High School Roundup: Mascenic, ConVal volleyball on hot streaks

  • The Mascenic girls' volleyball team beat Conant 3-0 at the Vikings' homecoming match on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • ConVal cross-country runners at Saturday's Black Bear Invitational hosted by Coe-Brown. Courtesy photo—

  • ConVal cross-country runners at Saturday's Black Bear Invitational hosted by Coe-Brown. Courtesy photo—

  • ConVal cross-country runners at Saturday's Black Bear Invitational hosted by Coe-Brown. Courtesy photo—

  • ConVal cross-country runners at Saturday's Black Bear Invitational hosted by Coe-Brown. Courtesy photo—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/29/2022 11:30:45 AM

The Mascenic girls’ volleyball team is the sole remaining undefeated team in Division III after the Vikings’ thrilling five-set win at Somersworth Wednesday night. 

“I am really happy with the way we battled through some ups and downs throughout the match,” said head coach Karen Gibson. 

The Vikings hadn’t lost a set all season coming into Wednesday’s game, but they dropped a marathon first set to the Hilltoppers 31-29. Mascenic won the second 25-21 and then reeled a bit in the third, falling 25-15 and sitting on the verge of their first loss. But, the Vikings won the final two sets convincingly and closed out the Hilltoppers in what could have been a state finals preview.

“It’s really exciting to go head to head with a good team,” Gibson said.

Lyla Buxton led Mascenic with a career-high 20 kills and added two blocks, an ace and three digs. Kenzie Cormier had 29 assists, four kills, three aces and a block; Hannah Zina had 16 digs, five kills and an ace, and Delaney Traffie made 23 digs to go with six kills, five aces and a block.

Mascenic went on to beat Conant 3-0 on Friday night to improve to 9-0 on the year and solidify their grip on Division III’s top spot. Somersworth (1o-1) moved down to No. 2. Defending champions Newfound (8-1) were shut out by Prospect Mountain earlier in the season; the Bears host Mascenic on Wednesday and host Somersworth on Oct. 17 for a pair of matchups that could determine a postseason favorite.

GIRLS’ VOLLEYBALLConVal is red hot

ConVal has their best record since 2o13 after winning five straight games to improve to 7-2 on the season. Last week, the Cougars beat Plymouth 3-0 on Tuesday, Hillsboro-Deering 3-0 on Wednesday, Laconia 3-1 on Thursday and finished the week shutting out Hanover 3-0 on Friday. 

The Cougars have not won more than six games in a season since 2013, when they finished 11-5 in the Division III regular season and hosted a playoff game for the first time in school history. This year’s 7-2 record is the best since the Cougars moved up to Division II.  

Against Hillsboro-Deering, Aria Laurent led the Cougars with five kills, two aces, four assists, and six digs; Emma Rodenhiser had five kills and five aces; Ivy Armstrong-McEvoy had six aces; Kendall Sullivan had eight assists and Samantha Henderson had 14 digs and 17 successful serve receives.

Against Laconia, Rodenhiser had a season high of 13 kills to go with three aces, 16 digs and five blocks; Laurent added seven aces, eight assists and four digs; Sullivan had three kills, 13 assists and 4 digs; Armstrong-McEvoy had five kills, and Henderson set a new school record of 29 digs in a single game to go with six aces and 30 successful serve receives. 

Against Hanover, leading the team was Rodenhiser with 10 kills, 10 digs, and five blocks; Laurent had six assists and six aces; Sullivan had five assists and five aces; Henderson had eight digs and 21 successful serve receives and Armstrong-McEvoy added five kills and two blocks.

ConVal now embarks on a four-game road trip against Milford, Kennett, Souhegan and No. 3 Oyster River. 

Coe-Brown Northwood (8-0), Campbell (7-0) and Oyster River (8-1) are the only teams ahead of ConVal in DII. 


ConVal is best in Division II

ConVal is now No. 1 in Division II after winning their seventh straight game on Friday night. 

The Cougars blew out Sanborn under the lights at home Wednesday night, as Garrett Rousseau scored two goals and assisted on two others. Max Cail, Ryan Close, and Carter Rousseau also scored, and Aiden McClusky and Bryson Boice picked up assists. 

