Volleyball team still perfect heading into regular season finale


Junior Avery Devoe has been a force on offense for the undefeated Bulldogs. (Mike Barucci photo)

The undefeated and utterly dominant Canton High volleyball team improved to 18-0 last week with impressive victories over its closest two competitors in the Davenport Division, Foxboro and Stoughton, leaving the squad just one win away from a perfect regular season.

At this point, it doesn’t appear that any team could derail the Bulldogs, and yet head coach Pat Cawley was fairly subdued when discussing Tuesday’s finale at nonleague Medway.

“Medway is a good team in a great volleyball league and will give us a good tune-up for the tournament,” said the veteran coach, who would much prefer to see her squad expend its energy on a deep playoff run.

At the same time, Cawley was thrilled with the Bulldogs’ performance in their two wins last week, especially their 3-0 victory over second-place Stoughton on Wednesday.

Canton’s final home match was also its senior night, and the gym was “decked out in posters, banners and streamers,” while “poems were read and pictures were taken.”

“It’s been a great four years for these girls but it has passed too fast,” said Cawley. “Four Hock titles, three tournament runs with one to go.”

As for their rematch against Stoughton, the Bulldogs were hoping for a convincing victory and they delivered one, led by the team’s eight seniors, including Abbey Willis, Alex Walsh, Jackie Bornemann, Julia Murphy and Lindsey Arthur, who combined for 27 kills, 10 aces and 10 blocks.

Mellyn Costello and Lizzy Doherty also contributed to the win with great defense, combining for 14 digs, while Kaitlin Phillips tallied 18 assists as she continued to run the offense smoothly and accurately.

In the match against Foxboro earlier in the week, the visiting Bulldogs suffered a close loss in set one before storming back with three straight wins in “one of the best offensive shows of the season,” according to Cawley.

Phillips was outstanding in her role as setter, finishing with an incredible 50 assists, while Murphy paced the offense with 22 kills. Bornemann added 18 kills of her own, and junior Avery Devoe had another strong match with 12 kills and five blocks. The Bulldogs also got excellent serving from Doherty, who racked up eight straight points to open set two, and Costello, who tallied seven in a row to seal the victory in set three.

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