Frontier girls volleyball sweeps Archbishop Williams, goes for three-peat Saturday
Julia Wan of Frontier Regional spikes the ball against Archbishop Williams Wednesday in the state Division 3 semifinal game at Hudson High School. Frontier won 3-0. Purchase photo reprints »
HUDSON — One more win, and the Frontier Regional girls volleyball team will three-peat.
The Red Hawks went on the attack from the outset and never allowed Archbishop Williams of Braintree to gain any kind of momentum, as it rolled to a 25-14, 25-9, 25-14 victory in the semifinals of the state Division 3 tournament Wednesday at Hudson High School.
Frontier (22-1) will go after its third consecutive state championship Saturday against Lynnfield in a rematch of last year’s semifinal, won by the Hawks in three sets. Match time is set for noon at Algonquin Regional in Northborough.
Frontier coach Sean MacDonald didn’t take any chances in this one, as his squad continually hammered away at the Bishops, attacking the outside at will. The start wasn’t great, as the Hawks committed unforced errors on the first three points, but Julia Wan’s tip off an Archies return got the ball into the hands of setter Tori Whitney, who rattled off seven straight points to put Frontier in front, 8-3.
The Red Hawks continued to maintain a lead of five to seven points before Whitney extended the lead to 19-11. The Bishops closed it to six (20-14), but when Sarah Woodward stepped to the line, she served out the set with help from three kills from senior All-State selection Cassidy Stankowski (16 kills, seven digs).
Wan (eight kills, three blocks) was the catalyst late in the opener with two monster blocks to help keep serving rallies going.
“Julia’s blocking was the best I’ve ever seen it and that really helped us,” said Stankowski of the senior All-State middle hitter. “She’s been working on it day in, day out in practice and really came through with it.”
Said MacDonald, “Julia has really become a strong player at the net. She’s tough. She blocks well, she’s been hitting the quick sets well, and she’s keeping opponents honest. They can’t just go outside and try to block Cassidy.”
Whitney and Woodward helped spark Frontier to a 9-1 lead in the second, while Stankowski led the attack with four more kills in that stretch. After Katryna Veasey got two points back for the Archies, Wan got to the line at 10-3 and served four points to open up a double-digit lead.
At 14-4, Kate Harper recorded a kill, then served four more points, including a kill. Katherine Conlisk and Stankowski had consecutive kills and Harper also had an ace in the run.
Frontier cruised through the rest of the set as Whitney served for three points to reach set point. Then an Archbishop serve went long to end the set.
The Archies finally got rolling early in the third set, taking a quick 4-0 lead, but Whitney — with help from Woodward, Wan and two Bishop errors — served five consecutive points and quickly erased the deficit for a 5-4 lead. Woodward served three points, including an ace, to make it 9-5, then the Hawks kept Williams at arm’s length with fabulous defense and three timely kills from Stankowski. Once it got to 19-13, Woodward went on a three-point service run, then after a point from Archies, Wan served for the final three points, including a serve that wasn’t returned to close out the 58-minute match.
Whitney had a tremendous match, registering a game-high 24 assists to go along with five aces. Woodward added five kills.
“Julia, Tori and Sarah have really progressed since seventh grade,” said MacDonald. “The progression they’ve made has been so impressive.”