Boston High School: Kaylee Deluga

Midzik leads Gatorade POY volleyball watch list

December, 9, 2011
ESPNHS editor Eric Snyder has a rundown on the finalists for Massachusetts' Gatorade Player of the Year award in volleyball. Leading the list is Brookline senior outside hitter Maya Midzik, who helped lead the Warriors to the Division 1 state semifinals, where they lost to eventual state champion Barnstable.

The award will be announced later this month.

From the ESPNHS Gatorade Player of the Year blog:

Maya Midzik
Senior outside hitter/middle blocker, Brookline (Mass.)

2011 Team record: 19-3
2011 Team standing: Lost in Division 1 state semifinals

2011 Kills: 262
2011 Blocks: 15
2011 Digs: 87
2011 Aces: 61
2011 Assists: 5

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Yale (verbal)

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: USA Volleyball High Performance Department’s 2011 U.S .Women’s Junior A2 Team member. Two-time Division 1 First Team All-State selection.

Cassidy Stankowski
Junior outside hitter, Frontier Regional (South Deerfield, Mass.)

2011 Team record: 23-1
2011 Team standing: Won Division 3 state title

2011 Kills: 276
2011 Blocks: 20
2011 Digs: 143
2011 Aces: 76
2011 Assists: 15

Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: HS junior

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Three-time Division 3 First Team All-State selection. Starter since seventh grade. More than 1,000 career kills.

Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Volleyball Player of the Year race isn’t over yet. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list. Here are some more of many who’ve been in the conversation throughout the 2011 campaign.

Kayla Crook: Barnstable (Hyannis, Mass.) junior setter
Kaylee Deluga: Barnstable (Hyannis, Mass.) senior outside hitter
Taylor Fearing: Marlboro (Mass.) senior setter

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."

Volleyball: Barnstable 3, Brookline 1

November, 17, 2011

BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- There’s something in the water when it comes to Barnstable girls' volleyball.

The Raiders used a swarming defensive effort — where it looked at times there were eight or nine red jerseys on their side of the court — and a powerful display at the net by Kaylee Deluga (18 kills) and Lynne Hibbard (eight kills) to take out Brookline 3-1 (25-14, 25-18, 22-25, 25-15) in the Div. 1 state semi-finals last night at Bridgewater-Raynham High.

Barnstable (22-0) will now play Central Catholic in the state finals in hopes of securing a 14th championship trophy.

“I’m proud of my girls, they rose to the occasion,” said Raiders coach Tom Turco, who has been at the helm for 24 seasons. “You have to give these girls credit.”

Turco’s crew was able to establish a presence at the net early in the first game. Hibbard had three blocks for kills in the early stages and Deluga showed off her ability to put away points with a big, sweeping lefty strike in the 25-14 win for the Raiders.

The key for Barnstable was limiting the Warriors’ key outside hitter, Maya Midzik, from causing havoc on the Raiders back-line. And for two and a half games — including a 25-18 second game victory — the Raiders were able to keep the Warriors (20-3) threat under wraps.

“The thing about their offense is that they don’t just go to her exclusively. They trust their other hitters, but we had to key in on her,” said Turco. “I thought we did a good job and we adjusted our defense outside the block more and came up with some key digs. She’s not going to hit into blocks, she’s going to hit around the blocks and to our kids credit they did that well.”

Midzik and the Warriors did get things together when it looked like the Raiders would wrap up the clean sweep late in the third game. With the Raiders leading 21-17, Brookline went on a 9-1 run to take a 25-22 victory and extend the match.

The Warriors did most of their damage off the serve of Marie Fleming, as Midzik put away four keys points in that stretch, including a loud kill to complete the comeback.

“We executed our game plan,” said Warriors coach Mike Frank. “That was probably the best eight points we played all night, in a row anyway. We didn’t quite execute what we wanted to do.”

The Warriors had all the momentum going into the fourth game, but the Raiders calmly got back to the defense at the net and the ability to withstand the rushes from Midzik and the other outside-hitters to grab a lead at 3-2 and never look back.

Hibbard starred again as she teamed up with Regan Bristol to record a few blocks and form a wall at the net, and the back-line did it’s job in funneling the ball to their attacking offensive players to finish off the match with a 25-15 win.

“We just knew that we had to step up the intensity and we didn’t talk as much as we should have,” said Hibbard. “We knew that we had to come together as a team, because we wanted it and we got it.”

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.”