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Volleyball Itching for Another State Title

By: Bethany Woodcock ’19, Haley Welsh ’19, and Emma West ’19

The volleyball season has been underway for three weeks, and the team is looking forward to a great season. Last year, the team graduated nine seniors, including Emma Smallcomb, Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year and now a Division 1 athlete at Sacred Heart University.

Coming off a state championship win over Melrose in 2017, the Rangers are now led by senior captains Sarah Masciarelli, Chloe Goebel, and Heidi Yap. They are looking to match their 21-2 record and hopefully to capture another state title. They are currently 4-1, including a decisive win over Duxbury on Thursday.  

Rival Shrewsbury High School took the Ranger’s only loss on Friday in a 3-1 game victory. The Rangers fought hard, but the home court advantage of the Colonials powered them to a win.

Despite the loss, senior Becky Plunkett stepped up against Shrewsbury. Playing setter in all four sets, she gave hitters junior Alexa Vassilakis and senior Lexi Austin the opportunity to put the ball away.

The Rangers will look to Austin, who has committed to Division 1 Loyola University Maryland, to be a key hitter during the season.

Goebel, the team’s libero, is confident in the Ranger’s chances this season.

She remarks, “I’ve been very happy with the team’s performance so far. We still have a lot to improve on, and I’m excited to see how much we will have improved by playoffs.”

Though the Ranger’s schedule is not easy, Coach Roger Anderson has an optimistic attitude. In his twentieth season coaching volleyball at Westborough, Anderson is proud of his team’s effort so far.

“Our team is working really hard at getting one percent better everyday. I want to play our best when it counts the most and the best way that we know how to do that is to focus on the task at hand.”

The Rangers will look to sophomores Taylor Chelak and Abby Papetti to bring some youth to the team. Papetti, an outside hitter, and Chelak, a right side hitter, each have a strong offensive presence on the court.

Important upcoming matches for the Rangers include Barnstable, Notre Dame Academy of Hingham, and a rematch against their state championship opponent Melrose, to be played in late October.

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