‘Scrappy’ girls volleyball torpedoes Tolman, 3-0, in first division match

Ferreira leads team defensively, with 15 digs

Photos and story by Richard W. Dionne, Jr. 
Posted 3/19/21

Senior libero Abby Ferreira led the team defensively, with 15 digs, as the Mt. Hope volleyball team crushed Tolman, 3-0 (25-5, 25-5, 25-7), in their first Division II match of the season at the high …

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‘Scrappy’ girls volleyball torpedoes Tolman, 3-0, in first division match

Ferreira leads team defensively, with 15 digs

Posted

Senior libero Abby Ferreira led the team defensively, with 15 digs, as the Mt. Hope volleyball team crushed Tolman, 3-0 (25-5, 25-5, 25-7), in their first Division II match of the season at the high school on Thursday night. 

“Abby is my strongest defensive player,” said head coach Lisa Lunney. “She makes players better around her. They work harder knowing that she’s not going to let the ball hit the floor.” 

“Defensively we are scrappy,” coach Lunney said. “It’s a little messy because it’s early in the season. But they are really scrappy. They never give up on a ball. Never, ever, ever.”   

Senior co-captain Sadie Pacheco chipped in with 6 kills and 4 digs as head coach Lisa Lunney played both first and second teams with similar results against the weaker Tigers. 

“The team is well rounded and deep,” Coach Lunney said. “We have so many good players. I want the team to be recognized as a unit because that’s genuinely how they’re playing right now.”

“We have a good mix of kids,” Pacheco agreed. “We have a lot of seniors and I think that we could do pretty well this year.” 

Coach Lunney was asked to take the team over by Athletic Director Christy Belisle after a difficult, 1-18 season, in 2019. Last season, Coach Lunney’s first, the team battled to 10-9, and lost in a quarterfinals match. 

“We were learning to win again,” said Coach Lunney. “That’s what we are going to do this year. We are going to win some games.”

 

Power hitter Rodrigues on offense

The team is equally as good on offense with co-captain Hannah Rodrigues leading the charge. 

“Hannah is a force to be reckoned with,” Coach Lunney said. She has a strong all around game and hits like a champ. She is playing my power hitter on the outside, opposite junior Grace Stephenson.” Coach Lunney feels that Rodrigues is going to be laying down some serious stats. The duo each hit spikes and had kills against Tolman.

“We have some powerful offensive players,” Coach Lunney said. “We are working to get our timing down. We will get our rhythm going and have our offense back soon.”

The team consists of seven seniors. Ferreira, Rodrigues, Pacheco, Christina Frenette, McKenna Reardon, Christina Vittoria, and Isabel Savinon.

“All of them can play,” said Coach Lunney. “The team also has some young players that are coming into their own.” 

Like, sophomore setter, Sammy Malafronte, who was just voted a co-captain by the team. Malafronte will share time with Savinon, a member of the Huskies basketball team. 

“Isabel is just like you see her out on the basketball court, scrapping, she does the same thing out here,” said Coach Lunney. 

“It doesn’t matter who she puts in,” said Malafronte. “We all play our hearts out and we are all so committed.”

The team’s first focus is to keep everyone healthy. 

“I’m happy for these girls that they are going to get to play,” Coach Lunney said. "Because quite honestly, it was so up in the air. They are just thrilled to be out there. Just having a season is what motivates them right now. They are going to have a really good wrap up to their senior year. We are going to make sure of that.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.