Trojans are rolling
North Park beats Assumption for second straight win in senior girls volleyball
North Park Collegiate’s senior girls volleyball team is starting to roll.
Following a season-opening loss last week, the Trojans have reeled off two straight wins in Brant County high school action, including a 19-25, 25-19, 25-20, 22-25 and 15-8 victory at Assumption College on Thursday against the Lions.
“It’s always tough when you lose the first one,” NPC captain Noelle Adams said of dropping the opening set in the Thursday’s match. “It felt so good to win.” North Park started its season with a loss to defending champion Paris but has now posted wins against St. John’s College and Assumption.
Adams, a fifth-year player, is one of the leaders of a group that includes six veterans and six rookies.
“I’ve known them all for a while, especially some of the girls who play basketball together,” she said. “It’s like a family. “It’s always a challenge at the start of the season but, even in the first week, we’ve had crazy improvement.”
Adams said that Paris will be tough to dethrone.
“We lost in three,” she said of the first game the teams played. “I think we definitely could have taken one or two (sets).
“They’ll be a challenge for sure.”
Serving was a bit of an issue for both sides at the start of Thursday’s game but, following a Bella Restelli hit for ACS, the two teams got rolling.
With Lauren Coulter on the line, Assumption moved into a 9-4 lead that didn’t last long because North Park’s Erin McKenna took over from her team’s service line, getting the Trojans back to within one at 9-8.
After briefly holding the lead at 14-12, North Park fell behind and Assumption began to exert control. With Leah Quinn and Restelli doing great work at the net, ACS went ahead 15-14 and never looked back on its way to a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five match.
Falling behind 3-0 in the second set, Madyson Smith helped North Park storm back into a 4-3 lead as she matched and surpassed Charlotte Lapointe’s starting run from the service line for the Lions.
The game see-sawed from there. But, on a Candace Rees return off of a Restelli hit, the Trojans took a 10-8 advantage.
Later, with Smith on the line, NPC went up 20-11 and were well on their way to evening the match at 1-1.
Finding themselves down 4-0 early in the second set, the Lions were going the wrong way in a hurry. However, following a fine run from the line by Nicole Purificati, Assumption found itself out in front 9-4.
Trailing 20-16, North Park was in danger of falling behind in the match but, once McKenna was done with some dynamite serves, the deficit had been erased and the Trojans were ahead 2-1 in the game.
Into the fourth set, the hits in the match had been a quiet – until Restelli smashed one to put the Lions up 13-10. And, although NPC’s Avery Kettlewell put a late scare into Assumption with a great service run, the Lions were able to hold on to send the game to a fifth set.
When the two teams switched sides on the court in the deciding set, North Park led 8-4. The Trojans didn’t let up after that as they scored the win.
With the loss, the Lions now find themselves winless in three matches but the team’s coaches praised their players.
“Tonight they played well,” said coach Rae Ferraccioli.
“They haven’t jelled as a team. We have a few juniors who are playing senior and it’s kind of been a split.
“The first two games they didn’t communicate well.”
The coach said the team’s cohesion will develop.
“We’ve already seen big improvements,” coach Renee Zareski noted.
“They stepped it up in this game a lot.”
Bella Restelli (left) of Assumption College blocks a spike by Erin McKenna of North Park Collegiate during a senior high school girls volleyball game on Thursday.