EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 30, 2012

Methuen volleyball needs to play to make tourney

Dave Dyer
The Eagle-Tribune

---- —

Need to play

Like most events, yesterday’s Somerville-Methuen volleyball match was called off by the storm. Ordinarily, with Wednesday as the deadline to play all regular season matches, it would not be rescheduled since it’s a non-league game. But the Rangers are 9-9 and need one more win to make the tournament. Unfortunately, Methuen is scheduled to face unbeaten Andover tonight and Somerville already has a match scheduled for tomorrow.

“I’m hoping the MIAA will extend the deadline a day or two,” said Methuen athletic director Jim Weymouth.

Another possibility would be for Methuen to play a doubleheader, traveling to Somerville this afternoon before facing Andover this evening.

Methuen’s boy swimmers

Once again, the Methuen swimming team has a boy swimmer winning events. One year after Scott DelRossi came within a eyelash of winning a Division 1 state title (23.85 to 23.93 for Haverhill’s Sarah Broderick), junior Jack Gregg has been placing first in freestyle events. Coach Jason Smith says Gregg, one of four boys on his team, is more versatile than DelRossi.

DelRossi’s near state title, incidentally, was one reason why there were rule changes this year, among them that boys can’t swim on the same relays with girls in the sectional and state meets and they can’t swim in the same heats in those meets.

Methuen is one of three MVC schools with boys, the others being Billerica and Dracut. The Middies have more than 10.

Tough year for Graham

Former Methuen High football coach Pat Graham hasn’t enjoyed much success since leaving the Rangers two years ago. His switch to Merrimack College was short lived because of a personality conflict. This is his first season as linebackers coach at St. Anselm College. The St. A’s defense has given up 42.7 points per game, including a record-setting 81 to Merrimack, during a 1-8 season.

Graham and the Hawks, however, could be turning the corner. Last week they threw a scare into first-place AIC before falling 37-34.

Streak snapped

When Barnstable’s volleyball team fell to Newton North 3-2 last week it ended a 41-match winning streak dating back Nov. 2 2010 vs. Medfield. Barnstable has won 14 state championships, including last year when it beat Central Catholic 3-0. The Red Raiders rallied from down 2-0 to defeat Andover 3-2 in the 2010 state semifinals.

Local college hoops

The college basketball season is suddenly upon us. The Northern Essex men’s team will open its season this weekend (see preview in today’s Eagle-Tribune) at the New Hampshire Tech Tournament while the Merrimack College men (Nov. 9 at Bentley Classic) and women (Nov. 8 host Fisher) open next week.

Coaching change

Medford High replaced Rico Dello Iacono after three games and promoted assistant Jason Nascimento on a temporary basis. Medford had been outscored 90-7 in its first three games and was just 6-27 overall under Iacono. Since 2000, its record is a dismal 21-108.

Medford has lost four straight since, but two games were by only a touchdown. Two weeks after Dello Iacono was let go, Peabody’s Scott Wlasuk resigned under pressure.