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Two Mascenic volleyball players chosen for D-III all-state team

Two Mascenic girls volleyball players were selected for inclusion on the Division III all-state teams.

Senior Casey Thoel and junior Cheyanne Sauvola were among the 25 players chosen from the 22 D-III teams to make up the three divisional all-state squads. Thoel earned second-team recognition, while Sauvola was named as an honorable mention.

ConVal and Wilton-Lyndeborough also compete in Division III, but did not have any players voted to the all-state teams.

Mascenic was 11-5 in 2012 and finished as the eighth seed in D-III. The Vikings picked up a 3-1 victory over Epping in the first round of the playoffs, before losing to top-ranked and previously unbeaten Campbell in the quarterfinals.

The team began the season with five straight wins and stood at 6-2 at the midway point. Mascenic won seven games by 3-0 scores and five of their six losses came against Campbell and fourth-ranked Hillsboro-Deering.

Thoel, who was also chosen to play in Saturday’s senior all-star game at Hollis/Brookline High School, was one of three seniors on Mascenic and was the engine that kept Mascenic going.

She was the most experienced player on the team and brought the most versatility to the floor. After taking over as Mascenic’s setter as a sophomore and helping the Vikings reach the semifinals that year, Thoel has been a mainstay in the starting lineup.

While the last few years have been dedicated to ensuring the offense runs smoothly, Thoel took on more responsibility in 2012. She was still Mascenic’s main setter, but her hitting from the front row greatly improved. With an ability to put opponents on their heels, Thoel used the tip to her advantage on many occasions. She was consistent from the service line and the one player that opposing coaches consistently talked about after games.

Sauvola was a nice option on last year’s team, but the departure of Brittany Place really opened up her role and increased her importance to the team. Sauvola was the tallest and most dangerous player Mascenic had around the net and she made it known against most opponents very early on.

As the starting middle hitter, Sauvola’s power gave her the ability to change the course of a game with a couple big hits. And the same went for her play on defense. She was always challenging hitters with her blocking skills and would cause big problems for opposing teams trying to set up there offense around the net.

Place was the only Mascenic player to receive all-state recognition last year.

In addition to Thoel and Sauvola earning all-state awards, Mascenic coach Missy Salo was also named Division III Coach of the Year.

The all-state teams are determined after a ballot vote among the division’s 22 coaches.

The Vikings graduate three seniors, including Thoel.

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