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Girls’ volleyball: Mascenic hosts home playoff game Thursday

  • The Mascenic volleyball team hosted Winnisquam on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic volleyball team hosted Winnisquam on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic volleyball team hosted Winnisquam on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic volleyball team hosted Winnisquam on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic volleyball team hosted Winnisquam on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic volleyball team hosted Winnisquam on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic volleyball team hosted Winnisquam on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic volleyball team hosted Winnisquam on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic senior Kyra Salo digs one out as the volleyball team hosted Winnisquam on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The Mascenic volleyball team hosted Winnisquam on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic senior Shannon Agonis exhorts her team as they faced Winnisquam on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic volleyball team hosted Winnisquam on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic volleyball team hosted Winnisquam on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic volleyball team hosted Winnisquam on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, October 22, 2018 1:29PM

A Viking shutout loss has never felt so good as it did Friday night, when the Mascenic girls’ volleyball team hosted No. 1 undefeated Winnisquam in the final game of the regular season.

“To be playing like that, right now, I couldn’t ask for anything more,” said Mascenic head coach Missy Salo. “For us to compete, that’s all I wanted tonight.”

After coming out flat Monday at Inter-Lakes in another marquee matchup, the Vikings needed to show something against the Bears on Friday to feel good going into the playoffs. With fearsome big hitters Gabby Isabelle and Shannon Goodwin lurking across the net, Mascenic had their work cut out for them.

“Their hitters are incredible,” said Mascenic senior star Shannon Agonis. “They have Gabby, they have Shannon, they’re incredible cross-court and it took us a while to pick up where they were.”

The Vikings were working on a transition to a six-up formation, and the cross-court coverage was lacking in Game One, which the Bears took with relative ease. But in Game Two, it was a different story altogether. Mascenic roared out to a 9-1 lead, with strong net play from Agonis, great setting from Jaden Horrocks, and stellar leadership from Molly Rines (five digs) and Elizabeth Spaulding (seven digs).

“I was so impressed with my girls, especially in Game Two,” Salo said, “because they saw and proved to themselves that they can battle.”

But that 9-1 lead was shortlived, as Winnisquam showed the Vikings why they deserve the No. 1 seed.

“We knew they were going to come charging back,” Salo said. “That’s why you can’t let up. Unfortunately we kind of left the door open.”

The Bears cut back into the lead, battling to 23-20 and then reeling off five straight to win it.

“They’re an impressive team,” Agonis said. “I think we kind of lost our momentum.”

Agonis finished with 13 kills, four digs and three blocks. The Vikings showed flashes through the third game, but with momentum deflated, the Bears finished them off and won 3-0.

The Vikings went 10-6 in the regular season, good for the seventh seed in Division III and a home playoff game Thursday at 6 p.m. Mascenic will host No. 10 Fall Mountain, a team the Vikings shut out twice in the regular season.

Mascenic enters the playoffs with a 2-5 record against the top seven teams and will need to prove they can beat those juggernauts if they want to move on.

“Now that we know their tricks, I think it’s just a head game for us,” Agonis said. “We are capable of so much, the second we get our heads in it, there’s no stopping us. We’ve just got to get our individual confidence up.”