Off to 3-0 start after victorious week
Published September 13, 2019
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE—The Melrose Lady Raider volleyball team are exactly where they want to be after earning three straight wins that have them 3-0 on the early season. Melrose opened the season with a road win over Arlington, 3-1, swept perennial power Frontier, 3-0, on the road in Ludlow and clinched their first home match in a 3-2 nail biter over Woburn on Tuesday night at the Melrose Middle School gym.
Tuesday night’s home match was a must-see event as Melrose battled against a tougher than advertised Woburn team, who were strong defensively and big up front. Melrose took the game in sets of 17-25, 25-13, 25-21, 23-25 and 15-6, fueled by the powerful hitting of their attackers, including Emma Randolph, who led with 17 kills and teammates Emily Hudson (16 kills) and Erin Torpey (15 kills). Freshmen Chloe Gentile delivered an impressive 10 kills in her home debut.
Setter Eva Haralabatos had a huge 42 assists in the night while Nicole Abbott was busy all night from a hard-hitting Tanner squad, tallying 33 digs.
Melrose fell in set one but fought back hard in set two behind the powerful hitting of Randolph, who tormented blockers all night. Emily Hudson had back to back kills and Grace Davis knocked one in to make it a 13-9 game. Solid serving by Mary Kate Mahoney and kills from Hudson and Erin Torpey closed it out, 25-13. Set three was all Melrose with highlights being 7 kills from Torpey and strong net work from Hudson. Solid serving from Ava Haralabatos also helped Melrose. Woburn fought back in set 4 as Melrose misfired on shots.
The final set was all Melrose, with freshman Chloe Gentile leading the charge down the stretch with well-timed kills, including the game clincher.
After the game, coach Scott Celli saluted his team’s resiliency. “We never let up, we put tons of pressure the whole match and that was big for us. I think we wore them down a little bit. That being said, Woburn is a good team.”
Celli’s hitters combined for 60 kills, a giant number that could bode well for the team this year. “My hitters came to play, across the board. That will be huge for us this season.”
One area he’d like to focus on this week is defense. “I’d like to improve our serve receive and back row defense, if we do that we’ll be even better.”
Melrose travels to Belmont on Thursday (post deadline) before hosting Stoneham next Wednesday at the Melrose Middle School gym.