Girls volleyball team sweeps Notre Dame, takes state title for second time in three years
January 19, 2017
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By Michael Karlis
The varsity volleyball team won the Division 2 MIAA state championship November 19, their second championship in three years. The team swept Notre Dame, an all girls prep school, 3-0 to clinch the title.
The Hillers won in front of a packed gym in Shrewsbury, as excitement and disbelief whisked through the Hiller fan section.
The game-winning ace was served by freshman Peyton Weber, who recently moved to Massachusetts from Texas. Weber, like the fans, had tears in her eyes.
Senior Courtney Hassan was not not surprised by the freshman’s superb, performance as Weber is “our best server” Hassan said. Weber had 97 aces this season alone.
Captain Julia Canestrari said that Notre Dame put up a good fight . “We were more relaxed than them, and I think that helped us win,” she said.
Captain Mikayla Pucci said that she was surprised that the Hillers swept Notre Dame in three games. “We played our game and had fun,” she said.
Junior Amanda Gilbert also had a strong performance throughout the entire postseason and was named the team’s MVP.
Gilbert, who was brought up to play varsity as a freshman and was a part of the 2014 championship team, was surprised that she won the prestigious award.
“I was surprised because I forgot that MVP was even an award. Our team consisted of 12 good players, not just two or three. Every player made a huge contribution to the team, so in my eyes it would be tough to choose one person- so when I heard my name, I was proud to see all the work I’ve put in paid off,” Gilbert said.
The road to the championship had not been an easy one. The Hillers had to win four rounds prior to reach the finals. Rivals such as Westborough in the second round of the playoffs had a competitive team.
“The most challenging team was Westborough. I think if we had lost that game Westborough would have won the championship” Canestrari said.
This was Pucci’s and Canestrari’s second full year playing varsity. Both had been brought up during their sophomores year when the team won its last championship.
“Sophomore year we didn’t get to play as much as we wanted to, but this year Julia and I really contributed, and it is a special way to end our high school careers,” Pucci said.