Warriors improve in 2017, set foundation for future

THE WMHS volleyball senior captains, Marissa Patti, Nicole Catino, Ally Coggswell, Julia Brown and Julia Purcell welcomed the new captains for the 2018 season: Sam Yandell and Eadeen Beck. Pictured from left to right is Yandell, Patti, Catino, Coggswell, Brown, Purcell and Beck. (Karen Pugsley Photo)

Published in the December 14, 2017 edition.


WAKEFIELD — The WMHS volleyball team entered the 2017 season with some long-term goals. In the sixth season of the program and the first for head coach Sasha Duprey, the Warriors leaned on their seniors to help the underclassmen gain experience, and worked towards improving and establishing an identity in the competitive Middlesex League.

“I thought this season was a really successful one,” said Duprey. “Looking back from the start of the season to where we ended, this team made great strides, not only in their skill, but in their team dynamic and as people, and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

The Warriors finished 6-14 overall and 5-11 in the league, as they swept the two-game season series against Watertown and Stoneham and picked up a big road win over Wilmington, 3-0, on Oct. 19 that stands out as one of the biggest highlights of the season.

“We had a fire in that Wilmington game that lead us to picking up a win that no one else expected us to take,” said Duprey.

The Warriors had an experienced group of seniors who set the tone for years to come. Julia Purcell, Marissa Patti, Ally Coggswell, Nicole Catino and Julia Brown worked hard all season to build a foundation for the future of Wakefield volleyball. It’s a class that will also mean a lot to coach Duprey as her first group of seniors.

“We are losing a fantastic group of seniors, I genuinely wish that I could have had more than one season with them, but I know they have bright futures ahead,” said Duprey. “They helped cultivate our team culture and develop our team standards and set a great example for what it means to be seniors and captains for all of the athletes in our program. That will hopefully be upheld as we move forward.”

The Warriors carried five juniors and four sophomores on the team this year. All nine will return to the varsity next season with plenty of game experience. Coach Duprey is excited about next year’s seniors, especially outside hitter Eadeen Beck, middle blocker Hannah Butler and right side hitter Jaime Greatorex who all improved their games throughout the season.

“I pushed them to do things outsides their comfort zone and grow as athletes,” said Duprey of the underclassmen. “I’m beyond excited to see what they are able to accomplish next year.”

At the postseason banquet Tuesday night, Duprey gave out individual awards and thanked the outgoing seniors for their dedication. The offensive player of the year was awarded to Butler who led the team in multiple categories including kills and blocks. The defensive player of the year was given to Catino, a libero and defensive specialist who led the team in digs. Greatorex got most improved while Middlesex League All-Star Ally Coggswell received the Warrior Award.

Wakefield also announced the captains for next season who will be Eadeen Beck and Sam Yandell.

Overall, the 2017 volleyball Warriors will be remembered as a group who helped change the culture of Wakefield volleyball, not only with the victories on the court but their leadership and dedication off it. It was enough for Duprey to believe that the program will continue to rapidly improve.

“This year we really focused on believing that we have it in us to win, and now that our players really know that, you can expect us to come back next season with that belief and fire fueling our desire to go out and fight for those close matches with a new-found confidence.”