2019 Upper Valley high school volleyball preview

  • Hanover Captain Mollie Broder, number 2, leads her teammates in high-fiving with Coach Megan McFarland, left, before a scrimmage with Mascoma in Hanover, N.H., Monday, August 27, 2019. Hanover won 63-39.(Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Alex Perez, of Stevens, gets under a short ball close to the net during a scrimmage with Mascoma during a preseason gathering at Hanover High School in Hanover, N.H., Monday, August 27, 2019. Mascoma won 41-39. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Mascoma Coach Eric Ramage, right, talks with Lindsay McDonald, middle, as Jadyn Bates retrieves a ball while warming up for a scrimmage with Hanover High in Hanover, N.H., Monday, August 27, 2019. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 9/11/2019 3:35:12 PM

By DEVON CENTOLA

Valley News Correspondent

Last fall marked a significant development in the history of Mascoma High’s volleyball program.

The Royals, who traditionally have had trouble being competitive with their NHIAA Division III foes, gave as good as they got in 2018, making the state tournament for the first time in a decade. That gives second-year coach Eric Ramage a foundation on which to build, and Mascoma hopes to use that to continue its upward climb.

Mid Vermont Christian has also held its own against bigger schools for the length of its VPA Division I tenure, something that won’t change this season. The Eagles, who nearly shocked much-larger Champlain Valley Union in last year’s state tourney, bring back nearly everyone from last year’s tournament squad.

Hanover, under third-year coach Megan McFarland, looks for a return to the NHIAA Division II postseason with a growing roster and depth galore. Stevens begins the campaign with a new coach in Kathryn Plouffe.

HANOVER

Coach: Megan McFarland (3).

Last Year: 4-12, missed playoffs.

League: NHIAA Division II.

Returnees: Seniors — Mollie Broder (DS), Claire Adner (OH), Willa Parkins (MB), Lucy Roback (MB), Maya Allan (S). Juniors — Emily Gammell (RS). Sophomores — Katie Peterson (S/DS).

Newcomers: To be determined.

Analysis: Missing the state tournament last year was a rarity for the Marauders, but coach Megan McFarland sees a light at the end of the tunnel given turnout for the program this time around.

“This will be a big year of growth for Hanover volleyball, with 19 freshmen alone trying out for the program,” McFarland said. “Due to high numbers, we will be adding a third team to the program this season to work on developing younger players and giving them time to learn without the pressures of jayvee game play. We will look to the seniors for their eloquent leadership and mentorship for the newer players but plan to see a lot of improvements as a varsity team as the season progresses.”

Mascoma

Coach: Eric Ramage (2).

Last Year: 7-9, lost in first round of tourament to Epping.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Returnees: Seniors — Kira Emery, Laura Henry, Lindsay McDonald, Renee French, Rhiana Decosta. Juniors — Audrey May, Ella Shinnlinger, Jadyn Bates. Sophomores — Opal Shinnlinger.

Newcomers: Seniors — Cassidi Timlake. Sophomores — Cardigan Loupis, Jenna Bean.

Analysis: Ramage, who played the game in college and coached in Sunapee before taking the Mascoma job last year, remains confident his program has room for continued growth. “We would like to improve our progress from last year and build a team experience in addition to lifting our competitive level up a couple notches,” Ramage said.

Mid Vermont Christian

Coach: Tom Schutzius (2).

Last Year: 6-8, lost in the quarterfinals to Champlain Valley in a five-set thriller.

League: VPA Division I.

Returnees: Juniors — Sydney Goodwin, Anna Loiselle, Gabriella Tsakiris, Nyah Jenks. Sophomore — Hailey Goodwin. Freshmen — Debroah Airoldi, Sarah Bascom.

Newcomers: Sophomore — Delaney Gross. Eighth grade — Cosette Meloon.

Analysis: “We have a great returning core and are looking to build on last year’s successes,” coach Tom Schutzius said. “I’m excited about the growth and progress I’ve already seen from our young team in the first few practices, and we are working hard to make the Mid Vermont Christian School community proud.”

Stevens

Coach: Kathryn Plouffe (2).

Last Year: 0-16, missed playoffs.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Returnees: Seniors — Miki Putnam, Samantha Hager, Kaliegh Adams. Juniors — Autumn Bragg, Natalie Goss, Alex Perez, Emily Anderson, Shailyn Eddy, Laiken Becker, Aunnah Shepard. Sophomores — Alexis Corliss.

Newcomers: Junior — Isabella Peterson. Freshman — Kiristen Lawerance.

Analysis: Plouffe took over the Cardinals midway through last season when the previous coach resigned; she now gets a full schedule to see what she can do with the Cardinals.

“My goal is to get Stevens volleyball on the map this season,” Plouffe said. “These girls have worked hard all week and know what they have to do to get better. They can compete with all the teams in D-III. We need to learn how to win. It’s not easy when the program has not had a winning season in addition to it still being new to the area. I feel I have the right coaches in place to grow the program. I feel I have everyone in the right spots to make this a great season and looking towards next year I feel my junior varsity and middle school programs are going to do well this year as well.”




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