 assists)

Molly Kimball (3 aces, 5 kills, 17 assists)

Evelyn Pearson (3 aces, 12 kills, 7 digs)

 

 

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Triton sweeps challenging Pentucket in CAL volleyball

Mia Berardino (13) led Triton with thirteen kills.

Katherine Quigley (11) and Arielle Cleveland (21) at the net

(West Newbury MA) What a difference a month makes!

Pentucket continues winless in their first volleyball season but their improvement was noticeable.

“Pentucket has improved considerably since the last time we saw them,” said Triton coach Bob Van Etten after tonight’s match with the Sachems. “Their middle was a lot better.  They passed better and were able to work the middle.  It was a hard-fought win for us.”

Jillian Sheehy readies to hit

The Sachems reached a season-high twenty-two points in the second game.

“Our confidence is getting better,” said Pentucket coach Lauren Bennett.  “The skill levels have improved so much.”

The final scores were; 25-16, 25-22, and 25-18.

Mia Berardino was the star of the show for the (5-11) Vikings.  The tall sophomore was able to produce a steady flow of serves and hits that gave the home team trouble.

“She (Mia) had an outstanding night,” said Coach Van Etten.  “She had a lot of kills, smart hits, and great serves.”

Mia finished with fifteen kills and four service aces.

Arielle Cleveland and Coach Lauren Bennett

“Mia is very, very talented,” said junior Macey Cowl of Pentucket.  “When she gets set up you know it’s coming and it’s coming hard.”

Despite Mia’s impressive performance, Pentucket kept things interesting in all three games.

In the first game, the Sachems rode some Triton errors and Arielle Cleveland hits to a 15-12 lead and a Vikings timeout.  After the timeout, the team from Byfield put a lengthy run together.  The Vikings won ten straight points, with sophomore Molly Kimball serving and Mia getting set up for kills, and Triton gained separation, 22-15.

The best takeaway for Pentucket would be the second game.  The Sachems trailed early, 6-2 and 10-6 before rallying on Triton miscues and Arielle’s serves to tie things at 16-16.  Later a serve by senior Caitlin Kutcher hit the net and dropped in and the game was tied 22-22.  But along came Mia Berardino.  Three straight times she was beautifully set up for kills and Triton escaped 25-22.

Molly Kimball serves

“I give so much credit to our setters,” said Mia afterwards.  “They did such a great job putting the ball on the net so that we could hit it down.”

The Sachems never led in the final game, but the deficit was small (16-15) late in that game.  The biggest cheer from the Pentucket faithful was after sophomore Nicole Zahornasky was able to block one of Mia’s kill attempts and have the rebound drop in for a Sachems point.

Coach Van Etten gave special credit to Molly Kimball: “We were playing a 6-2, not a 5-1, so Molly was only getting half the touches.  For her to get nineteen assists under those conditions was huge.”

Jillian Sheehy: “We had some people step up tonight.  We could have won.  This was one of our best games.”

Nicole Zahornasky checks out

Macey Cowl: “Our serves were good.  We had some really nice rallies.  We’re getting there.”

The Vikings have now won two straight.

“We have more wins than we had last year already,” said Mia.  Mia was a Cape Ann League All-Star last year.

Arielle Cleveland: “Volleyball is helpful for basketball.  It improves my anticipation and my jumping.  I enjoy the game a lot.  We’re progressively getting better.  I have been playing AAU basketball on a team that has been winning a lot of games.”

Mia Berardino: “A lot of things worked tonight.  It was a loud crowd, but we stay focused.”

Coach Bennett: “I could see the disappointment in the girls’ faces afterwards and in some ways I liked that.  Even though this was our best game, the girls still want more.”

The quest for that elusive W will continue for Pentucket.  The rematch ahead with Georgetown might be the place for it to happen.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Ava Ford (23)

Caitlin Kutcher

Jillian Sheehy

Katherine Quigley serves

Hit in the middle

Lena Freeman (26) and Molly Kimball (8) at the net

Lena Freeman (26) blocks Nicole Zaharnasky

Macey Cowl (18) blocks

Mia Berardino hits and Macey Cowl tries to block

Mia Berardino

Molly Kimball had nineteen assists

Paige Volpone

Waiting for a serve

 

 

 

 

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