EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

August 29, 2013

N.H. Volleyball: Bickford, Burke lead defending champs

OUTLOOK: Salem will have its hands full defending its Division 1 title. Dover should be tough to beat with 2012 N.H. Player of the Year Molly Wotton leading the way and Merrimack boasts standout Jen Coffey with younger sister Julie joining her. Other teams to watch are Goffstown and Pinkerton while no one is overlooking the Blue Devils.

In Division 2, a deep Windham squad should contend for top honors with Coe-Brown and St. Thomas.

Londonderry

2012 record: 7-12, lost in Division 1 first round

Returning starters (1): Taylor Collins, Sr., 6-1, MH

Returning lettermen: Cassie Burbine, Sr., 5-7, setter; Marissa Russell, Sr., 5-9, MH; Lauren Reinhold, Sr., 5-4, defense; Madison Milton, Jr., 5-6, OH; Mariska Feenstra, Jr., 5-7, OH; Niki Skov, Jr., 5-9, MH

Promising newcomers: Emily Georgakopoulos, Sr.; 5-9, setter; Kelsey Ryan, Sr., 5-7, OH; Cassidy Litch, Sr., 5-7, setter; Taylor Fitton, Sr., 5-3, libero; Maggie Connors, Jr., 5-10, MH

Candidates: 44

Captains: TBA

Assistants: Suzan Rowe, JV; Bill Newcomb, assistant; Nick Theos, Freshmen

Odds and ends: Cassie Burbine, who could be used as a setter or libero, was Eagle-Tribune tennis MVP. ... Jaime King, last year’s setter, moved to Amherst and will likely play for Souhegan.

Peter Willis (18th year, 155-133): “We’ve got some size this year and some weapons, girls who can put the ball down. The key is if we can get the ball to them consistently. We’ll probably do a lot of platooning.”

Pinkerton

2012 record: 14-6, lost in Division 1 quarters

Returning starters (3): Kelsey Cummings, Sr., 5-6, OH; Courtney Collins, Sr., 6-2, MH; Taylor Ferdinando, Sr., 5-6, setter

Returning lettermen: Denise White, Sr., 5-8, OH; Elizabeth Hicks, Jr., 5-6, setter

Promising newcomers: Brittany Capozzi, Jr., 5-8, MH; Michaela Blackwell, Jr., 5-10, MH; Jillian Tonello, Jr., 5-8, OH; Nicole Langlais, Jr., 5-6, defense; Olivia Mathieu, Soph., 5-11, OH; Faolain Harrington, Soph., 5-8, OH; Lexi Verrault, Frosh., 5-3, defense

Candidates: 74

Captains: TBA

Returning honorees: None

Assistants: Kelly Wall, JV; Jessica Marrone, freshmen

Odds and ends: Freshman coach Jessica (Fortin) Marrone was an Eagle-Tribune All-Star for the Astros in 2001. ... Impressive sophomore Olivia Mathieu is the younger sister of minor league baseball player Zach Mathieu. ... Freshman Lexi Verrault has an extensive background in the sport and should help out right away. ... Rachel Byrd will miss the season with an injury but will serve as a team manager. ... Madison Neidlinger started last year but moved to Texas.

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