On Friday, ConVal beat No. 2 Hollis-Brookline 1-0 on a Caden Peck goal; head coach Scott Daniels said the Cougars played with tremendous intensity and effort in pulling off the season sweep of the Cavaliers, who are 8-0 when playing teams other than ConVal.

ConVal has only allowed one goal in the seven-game win streak as keeper Wyatt Beaulieu tallied six shutouts. 

“The defense continues to be strong in front of Wyatt Beaulieu,” coach Scott Daniels said.

ConVal (9-2) hosts Milford Tuesday. 

Conant 3, Hopkinton 2

Conant traveled to Hopkinton Tuesday in need of a big road win against a tough opponent to stop their downward momentum after dropping two of their past three games.

The Orioles started the game with energy and great ball handling, coach Tom Harvey said, putting pressure on the opponent's squad.

Hopkinton went up 1-0 in the 18th minute, but senior Jacob Sawyer found himself on the receiving end of a great pass from junior Thomas Harvey into the box to score the equalizer. the game. The Hawks scored again in the 36th minute, and Conant went into the half down 2-1. 

"Keep playing the way you are and let's get one early,” coach Harvey told his players during the intermission, and that's what the Orioles did. 

Two minutes into the half, junior Joshua Dipasquale chipped the ball across the frame and junior Manny Hodgson headed it into the goal to tie the game.

Hopkinton stopped a Jacob Sawyer PK in the 55th minute, and the game went into overtime tied 2-2.

Conant came out with possession of the ball, and sophomore Jared Nagle carried the ball down the sideline to find Harvey slicing through the outer edge of the defensive line of Hopkinton. With one defender to beat, Harvey scored to give Conant the win. 

“Probably the best complete game of soccer of this season by this group of boys,” coach Harvey said.

Conant 3, Mascenic 0

The Orioles got revenge on their early season loss to Mascenic by shutting the Vikings out at Conant’s homecoming Saturday afternoon.

Conant scored on a wild goal just five seconds into the game when senior midfielder Jacob Sawyer launched a long ball deep into the defensive line of Mascenic, where defender Elijah Barthelmess’s clearing header attempt went in for an own goal. 

In the 23rd minute, Conant capitalized on a long ball into the corner that was dug out by Joshua Dipasquale and chipped into the mouth of the goal where teammate Thomas Harvey was waiting to score, giving Conant a 2-0 lead into the half.

Ben Sawyer and keeper Ben Ramirez leading the defensive side of the ball . 

The Vikings held tight in the second half, but Conant’s defense was stingy as well, only allowing four shots in the game, and the Orioles got a final goal in the 70th minute when leading assist man Harvey set up Bronson Cutter for the third and final goal.

“This was a great day for Conant with a homecoming win,” said head coach Tom Harvey.

Conant (8-2) was set to travel to Monadnock on Monday and host Hillsboro-Deering Wednesday. The Orioles are third in Division III behind Campbell and Gilford, both 10-0. 

Mascenic (6-2) dropped down to sixth in Division IV. The Vikings are at Portsmouth Christian Tuesday. 

Mascenic 2, Newmarket 1

Hunter Thompson scored Mascenic’s first goal Wednesday against Newmarket, and captain Joe Cocozella put it away with another in the 80th minute as the Vikings improved to 6-1 in Division IV.


Conant 2, Campbell 1 (OT)

The Orioles got their best win of the year to date at homecoming Saturday, upsetting a Campbell team that only had one loss coming into the game. 

“I cannot express how proud I am of the way the girls played today’s game and the way they carried themselves,” said head coach Devon Spirka. “They played with pressure, with energy, and played together from the first whistle to the last whistle, and that's what won us this game.”

Riley Vitello scored both goals, one off a free kick right on the 18 and then the gamewinner in overtime off an assist from Lola Hayes.  

The Orioles didn’t hesitate in firing away at the Campbell goal, overcoming an early season tendancy that Sprika made a point of emphasis.

“If you want goals, you have to take shots with urgency and when you get your chances, even if it's messy,” Spirka said. “They did that today. They took their chances and it paid off.”

Back in net, Kelly Williams had 10 crucial saves. 

“She was solid, confident, and smart,” Spirka said. “The way she carried herself through the scary moments had a calming effect on everyone else, including me at times.”

