Off to a quick 3-0 start to season

Published in the September 15, 2017 edition


MELROSE—The Melrose High girl’s volleyball team have spiked their way to a 3-0 start to the season with consecutive wins over Lexington, Arlington and undefeated Woburn.

SAOIRSE CONNOLLY has been a leading force on offense during Melrose’s (3-0) early season. (Steve Karampalas photo)

Melrose kicked their season off on Wednesday, Sept. 6 at home against Lexington and dominated the Minutemen 3-0 in straight sets. Coach Scott Celli debuted some newer faces on the court, including sophomore starters Emma Randolph, Grace Davis, Mary Kate Mahoney, Erin Torpey and Nicole Abbott. and also brought to the court experienced senior leaders who led in hitting and assists, like their tri- captains Lily Fitzgerald, Saoirse Connolly and Jill Mercer.

Connolly led in scoring for Melrose with 11 kills, followed by Randolph, who had 8. Senior captain setter Lily Fitzgerald had 18 assists for the day, while Jill Mercer in libero duty proved she will be the anchor on defense this season. Melrose also showed strong back row defense with the work of Mary Kate Mahoney, Nicole Abbott and Lydia Lombardo. While overall, Melrose had an “off night” on serving, Abbott in particular looked stellar at the line, along with Lydia Lombardo and Saoirse Connolly.

On Friday, Melrose traveled to Arlington and took a 3-1 victory in sets of 25-15, 22-15, 25-13, 25-18. Once again, Connolly led on offense with 12 kills while Lydia Lombardo showed punch with 7. Melrose’s steady setter Lily Fitzgerald showed finesse with five of her own.

On Tuesday, Melrose hosted and beat Woburn (3-1) who came into the game with talented hitters but were no match for Melrose. As a result, Woburn fell 3-0 in three sets, 25-15, 25-19, and 25-23. They enjoyed a 25-15 first set win that featured terrific defense from libero Jill Mercer and back row work from Nicole Abbott and Mary Kate Mahoney. Woburn took an early lead in set two but Melrose went on a tear, outscoring the Tanners from a timeout to set whistle. Woburn showed plenty of life in set three but Melrose topped them, 25-23.

Melrose (3-0) will host reigning state champ Notre Dame (of Hingham) on Thursday (post deadline). They then travel to Wilmington for a 5:00 p.m. contest on Friday.