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Mascenic dunks on John Stark for W

  • The Mascenic boys' volleyball team beat John Stark on Sunday in the first round of the NHIAA playoffs. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' volleyball team beat John Stark on Sunday in the first round of the NHIAA playoffs. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' volleyball team beat John Stark on Sunday in the first round of the NHIAA playoffs. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic’s Mike Sullivan makes a block against John Stark. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The Mascenic boys' volleyball team beat John Stark on Sunday in the first round of the NHIAA playoffs. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' volleyball team beat John Stark on Sunday in the first round of the NHIAA playoffs. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic celebrates after a point. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The Mascenic boys' volleyball team beat John Stark on Sunday in the first round of the NHIAA playoffs. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' volleyball team beat John Stark on Sunday in the first round of the NHIAA playoffs. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' volleyball team beat John Stark on Sunday in the first round of the NHIAA playoffs. Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, June 05, 2017

When Micah Howard is at the net, opponents should just get out of the way. John Stark found that out the hard way on Sunday, as the Mascenic volleyball team dispatched John Stark in straight sets to advance in the NHIAA tournament.

Once Howard and fellow hitter Zach Totaro got going, the Generals bore the brunt of spike after spike, and it was all over.

“It’s a little bit like getting dunked on,” said head coach Lauren Somero after the game. “It’s kind of demoralizing. When Micah sends the ball off your face, it feels like it scores for two, because they just can’t recover, emotionally, mentally.”

Totaro had a team-high ten kills and Howard added six, with four blocks and three aces as the Vikings earned a trip to play at No. 1 Pinkerton today at 5:30 p.m.

Aside from those big hitters, Mascenic leans on setter Mike Bowen, emotional leader Mike Sullivan and much-improved first-year player Brett Stauffeneker. Stauffeneker’s rise has given Mascenic offensive diversity, which is what the Vikings need if they’ll upset Pinkerton.

“Giving yourself another weapon is so important in this sport because if they can dedicate their defense to one or two hitters, they can shut you down even if you have a better offense than they do,” Somero said.

Sullivan said he was proud of his team and proud to be a leader.

“As a senior, that’s something you pride yourself on,” Sullivan said. “It feels good, it can only feel good. This is a great group of guys and to have them look up to me is something special. It doesn’t get any better.”

And if the Astros think they’ll have an easy time with Mascenic tonight, Sullivan has news for them.

“I think it will be a great game,” Sullivan said. “We’re looking for a battle going in there, I’m not going to expect anything less.”