North Dorchester opens with a win
AMERICAN CORNER — North Dorchester’s High’s volleyball team opened its season Thursday, Sept. 6, with a 27-25, 26-28, 25-10, 25-19 victory at Colonel Richardson.
The Eagles feature many new faces from a squad that graduated six seniors, but two veterans helped spark big runs with the serve. Jenna Usilton registered a team-high 11 aces and Leann Asplen notched 10 aces.
In each of the set victories, Asplen or Usilton gave North Dorchester big leads while serving.
“A big strength for Jenna and Leann is they place their serves extremely well,” North Dorchester head coach Carol Hubbard said. “They place them deep. They will drop one in over the net. It makes it really tough on the other team’s defense. When you have servers that can hit spots, it makes a big difference.”
The Colonels played strong with KaNyha Raikes (seven kills), Alexis Bates (seven kills), Jennifer Larrimore (five kills), Jayla Johns (five kills) and Aubrie Meredith (five kills) scoring points off passes from Hope Kraus, who finished with a game-high 22 assists. Colonel led the first set 19-14 before Hubbard called time.
From there, the Eagles regained the serve, and Asplen went to work with three aces during the ninepoint run to flip to score to 22-19 in favor of ND.
A block by Jordan Lewis set up match point for the Eagles at 24-20, but the Colonels answered with five straight points, including kills by Larrimore and Kraus, to take a 25-24 lead serving for match point.
ND fought back to force its own match point, and Jessica Young (five kills) delivered with a kill to win the first set 27-25.
“I was really happy with the way we played,” Hubbard said. “Jordan Lewis, Kayley Bradley and Jessica Young give us great middle hitters and blockers. We have been able to use that more than ever as a program.”
Roles got reversed in the second set, with the Eagles leading 20-15 before the Colonels rallied to tie at 2222. Raikes scored two kills in the latter stages of the set, helping Colonel to prevail 28-26 to tie the match at 1-1.
“It is exciting to see that we can push good teams like North Dorchester,” Colonel head coach Stephanie Garey said. “We worked hard and pushed to the end. Hope and KaNyha did great out there. They are a great asset out there.
“We do have a lot of fresh faces that we didn’t have last year,” Garey added. “We just didn’t have quite enough tonight. We’ll be working hard to get better.”
Asplen’s serve helped the Eagles gain a 12-3 advantage with four aces during a seven-point run in the third game. With ND leading 1810, Usilton put the game away with seven straight points, including four aces.
The fourth set saw more of the same with Usilton’s serve extending a 11-10 to 18-10.
Kara Robbins ended the match with a powerful ace to take the fourth set 2519 for the Eagles. Asplen finished with a team-high seven kills and seven assists. Bradley notched three kills, five blocks and three aces. Robbins added three assists.
“We have been stressing all through practice and the scrimmages that they got to get few free balls over to the other team,” Hubbard said. “We gotta get our serves in, and we gotta set up more hits.
“They set up so many hits in the last two or three sets,” she added. “They didn’t all go for points but they helped us control the tempo.”
AMERICAN CORNER — Brooke Windsor had four goals and Abby Robinson scored two to pace the Vikings in their opener.
Riley Keener had a goal and two assists for Cambridge-South Dorchester, and Morgan Tracy notched a pair of assists. Mikayla Phillip and Bailey Tracy each were credited with an assist.
North Dorchester’s Jenna Usilton leaps to hit the ball against Colonel Richardson Thursday, Sept. 6.
North Dorchester’s Kara Robbins makes a diving save to continue the volley Thursday against Colonel Richardson.
North Dorchester’s Jordan Lewis makes the block for a point against Colonel Richardson Thursday, Sept. 6.
North Dorchester’s Jessica Young, right, taps the ball over the net with Colonel Richardson’s Hope Kraus attempting to block the shot on Thursday.
North Dorchester’s Isabella Roberts spikes the ball for a point against Colonel Richardson Thursday, Sept. 6.
North Dorchester’s Leann Asplen spikes the ball for a point against Colonel Richardson Thursday, Sept. 6.