Girls Volleyball Wins Three Matches, Qualifies for Tourney
The Everett High girls volleyball team clinched a spot in the Division 1 state tournament with three wins in four matches this past week, improving its record to 9-6 and assuring at least a .500 record for the season, which is the magic number for an automatic bid to the post-season.
“I’m very proud of this team, which has played with focus and determination all season,” said EHS head coach Michael Fineran. “We had a goal of playing in November. We overcame injuries early in the year, we battled to the end of every match, and we have achieved what we set out to accomplish when we started back in August.”
The Lady Crimson Tide’s path on its Journey to the Tourney did not prove to be an easy one, however. In a rare weekend matchup, Everett traveled to Hyde Park to take on non-league opponent New Mission this past Saturday, and they had to do it without middle hitter Kaesta Sandy and her team-leading 118 kills.
Everett dropped the first two sets thanks to sloppy passing and a lukewarm attack. They also missed five serves in those sets, four of which came with the score tied or with Everett down only one point. Everett turned the tide in the third set, getting three kills apiece from junior Tanessa Duvilaire and seniors Darryn Desrameaux and Nicole Brandao. Solid back row play from juniors Sonia Flores, Kayleigh McMahon, and Murielle Campo helped Everett cruise to a 25-15 win.
Flores and junior setter Victoria Rodrigues propelled Everett in the fourth set, combining for 13 service points. Captain Brandao was a force, earning six of her 12 kills in the set and acing the final point, giving Everett a 25-19 win. Brandao added two more kills and three aces in the 15-9 fifth set tiebreaker, sending Everett to the state tournament for the first time since 2017.
“Nicole is such a tremendous leader for us,” said Fineran. “As the captain, she sets the tone for the team. She holds everyone, including herself, accountable. After the two losses a couple of weeks ago, she wanted to implement consequences in practice for missing serves and not getting to balls on defense. She is the first to run when it’s her own mistake, and the rest of the team follows her example.
“She and co-captain Yasmine Laabadla have also helped foster a positive team culture,” Fineran continued. “They organized an ‘Adam Sandler’ practice and this past week and they ran ‘opposite day,’ where back row players switched and played front row, and vice versa.”
“However, it takes more than one or two players to make a successful season, and getting to this spot has truly been a team effort,” added the coach, “and we were able to clinch on Saturday thanks to our back-to-back wins last Tuesday and Wednesday vs. Lynn English and Somerville.”
In last Tuesday’s match at Lynn English, Laabadla took over serving with Everett up 15-14 in the first set and served out the rest of the set. Sandy had two blocks and four kills, while Brandao had three kills and two digs.
In the second set, McMahon had four service points in a row, and sophomore outside hitter Amanda Verteiro had five aces among seven service points to go along with a kill and three digs. She served the last two points as Everett dominated, 25-13.
However, Everett stumbled at the start of the third set, falling behind 12-2 before starting to climb back in. Junior Emilly Nogueira had three aces and five service points to bring the Tide to within two, 21-19, but Everett fell 25-22. Everett was down 13-11 in set four, but three aces in five serves from Flores put Everett back in the lead, and three points from Rodrigues put the Tide up, 21-16. Verteiro had two digs, and Brandao finished the set and the match with a serve to give Everett the 25-20 win.
The next day, Everett hosted Somerville, but came out flat at home, falling 25-16 in the opening set. The second set started just as badly, with Everett looking up from a 13-6 hole. But then Brandao had a run of six service points to tie the set at 15-15, and Rodrigues served the last five points of the game, including two aces, as Everett won, 25-20.
“That was a pivotal set for us,” said Fineran. “We weren’t playing well, we were not passing well, and all our hits were going long. But the silver lining to this happening so often this season is that we don’t get fazed by it. We know we can come back, and that whatever happened five minutes ago has nothing to do with what happens next.”
Indeed, that proved to be the case one again for the Tide in the third set. Sandy exploded for seven kills and Duvilaire had a kill, a block, and a dig. Sophomore Nicole Damaceno and Flores combined for 11 service points and junior Trinh Dang closed out the set with two serves, as Everett went up 2-1, winning 25-16.
Laabadla served the first eight points of the fourth set, Sandy and Bradnao combined for five kills, and Flores, Dang, and McMahon added aces as Everett finished off the match with a 25-21 win.
Fineran and his crew will conclude their regular season with three matches this week: They were scheduled to host Medford this past Monday in a contest that will be highlighted by Senior Night festivities and to entertain New Mission yesterday (Tuesday). They will travel to non-league opponent Saugus on Friday for the regular season finale.
Girls Soccer Tops Chelsea
The Everett High girls soccer team cruised to a 9-1 victory over Greater Boston League (GBL) rival Chelsea last Tuesday.
“We started the game very flat, but we began to roll once we scored the first goal,” said EHS head coach Domenick Persuitte
Emilia Maria-Babcock, assisted by Yelsa Garcia, scored the first Everett goal of the day to get the Lady Crimson Tide rolling. Garica then notched her first of two goals, assisted by Maria Silvestri from her position on the wing, and then netted another goal, assisted by Layla Cardona.
