EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

November 6, 2013

Upsets earns Haverhill North final trip

PEABODY — The Haverhill volleyball team may have entered the gym at Peabody High as an underdog in the seedings, but top-seeded Tanners coach Lisa Keene knew the No. 5 Hillies were anything but.

Haverhill lived up to Keene’s expectations, using precision passing and excellent serving to hand the Tanners their first defeat of the season, 3-0, in a Division 1 North semifinal last night.

The Hillies (18-3) advance to their third sectional final and first since 2003. They’ll face the winner of tonight’s Andover/North Andover semifinal on Saturday at Lawrence High (6 p.m.).

“This means the world to the girls,” said Haverhill coach Bill Kaste. “They’ve worked since they were freshmen and gone a little further in the tournament every year.”

Haverhill prevailed 25-15, 25-23, 25-18 in straight sets to upend top-seeded Peabody (21-1). The momentum swung to the Hillies for good in the second game, when the Tanners staved off two set points but ultimately fell.

“I thought if we got that one, hopefully we’d be able to take the next two (points),” said Keene. “We knew Haverhill was an amazing team. They only had three losses and they were to two of the best teams in Division 1 in my opinion.”

Each time Peabody mustered a surge, Haverhill’s Haley DeRoche (10 kills) seemed to come up with a momentum-killing spike.

“She’s a smart player,” said Kaste. “Passing and serving were going to be big for us. We have a pretty good attack with our middle and outside hitters, but we have to pass.”

The Hillies did, with Ornela Llupo collecting 20 assists while setting up primarily DeRoche and Abigail Sonuga (nine kills). Haverhill also had a decisive advantage in service errors (only three to Peabody’s six) and aces (eight compared to four for Peabody).

“Looking at the season stats, their serving percentage was huge compared to ours and their ace percentage was better,” said Keene. “We knew that and we were ready for it, but we couldn’t defend it.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
Mo'ne's Mom: She's Up There With LeBron, Kobe - @TheBuzzeronFOX Can Buckeyes fill Miller's void? Manziel mature enough to start? Ditka Blames 'Politically Correct Idiots' For Redskins Controversy - @TheBuzzeronFOx Redskins show solidarity with Ferguson protesters Is Taney a team of destiny? Taney Dragons wins in walk-off comback fashion Coach Rice has full confidence in Davis vs. Nevada SNC Minute: Maclin tweaks hamstring; Phils lose Bottalico: Giles 'has the makings of a closer' McCarthy and Stairs recap Phils' 3rd straight loss Training Camp Central: Eagles brave the weather in Foxborough Shady and Chip on 2000 yard season 3 takeaways from Eagles' joint practice in Foxborough Checking for Charity Hockey Tournament begins August 14th What are Eagles' options if Maclin goes down again? Mosher: Maclin disappointed after tweaking hamstring Boomer: Johnny Manziel still has a lot to learn College Football Preview: Breaking down the ACC Boomer: Are training camp fights good for a team?
Boston Sports
Brian Westbrook: I wouldn’t hand the Browns over to Johnny Football’ Farrell 1-on-1: Biggest lessons learned from 2014 Can Buckeyes fill Miller's void? Manziel mature enough to start? Ditka Blames 'Politically Correct Idiots' For Redskins Controversy - @TheBuzzeronFOx Redskins show solidarity with Ferguson protesters Farrell: Bradley, Jr. sent to ‘maintain adjustments’ Farrell: ‘A ‘neighborhood play’ is not a reviewable play’ Bogaerts: ‘I knew he was safe if they replayed it’ Fans Excited For Patriots Preseason Kickoff Curran: Brady, Mallett & Garoppolo expected to play tomorrow Pedro Martinez on Lester: “I would like to see him come back’ Greeting from Foxboro: What to look for in Patriots-Eagle preseason game Pedro, Clemens and Nomar on the honor of joining Red Sox Hall of Fame Boomer: Johnny Manziel still has a lot to learn College Football Preview: Breaking down the ACC Boomer: Are training camp fights good for a team? Luis Suarez's 4-Month Ban Upheld ... Reality Bites! - @TheBuzzeronFOX Volin: Eagles vs Patriots may be a Superbowl preview Curran: Breaking down the Patriots Camp battles