By STEPHEN MARTELLUCCI
NORTH READING — On Monday evening, the North Reading High volleyball team lost a non-league match to visiting Arlington Catholic by a final of 3-1.
The Cougars, a team out of the Catholic Central League, won the first two sets, 25-23, and 25-20. The Hornets avoided the sweep winning set three, 25-21.
AC then won set four, 25-15, to close it out.
It was the third-consecutive loss for the Hornets who fell to 2-3 overall while the Cougars improved to 3-4.
“They have a good, solid team,” said Hornets head coach Mike Milone. “They have the best hitter we have seen so far and two other good hitters.”
Milone also said that his squad had too many unforced errors.
Sami Mutti led the way for the locals as she had 10 digs, six kills, one block and one service ace. Fellow junior, Madison Hopfer, had the team-high in assists with nine.
On Sept. 15, the Hornets lost to rival Lynnfield, 3-0, on the road to fall to 2-2 in the Cape Ann League.
The Pioneers won the three sets , 25-16, 25-21 and 27-25.
“We squandered some opportunities early,” said Milone. “We never got in sync.”
Willow Koepke led the team in assists with 10 while Mutti had seven digs. The kills leader was Talia Ranieri as the 11th-grader recorded seven.
On Sept. 13, the Hornets welcomed CAL newcomer, Essex Tech. The visiting Hawks ended up winning 3-0.
They won the three sets, 25-15, 27-25, and 25-21.
“Essex Tech is the most complete team we have faced so far,” said Milone. “We also got off to another slow start.”
On Sept. 21, the Hornets visit the defending Division 4 state champions, Ipswich, at 4 p.m.
North Reading then host back-to-back home games on Sept. 26 and 27 as they face Hamilton-Wenham on the 26th and Newburyport the next day.
Both matches will start at 5:30 p.m.