Garcia was just getting going. In addition to her own two markers, she was a major contributor in assisting her teammates. Yelsa gave the ball to Layla Cardona, who rocketed it past the Chelsea keeper. Luna Sepulveda Maselli worked tirelessly and finally found the back of the net from a misplayed Chelsea ball.
“She played the entire game, not giving up once,” noted Persuitte. “We capitalized off the misplays of Chelsea a handful of times, allowing Emilia Maria-Babcock and Gabby Lones to score. Gabby Lones came in the second half to help on the left-side wing. Besides notching her first goal of the season, she also assisted on a goal by freshman Marianna Rodriguez, who is on the rise. Shyann Ambersley finally got her first high school career goal today off a clearance for the Tide defense; she ran onto the ball and, without hesitation, rocketed the ball past the keeper.
“Shyann also had three shots on the net, all hitting the post,” Persuitte continued. “Some highlights from the underclassmen were Layla Leles stepping out big on the wing, never giving up, and constantly pressing the ball. Khadijia Moutaouakkii played outstandingly in the midfield, continually pursuing the ball and winning most 50-50 balls. Alondra Flores played well in the CDM position, controlling the game’s flow.”
Two days later the Lady Crimson Tide put up a spirited battle against a Revere team that is undefeated and had allowed only two goals all season entering the contest.
“We lost 3-1, but the team showed up to play,” said Persuitte. “The aggressive play was fantastic across the board. Emilia Maria-Babcock played fantastic in the goal. Our lone goal came from Aldrona Flores heading the ball down to Layla Cardona, who in turn ripped the ball over the keeper’s head. Some noticeable contributions came from Layla Leles, Sofia Arana-Quintanilla, Luna Sepulveda Maselli, Shyann Ambersley, Maria Silvestri, and Casey Martinez.”
This past Monday the Tide dropped a 4-0 decision to non-league opponent Reading. “Emilia Maria-Babcock played fantastic in her new role as goalkeeper,” noted Persuitte.
The Lady Crimson Tide are scheduled to host Lynn Classical tomorrow (Thursday) and Lowell next Wednesday.
EHS Field Hockey Engages in Fierce Battle With Malden
Although the Everett High field hockey team came up short in its battle with Greater Boston League archrival Malden this past week, first-year EHS head coach Sabrina Wright was proud of her team’s fierce effort.
“Our game against Malden was their senior night and they were fired up,” said Wright, who chose Cephas Orleus as her team’s honorary captain for the contest. “It was a great match-up between two evenly-skilled teams. Their coaches were great and we really get along well with them and are hoping to build a relationship with them. “
Malden scored a goal late in the first quarter, a 1-0 lead that stood for much of the game as the teams traded volleys from end-to-end of the field. However, Malden notched two goals in the fourth quarter to pull away for a 3-0 victory.
“The score was not reflective of how we played, because we played a great game against Malden,” said Wright. “Similar to us, Malden has a team consisting of mostly boys, so watching this game was fun because the boys on our team and their team don’t get tired, so it was a race to the ball, a race to the goal with the boys, and it was really fun. I can’t wait to play them again in two weeks and hopefully we will end up on top.”
Wright and her crew have a busy week. They were scheduled to trek to Greater Lowell this past Monday and will return home today (Wednesday) to host Northeast Regional for Senior Night festivities. They will trek to Waltham on Friday. “We played Waltham in our first game of the season, so it’ll be a good game to watch because we are not the same team we were when we opened the season,” noted Wright. The Crimson Tide will play at Melrose next Monday and at Revere next Wednesday before hosting Malden next Friday in the season finale.
EHS Golfers Wrap Up Season This Week
The young Everett High golf team took on Lynn Classical on the latter’s home course at the Gannon Golf Club this past week and came up on the short end of a 49-23 decision.
“Gannon is a tough course to navigate for beginning golfers,” noted EHS head coach Steve Gallagher.
The Crimson Tide will finish up their season this week, hosting English and Medford. The league is finalizing details for the GBL Open, which is tentatively set for October 25 at Kelley Greens in Nahant.
EHS Boys Soccer at .500, Needs Four Points for Tourney
The Everett High boys soccer team turned in a level week, going 1-1-1 in three matches, defeating Greater Boston League (GBL) rival Chelsea (5-2), tying GBL foe Revere (1-1), and falling to non-league opponent Belmont (3-2).
Coach Pedro Blas and his crew now stand at 6-6-2 on the season and are in third place in the GBL with a 5-4-2 mark. They need four points in their final four games in order to achieve the .500 record that is necessary to punch a ticket for a Journey to the Tourney. They were scheduled to take on Lynn English yesterday (Tuesday) and will trek to Lynn Classical tomorrow (Thursday) and then to B.C. High next Tuesday. Their season finale is set for next Thursday, October 26, at home against Medford.