Boston High School: Carolyn Morin

D1 Volleyball: Barnstable 3, Central Catholic 0

November, 19, 2011

NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. -- Maintaining success year after year at the high school level in Massachusetts is something only a few teams have been able to accomplish, especially in an era where more and more talented athletes are emerging in every city and town across the Commonwealth.

The Barnstable girls volleyball program is one of those that seems to have the state championship formula figured out. The Red Raiders laid claim to their 14th Division 1 state title, sweeping Central Catholic by scores of 25-13, 27-25 and 25-14 Saturday evening at Algonquin High School.

"The highest compliment you can give you a group of players is that they are competitive warriors," Barnstable head coach Tom Turco said. "That's what they were tonight and thats what they've been all season. Thats the type of players I have in this program so I'm proud of them."

Barnstable (23-0) was led by Kaylee Deluga, who recorded 20 kills. Lynne Hibbard added 10 kills and Carolyn Morin had seven, all the beneficiaries of a strong passing night courtesy of junior setter Kayla Crook, who had 33 assists.

Central made them work for it, and a 5-1 stretch early in the first game left the two squads deadlocked at 8-8. That's when Barnstable took over. With Crook spreading the ball around amongst Deluga, Regan Bristol, Hibbard and Anna Strock, the Red Raiders scored eight of the next 10 points, and put together a pair of smaller runs to close out the opener.

The second game was one Central Catholic needed. The Raiders got contributions from Hunter Tuck, Amanda Williams, Alexis Michal and Claire Foggo while taking Barnstable's best punches to take a 20-17 lead.

When Barnstable fought back, the Raiders hung tough and the two teams found themselves tied five times until Barnstable managed to string together consecutive points on a Morin slam and a net violation that ended it.

"That was a good fight. That's what I'll remember my girls for. I'm proud of that," Central head coach Gannon Paris said. "We stood toe to toe for them for a good 35-40 minutes. You want to capitalize on those things and when you have a chance to beat a team like that in a spot like that, you need to capitalize."

Central wasn't able to, and while they were able to keep it close in the third (tied 12-12 midway through), Barnstable simply had too many weapons to overcome and the Red Raiders broke it open with a 9-0 run. The Red Raiders attacked relentlessly from the outside as Crook set up both Deluga and Hibbard for a combined 13 kills.

Explained Crook, "Whenever the hitters go up I always look to my right to see if there's any spots open for them and I'll tell them in between plays then just try and get the ball to my hitters and let them take care of it."

Deluga also pointed to her more defensive-minded teammates as one of the Red Raiders biggest keys.

"They have some really good hitters but we have some really good blockers. We have Lynne and Regan up there at the net and they were on blockers really well. We had good block coverage by our libeiro, my cousin Nikki (Deluga). We had good defense, we dove for balls and Kayla made an awesome play off block and ran into the stands."

Added Hibbard, "Blockwise I think we did very well. We were able to match up with their hits very well. Defense-wise we were picking up tips amazingly. The back row did a great job of picking up all the hits from the middle."

Barnstable claims 13th volleyball crown

November, 20, 2010

NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. – In Massachusetts volleyball, Barnstable is on par historically with the likes of the Hapsburgs, the Romanovs, the Windsors.

And although the Red Raiders’ reign was interrupted by New Bedford last season, the crown is back in Hyannis after a sort of Meiji Restoration to the Division I ranks occurred on Saturday at Algonquin Regional.

Barnstable claimed its 13th state championship and the seventh in the last eight years with a 3-0 decision over Lincoln-Sudbury.

“There was a thought, outside of Barnstable, that we were going to be really good next year,” Red Raiders head coach Tom Turco quipped. “Not bad. I thought we were going to be really good this year. These seniors deserve it. They kept this team together all year.”

Barnstable (21-2) will only graduate two players, senior captains Devon Bentivegna and Sarah Colby, from this year’s model and seem primed to make yet another run in the upcoming years.

That’s because of the contributions from its underclassmen. The Red Raiders will be in good hands with junior Kaylee Deluga (team high 15 kills) and the sophomore duo of outside hitter Regan Bristol (9 kills) and setter Kayla Crook.

On paper, Barnstable was an “underdog” as the fourth seed out of the South bracket, while the Warriors (21-2) were seeded No. 1 out of the Central/East.

However, the Red Raiders made easy work of L-S in the first game, 25-11.

The Warriors came back to push play in the second as they took an early 6-5 lead in the second set. But the teams exchanged leads four times in an entertaining set before Carolyn Morin emphatically put an end to the Warriors’ run with a spike set up by Crook for a 26-24 second-game win.

The Red Raiders didn’t trail in the third game — a 25-17 tally — and then the celebration was on along with the sizable delegation that made the drive from the Cape and joined in the festivities.

“We were definitely more motivated,” Crook said. “We had a lot more energy during games and we always had our minds set toward our goal, which was winning the state championship.”

After all, absence only makes the heart grow fonder

“When you’re away from it, you miss it,” Turco said, reflecting on last year’s upset. “I wasn’t even in the state, but it was no vacation.”