Spirka said the midfield did a good job pressuring the ball and the defense, led by Izzie Rollins and Rachel DeWees, made good decisions and communicated well in Conant’s new formation.

Conant (4-5) was set to play at Monadnock Monday and at Kearsarge Thursday. 


Hollis-Brookline 5, ConVal 0

The Coug ars t a llied s ix   s  h o ts  from seniors Makennah McPherson, Hayden Kaltsas, Allie Hodgen and junior Ella Morris against Hollis-Brookline Friday, but they weren't able to sneak one by the Cavaliers' goalie.

ConVal’s senior goalie Lydia Cleveland made 19 saves on the day. 

ConVal (1-9) is at Merrimack Valley Tuesday. 


Conant 1, Mascenic 0

Conant’s field hockey team returned the homecoming favor to Mascenic Saturday, beating the Vikings 1-0 in Jaffrey in a mirror image of the two teams’ earlier matchup in New Ipswich. 

“It was an amazing team win today,” Conant head coach Jackie Brown said. M”y girls played with great team chemistry. We were strong in all aspects of the field. We looked for open space, made great passes and never gave up!”

Senior Rylee Herr scored the game’s only goal, unassisted. 

Conant (8-3) hosts Monadnock Tuesday in the final regular season home game of the year. 

Mascenic (7-2) was set to play at St. Thomas Aquinas Monday and host them Wednesday. 


Monadnock 63, ConVal 8

ConVal opened things up, spread out, and threw the ball a bit against Monadnock Friday night, finding some positives in the blowout loss. 

Quarterback Bradley Brunelle threw for 217 yards and a touchdown, most of them to speedster Kendrick Edwards, who broke out with five catches for 117 yards and a touchdown. Kai Reitnauer made three catches for 68 yards. 

Defensively, coach Matt Harris said freshman Sammy Davis stepped up to the challenge at safety, coming up to stop the run and leading the team with nine tackles; junior Francisco Jaimes also had nine tackles.

ConVal (0-5) is at winless Kingswood Friday night. 


Cougars race at Black Bear Invitational

ConVal traveled to Coe-Brown’s annual home race Saturday, where the boys' varsity team was led by William Simard, who posted another top-15 finish (15th, 17:26). Nathan Klonel (68th, 20:36), Nathaniel Mao (74th, 21:03), Mason Deschenes (75th, 21:04), and Cameron Bishop (86th, 21:56) rounded out the top five ConVal runners. In the girls' varsity race, Elizabeth Petrov stepped up as the top finisher for ConVal (50th, 24:42). She edged out Paige Mendez (51st, 24:42) in an exciting sprint finish between teammates. Whitney Adiar (56th, 24:57), Makenna Proctor (67th, 26:21), and Sara Mackie (75th, 30:38) completed ConVal's top five finishers. 

Mascenic girls win at Belmont

Mascenic’s girls’ team won outright at Belmont’s Jeri Blair Invitational on Friday, as Mascenic put five runners in the top 10, with Erin O’Shea (first, 21:40), Kaitlin O’Shea (second, 22:27), Skye Lambert (third, 22:42) and Gracie German (fourth, 23:03) taking the first four spots and a row, with Brielle Shippee in eighth in 23:26.

The Mascenic boys finished second behind Trinity, with Drew Traffie (third, 18:04) and Ryan O’Shea (fourth, 18:13) in the top five. 

The Vikings are at Monadnock Friday night.


ConVal clinches playoffs

The ConVal golf team clinched its first team playoff spot since returning from club status to the varsity level after scoring 56 and going 2-1 against Souhegan (93), John Stark (56) and Sanborn (47) Friday. 

Wyatt Burbank medaled again with a 26; Kermit Pope, Kiernan King and Caden Robbins all shot 10s, and Owen Conway’s nine served as the tie-breaking score that gave ConVal the second-place finish. 

ConVal (12-12) was set to finish the regular season on the road Monday and will compete in the Division III state meet at Windham Oct. 11. 

Mascenic wins at Campbell

Josiah Hakala medaled yet again in Mascenic’s win at Campbell Thursday, shooting a 29 (-2) as the Vikings (72 points) beat Gorham (57) and Campbell (41).

The Vikings were set to finish their regular season on the road Monday and compete in the Division IV state meet, along with Conant, at Mt. Washington Golf Course Oct. 11.

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