Spikers ready for big leap this season

Sep 5, 2019 by

Published September 5, 2019

By STEPHEN MARTELLUCCI

NORTH READING — With a young and inexperienced team last fall, the North Reading High volleyball team took its lumps as they went 3-15 overall and 3-11 in the Cape Ann League.

The Hornets lost two seniors from that team, Brooke DeGrande and Molly Feffer. DeGrande was a CAL Second-Team All-Star.

This season, the team returns 10 veterans. Three of them are this season’s captains: Rachel Perry is a senior setter, Shayla Wilk is a senior outside hitter and Elizabeth Kelly is a junior outside hitter.

CAPTAIN SHAYLA WILK is an outside hitter for the Hornets. (John Friberg File Photo)

The other juniors back are Inya Plavina (middle hitter), Anna Bryk (middle hitter), Celia Standel (libero), Christina Valenti (outside hitter), Jessica Solecki (outside hitter/defensive specialist), Sophia Trischitta (opposite hitter) and Grace Gorman (setter).

Two new players on the team are sophomores Megan Slattery and Rose Morelli. Slattery is an opposite hitter while Morelli is an outside hitter.

Both girls were on the junior varsity team last year.

Last week, the team had its first preseason game as they hosted Pentucket. They then went to Lowell High on Labor Day to compete with Lowell and Greater Lawrence in a Jamboree.

“These girls have spent a lot of time improving their kills during the offseason,” said Hornet 10th-year head coach Mike Milone. “We are a quantum leap from where we were at this point last year now that the girls have some experience.”

The Hornets will play an 18-game regular season.

They will have just two non-league matches this year as they will host both Medford and Peabody.

Milone feels that Masconomet is the team to beat in the league this year as the Chieftains and Lynnfield were the CAL co-champs last season.

North Reading visited Georgetown on Sept. 4 in the season opener (results not available at press time). The next match for the Hornets will be the home opener on Sept. 10 as they welcome Masconomet at 5:30 p.m.

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