Volleyball team shows potential despite losing skid

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It was another challenging week for the Canton High varsity volleyball team, but despite two more losses there were plenty of positive takeaways according to head coach Pat Cawley.

Junior setter Nicole Brown (Mike Barucci photo)

Junior setter Nicole Brown (Mike Barucci photo)

Hovering right around .500 for most of the season, the lady Bulldogs had a few golden chances to gain some ground in the standings but ultimately fell short in matches last week versus Oliver Ames and North Attleboro.

The NA match was especially heart-wrenching as the Canton girls opened up a two-set lead against the division-leading Red Rocketeers before fading down the stretch and losing the final three sets.

Nevertheless, Cawley was thoroughly impressed with the Bulldogs’ fast start, calling it their “best play of the year.”

“They played relaxed knowing they had nothing to lose, knowing they were ‘expected to lose,’” she said. “Everyone played great. The defense was outstanding, the setting great, and the offense finally started clicking.”

Unfortunately for the host team, the pressure mounted and the team’s inexperience “reared its head” beginning in set three, shifting the momentum to the Rocketeers. “We made many errors which kept us out of system and we never got our game back,” Cawley said.

Despite the final result, junior setter Nicole Brown turned in another strong performance and finished with 20 assists, 11 digs and four kills. Hannah Jerrier paced the offense with 10 kills while libero Megan McDonough tallied 15 digs to lead the defense.

Cawley said all three players have made incredible strides on the volleyball court this season with Brown showing great improvement in set location, hitting and defense, McDonough developing a greater command of the court, and Jerrier working hard to master three different positions.

Erin Devine has also made an impact for the Bulldogs and was among the top performers in their match against Oliver Ames last week, finishing with 12 kills and four blocks. In that match, Canton took the first set but fell just a few points shy in the remaining three (25-22, 26-28, 20-25, 23-25). Brown also had a strong match for the Bulldogs and finished with 29 assists and seven kills.

Now 5-8 after a loss earlier this week versus Milford, the Bulldogs were hoping to get back on track beginning Wednesday with a home match against Sharon. The team will also play at home again this afternoon with Notre Dame Academy coming to town for a 5:15 p.m. start.

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