CHS volleyball team shines in season’s opening week

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Picking up where they left off in last year’s undefeated regular season, the Canton High varsity volleyball team opened the 2015 campaign with back-to-back victories last week over Kelley-Rex foes North Attleboro and Mansfield.

Senior captain Olivia Devoe (Mike Barucci photo)

Senior captain Olivia Devoe (Mike Barucci photo)

Led by veteran head coach Pat Cawley and senior captains Elizabeth Hamilton, Olivia Devoe and Rye Verille, the defending Davenport Division champs looked sharp in both contests en route to 3-1 and 3-0 wins. Both matches were played away from Canton — part of a road-heavy stretch in the early part of the season that includes seven of the first eight matches.

Against North Attleboro last Wednesday, the Bulldogs dropped the opening set but went on to dominate the final three (25-8, 25-15, 25-16).

Hamilton, who was a 2014 all-state selection, paced the visitors with 15 kills and 14 digs, while Verille added seven kills and four blocks. Devoe was also outstanding in her first match playing libero, racking up a team-high 24 digs, and Nicole Poole collected 34 assists in a strong debut as the team’s starting center.

On Friday, Canton traveled to Mansfield and made quick work of a strong Hornet squad, winning in straight sets 25-14, 25-20, 25-15.

Hamilton once again led the offense with 15 kills, and Devoe had another outstanding match at libero and collected 20 digs. Verille added seven kills and three blocks, while Sarah Reissfelder, Emma Murphy, Casey Shea, and Kelly Dever were all strong at the net.

“Everyone on the team contributed to the first two wins,” said Cawley, who has led her team to four consecutive Division 2 sectional semifinals appearances. “It was a great team effort.”

A perennial Hockomock League powerhouse, the Bulldogs graduated a lot of talent last year, including former league MVP Erin Proctor. At the same time, they have a strong class of current seniors, an excellent pedigree, and more than enough firepower to contend for a ninth straight league championship and make a deep playoff run.

Already the only Davenport team with an undefeated record, the Bulldogs will look to make it three in a row when they travel to King Philip on Friday, September 18. Their first home match is set for Monday at 5 p.m. against Foxboro, followed by another four straight matches on the road.

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