Published November 7, 2019


SHAYLA WILK slams home one of her four kills during North Reading’s 3-0 win over Brighton in the Div. 2 North’s preliminary round. (John Friberg Photo)

LYNNFIELD — North Reading High volleyball coach Mike Milone knew his team faced an uphill battle as they visited rival Lynnfield last Saturday night in the first round of the Division 2 North state tournament.

The top-seeded Pioneers entered the match undefeated and have not lost a set all year. They also beat the Hornets twice during the regular season.

Lynnfield showed why they are undefeated as the beat the Hornets 3-0. The Pioneers won the three games, 25-19, 25-23 and 25-15.

With the loss, the 16th-seeded Hornets ended the year at 11-9. Lynnfield, meanwhile, improved to 21-0.

JESSICA SOLECKI serves for the Hornets during their victory over Brighton on Halloween. (John Friberg Photo)

“We played our best match of the three times we played them,” said Milone. “We almost were able to win that second game.”

Inga Plavina led the Hornets in two categories as she had four kills and four blocks. Liz Kelly led the team in digs with 11 while Rachel Perry was the team leader in service aces with three.

“North Reading has improved a lot since the two times we played them in the regular season,” said Lynnfield head coach Brent Ashley. “They are going to be a tough challenge for us next year.”

In the preliminary round on Halloween, the Hornets blanked visiting Brighton 3-0.

“We were confident going into the match,” said Milone. “We passed well and did not make many mistakes.”

In game one, the Hornets won 25-11. They also won by that same score in game two and then in the final game they won 25-8.

Celia Standel led the Hornets in service aces with eight while Shayla Wilk had four kills.

It was the first playoff win for the Hornets since 2013.

With that defeat, the 17th-seeded Bengals ended the year at 7-8.