×

ConVal heads into the postseason

  • ConVal senior Riley Codman makes a block against Hanover on Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The ConVal volleyball team hosted Hanover on Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal volleyball team hosted Hanover on Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal volleyball team hosted Hanover on Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal volleyball team hosted Hanover on Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal volleyball team hosted Hanover on Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal volleyball team hosted Hanover on Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal volleyball team hosted Hanover on Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal senior Joanna Adams holds all the Cougars’ ace records. Staff photo by Ben Conant



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, October 23, 2017

ConVal volleyball’s strong senior class could be the key to postseason success as the Cougars enter the playoffs this week.

ConVal has been to the playoffs for three years straight with coach Amanda Hinton at the helm, sneaking in as a lower seed and surprising even their coach by taking set victories against tough teams like Milford and John Stark.

“Even though we're down on the bottom we still play hard,” Hinton said.

The No. 13 Cougars hope to do more than just win a set on Wednesday night when they travel to No. 4 Saint Thomas at 6 p.m. If they’re to do that, they’ll need to close out games — something they’ve struggled with.

“We always start super strong,” Hinton said. “Playing four sets is hard for us.”

Friday night was a prime example as ConVal’s seven seniors took the floor for their final home game, a matchup with Hanover that had major playoff implications. ConVal looked dominant right out of the gate, winning the first set 25-21 thanks to excellent serving from seniors Joanna Adams and Jaylyn Desrosiers. The Cougars had a chance to put Hanover away in the second as well, but the Marauders evened things up, forced extra points and won 28-26 in ConVal’s longest set of the season.

“We have an energy where once somebody gets a couple points in a row and we take a deep breath,” Hinton said. “Sometimes we find it difficult to come back.”

The Cougars couldn’t recover and lost the last two sets, 25-21 and 25-16.

“The energy there was different than in the first two sets,” Hinton said.

Senior Mary Grossi finished with 14 digs and 12 serve receives, and senior libero Michele Hartwell had 11 serve receives and eight digs.

“They all played so hard tonight — they really did leave it all on the floor,” Hinton said.

The third-year coach thinks her team has what it takes to compete in the postseason.

“I'm looking forward to it,” Hinton said. “I think we can be competitive on any given day.”

That starts with the seniors, who’ve come to define the program in their three varsity years. Adams is now sole owner of a variety of school records — for service aces in a game (12), season (62) and career (488). And blocker Riley Codman owns the records for blocks in a game (6), season (48) and career (106), as well as the career kill record (150).

“These seniors, they're just such great players, they're such great teammates,” Hinton said. “They're all friends, which makes it so easy to coach them.”