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
Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Tiger Woods: 1 on 1 3 Questions with Gary Payton: Kevin Love, Andrew Wiggins and Derrick Rose Players Only: Marcus Mariota's Course Load at Oregon How We Almost Got Johnny Cowboy Donald Sterling Loses The Clippers For Good - @TheBuzzeronFox Franklin talks leaving Vandy Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX Michael Jordan OK With LeBron James Wearing No. 23? - @TheBuzzeronFox The Cornhuskers have gone...Loco? McNabb: Two games is not acceptable for me Ortiz, Price Feud Is Upsetting To Children - @TheBuzzeronFOX MLB Trade Deadline Talk: Price, Stanton, Kemp Tony Romo will be a full-go for camp Teammate's Advice For Johnny Manziel & Josh Gordon - @TheBuzzeronFox Helfrich praises Mariota's commitment to improve Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent First impressions of Giants' new up-tempo offense Athletic Gaines: Where LeSean McCoy, Kenjon Barner, and more prepare for NFL season
Boston Sports
A's Acquire Lester, Gomes For Cespedes Red Sox Fans React To Jon Lester Rumors Red Sox Fans Sad About Prospect Of Possible Jon Lester Trade Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Pedroia on Lester: ‘It would be tough to see him in another uniform’ Farrell announces Workman will start in place of Lester Gasper vs Tanguay: Is Lester to blame for current situation? Mike Carp speaks out on wanting to leave the Red Sox Shaughnessy: Sox fans deserve to be mad if Sox trade Lester Ty Law: Revis may get Pats ‘over hump’ Ortiz fires back at Tampa Bay Ray’s Chris Archer Curran Camp Observations: Pats Veteran Defensive players excited to be back together 3 Questions with Gary Payton: Kevin Love, Andrew Wiggins and Derrick Rose Players Only: Marcus Mariota's Course Load at Oregon How We Almost Got Johnny Cowboy Donald Sterling Loses The Clippers For Good - @TheBuzzeronFox Franklin talks leaving Vandy Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX Michael Jordan OK With LeBron James Wearing No. 23? - @TheBuzzeronFox The Cornhuskers have gone...Loco?