North Dorch­ester opens with a win

Dorchester Star - - FRONT PAGE - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com

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.”

Cam­bridge-SD 7

Colonel 2

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.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

North Dorch­ester’s Jenna Usil­ton leaps to hit the ball against Colonel Richard­son Thurs­day, Sept. 6.

PHO­TOS BY DUSTIN HOLT

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.

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