Is it Ground Hog Day for Campbell Volleyball?

November 6, 2015


by Len Lathrop

This past week saw Campbell Volleyball win the first two rounds of NHIAA tournament play, and by the time the HLN is again in your hands, the semifinal game of the 2015 tournament will be in the record books.  With a deep sigh of hope the Lady Cougars should be headed back to Plymouth State for a Friday night contest for the D3 state championship.

Lots of ‘what ifs’ and ‘let’s hope’ in that opening paragraph, and, for those still reading, the title relives the 2014 trip to Plymouth.  Back then the Cougars had the same record and were stopped by Farmington at Plymouth State, and it was also a Wednesday night.  The true difference this year is that the opponent is Winnisquam High School who is ranked number 4, who the Cougars played just 20 days ago in Litchfield.  The sets that game where 25-16, 28-26, 21-25, and 25-13.

Last week the Cougars met Raymond in the Den on Thursday the 29th, Raymond was the last-seeded team to make tournament playoffs.  After a slow start by the ladies and some engorgement from Coach Walker, they settled into a more serious mind set and defeated the girls from Raymond in three sets, 25-15, 25-15 and 25-13.  Gabi Sott had seven kills with Olivia Martinage adding seven kills and one block.  Sophie Scafidi had 25 assists from her setter position; also adding to the match was Val Boucher, four kills, 15 digs, 10 service points and two aces.  Libero Taysia Boyson came through with 15 digs.

The second playoff game of the tournament played on Halloween brought some exciting volleyball to the Cougar Den.  Number 8-ranked Newfound brought a very talented team to Litchfield and forced the Cougars into five sets, with the home squad winning the tie breaker by three points.  Campbell had not played Newfound during the regular season; the Bears forced the first two sets to go past 25 points to be able to win by the two points required.  The sets were 29-27, 26-28, 25-7, 19-25 and 15-12.  It would be great to be able to explain the third set where the Cougars dominated with the Bears only having seven points.  But it is high school sports and things happen.  Maybe it was the donuts that one player ate after telling the Cougar trainer she was hungry and it was making her angry; she went on to serve six points in succession in that third set.  The breakdown of play is as follows:  Taysia Boyson, 52 digs; Olivia Martinage, 10 kills, eight service points and four aces; Val Boucher, 20 service points, three aces, nine kills and 26 digs; Sophie Scafidi, 55 assists and 15 digs; and Gabi Scott with 30 kills, 30 digs and one block.

Looking forward, if Campbell prevails over Winnisquam on Wednesday they will face the winner of the Farmington number 2 and Sunapee number 3 match in Plymouth on Saturday.  Campbell did not play either team during its regular season, and the only loss that either Farmington or Sunapee suffered this year was to Winnisquam.

With five Cougars players, Boucher, Sott, Scafidi, Martinage and Boyson, having been to tournament play at Plymouth State University last year, hopefully that experience will help set the pace for a Cougar win and a banner to hang in the Cougar Den.