Andover Golden Warriors Girls Volleyball '10

Thu, Nov 11, 2010 07:00 PM @ Andover
Team 1 2 3 Final
Central Catholic 13 13 16 0
Andover 25 25 25 3

Track star Cronin finds her groove in volleyball

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CARL RUSSO/Staff photo. Andover defeated Central Catholic in three straight matches in volleyball tournament action Thursday night. Andover's, Jillian Pengeroth spikes the ball. 11/11/2010.   » Staff PhotographerMore photos

Thursday, November, 11 By David Willis
Staff writer

ANDOVER — She was a force at the net all night, but Moira Cronin drew her biggest cheer after the game, when she spontaneously broke into a dance.

“When I get a kill I do a little dance,” she said, failing her arms and shimming. “I go a little crazy. I’m a little bit of a goofball.”

Cronin has had reason to celebrate this season.

After spending the majority of her junior season on the JV team, and entering her senior season needing to battle to win a prominent role, Cronin has emerged as a dominant presence this season for the Andover volleyball squad that advanced to the Division 1 North Finals after downing Central Catholic last night.

“Moira has come such a long way as a volleyball player,” said Andover coach George Sullivan. “Since last year she has made great strides. She is a real athlete, and it shows, She has stepped up and played very aggressively.”

Cronin’s athleticism was never in question, as she was emerging as an area track legend. Last season, she set The Eagle-Tribune area record in the high jump with a 5-10 and was Eagle-Tribune girls indoor track Player of the Year.

But those skills didn’t immediately transfer to volleyball.

“It was frustrating swinging to JV as a junior,” said Cronin. “But it did let me develop my game. I was the manager as a freshman after being cut from soccer, so I had never really played (volleyball) until my sophomore year.

“I played some club volleyball this past winter, but I wasn’t sure if I’d be that good. I didn’t know if I’d be able to get a starting job.”

But, Cronin not only earned the starting spot, she has become a crucial piece for the unbeaten Golden Warriors.

With the combination of her height — at 6-foot-1 she is tied with senior Jillian Pengeroth and her sister Molly Cronin for tallest on the team — and her elite-track leaping ability, Cronin has excelled at the net as a hitter.

That was on perfect display last night. She finished with four kills, two that weren’t touched and two more that bounced off opposing players. She also showed touch and savvy, faking the Raiders out by softly tapping a ball over the net.

“I can’t even believe I’m playing,” said Cronin, who has not yet made a decision on where she will take her track career in college.

 “I love it. Blocking is the best feeling in the world, other than jumping 5-10. Track is a great tool, because (volleyball) is about jumping momentum, and I’m always on my feet. Plus, it gives me confidence I can out-jump the other girls.”

While she has been a stellar asset on the court, Sullivan said she has filled another crucial roll.

“When we lost (All-Scholastic) Kirsten Arvidson I was worried,” said Sullivan. “We lost that personality, that jokester. But Moira has come in and become that. She is always smiling and joking. We found out her nickname is ‘wiggles’ at home, so now she is ‘wiggles’ for us. She is a great hitter, and she is such a great kid.”

That bubbly personality is a role that Cronin is perfectly happy to fill.

“I kind if bring out the goofball in everyone,” she said. “The wiggles nickname is a little embarrassing, but I still love it. I’m just always moving. I am just so happy we are here, and so proud that I am a part of it.”

Game Statistics:

Kills: A — Sarah Arvidson 6, Moira Cronin 4; CC — Corrine Gosseline 8, Hunter Tuck 4

Blocks: A — Elise Brogan 7 1/2, Jillian Pengeroth 2 1/2

Assists: A — Annie Ye 17; CC — Alexis Michal 12

Service points (aces): A — Marcela Familiar-Bolanos (5), Lauren Murtagh (3), Ava Bakhtyari (3); CC — Kendall Desrosiers 5, Tuck 5 (2)

Digs: A — Ye 14, Arvidson 8; CC — Michelle Bouchard 12

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