Tag Archives: Molly Kimball

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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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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