NORTH READING — The North Reading High volleyball team hosted the top team in the Cape Ann League on Tuesday night as Ipswich came to town. The Tigers showed why that are in first place as they beat the Hornets 3-0. They won the three sets, 25-16, 28-26, and 25-12.
“The girls played hard,” said Hornets head coach Mike Milone. “They played really well in that second set.”
The Tigers improved to 13-1 overall and 11-1 in the league while the Hornets fell to 4-9 overall and 4-6 in the CAL.
“They are extremely powerful and the most complete team we have faced this year,” said Milone as the Tigers completed the season sweep. “They also have a great outside hitter.”
Milone was pleased with the play of junior Yasmin Faris.
“She passed the ball well,” said Milone, about the junior defensive specialist.
The night before the Ipswich loss, the Hornets lost at Medford, 3-2, in a non-league match.
North Reading won the opening set, 27-25 but lost the next two sets, 25-26, and 25-23. They then won set four, 26-24, but lost the rubber set, 15-11.
“It was back-and-fourth all match,” recalled Milone.
Abby Gerber had a monster game leading the team in four categories as the junior had 29 assists, 21 digs, ten kills and five service aces.
“She was outstanding,” stated Milone.
On Oct. 14, the Hornets won a slugfest, 3-2, over guest Newburyport to earn a split of the season series. It was North Reading’s Dig Pink Breast Cancer Awareness night.
This match lasted over two and a half hours and featured a comeback as the Clippers won the first two sets.
After losing, 25-19, and 25-20, the Hornets won set three, 25-23.
They then had a school-record 35 points in set four winning that match, 35-33. The Hornets then won the fifth set, 15-10, to complete the comeback.
“It was a marathon match,” said Milone. “It was very intense, especially that fourth set.”
Gerber led the squad in assists (25) and service aces (nine). Lily Joyce led the team in kills with 10. Senior captain, Rose Morelli, had a team-high 22 digs.
The next match for the Hornets is Oct. 21 as they visit Triton at 6 pm looking for a split of the season series. They then welcome Pentucket at 6 p.m. on Oct. 25 as they try to sweep the Sachems.
On Oct. 27, they visit rival Lynnfield at 5:30 p.m. in the final CAL game of the season.
If the states started this week, North Reading would qualify under the new power-ranking system. The Hornets are ranked 21st in Division 3. The top 32 teams make the bracket.