Haverhill Hillies Girls Volleyball '21

Tue, Nov 16, 2021 05:30 PM @ Newton North
Team 1 2 3 Final
Haverhill 24 21 12 0
Newton North 26 25 25 3

Hillies fall in state semis

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Thursday, December, 23 By Dave Dyer

BILLERICA — The Haverhill High volleyball team didn’t bring its “A” game to the Division 1 state semifinals at Billerica High School Tuesday night, and paid the consequences.

The second-seeded Hillies fell to a talented Newton North squad (18-2) in straight sets (26-24, 25-21, 25-12) to bow out of the tournament and end their season with an impressive 18-3 record.

“We’ve played better but that (Newton North) is a tough team and they deserved to win tonight,” said Haverhill coach Vincent Pettis. “That’s a really good team at attacking and blocking and we couldn’t stop them. We held them off the best we could.”

Haverhill was at its best in the first set, leading 21-15 at one point. But Newton North rallied to take 11 of the next 14 points to gain the momentum it needed to follow through with the sweep of sets on the night.

While Newton North showed good balance, 6-foot-2 junior Abigail Wright was a thorn in the Hillies’ side all night. Whenever she touched the ball at the net, Haverhill was in trouble and she finished with 11 kills.

Like in the first set, Haverhill started strong in the second set and led 10-7 early but, once again, Newton North regrouped and prevailed 25-21.

That seemed to take the steam out of the Hillies because they were never in the third and final set, losing 25-12.

“Their outside hitters were really good and we didn’t have an answer for them,” said Pettis.

Although Tuesday’s result was not what Pettis had hoped for, he had nothing but positives to say about Haverhill’s season.

“When we started out, I wasn’t sure what kind of team we had, but the girls really improved and had a great season,” said Pettis. “I think it was an awesome season.”

Moreover, while the Hillies will certainly miss standout setter Kya Burdier among others who graduate, a strong nucleus will return next year, including freshman Gabby Burdier, sophomores Taylor Lewis, Emmerson Cerasuolo and Mia Ferrer Valdez and junior Morgan Flaherty.

“It looks promising,” said Pettis.

Newton North, meanwhile, will take on the winner of tonight’s other Division 1 semifinal between Franklin and Needham for the Division 1 title.

Regardless of the opponent, Wright says her squad is entering the match with plenty of motivation.

“A lot of people would be nervous to go into the state championship, but honestly, we’re going into it with a chip on our shoulder. ... I think that each game we play, we just get more hyped, and more excited, and more determined to be there,” she said.

Newton North 3, Haverhill 0

Division 1 Semifinal

Haverhill’s leaders:

Kills: Summer Zaino 9, Mia Ferrer Valdez 8

Blocks: Emmerson Cerasuolo 1

Assists: Kia Burdier 14

Service points: Gabby Burdier 10

Digs: Gabby Burdier 25

Haverhill (18-3): 24 21 12 — 0

Newton North (18-2): 26 25 25 — 3

Game Statistics:

Division 1 State Final 4
Sumner Zaino 9, Mia Ferrer Valdez 8

Blocks: Emmerson Cerasuolo 1

Assists:  Kia Burdier 14

Service points (aces): Gabby Burdier 10

Digs: Gabby Burdier 25

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