With Tuesday's 3-1 win over Mansfield at home, the Stoughton High volleyball team improves to 8-3 on the season and is just one win away from clinching a spot in the postseason tournament.
After losing the first set 25-18, Stoughton came back and won the final three.
The Black Knights won the second set 25-13. In the third set, Stoughton jumped out to a 14-4 lead, and led 24-20, just one point away from taking the set, but Mansfield made things interesting winning the next three points. Clinging to a 24-23 lead, Nicole Daniels tipped the ball over the net, giving Stoughton the 25-23 win. Stoughton cruised in the fourth set, winning 25-16.
Daniels had 19 kills and 11 blocks in the victory; Gabby Medina had 25 digs; Emma Zuk had 18 assists and 14 digs; Kayla Motley had 10 kills, 9 digs, 4 blocks and 3 aces; Jalen Joseph had 12 digs and 2 aces; and Kadijah Dansby added 5 kills.
"This year's team had the potential to be better than last year's team and they're showing they can do it," coach Ken Gay said.
Last year's team finished 10-8 in the regular season, advancing to the state tournament for this first time in the program's four year history. Despite losing a senior core of Julia Quattrucci, Katherine Chlus, Malykah Lopes, Andrea Chica, Anthony Jeudy and Nobrina Seng, the team is in excellent position to make the postseason again in year five.
Senior captain Emma Zuk said that after "losing so many starters from last season, no one really knew how this season would turn out."
"I feel we stepped up," she said.
Senior Jalen Joseph, the team's only male credits Stoughton's success to positive team chemistry.
"We've grown so tight, that's what I think [makes us successful]," he said. "We communicate so well...[we] know what each other is thinking."
Stoughton has seven more games this season, including two this week - Thursday at North Attleboro and Friday at home against Sharon.
Friday marks Stoughton and Sharon's annual "Dig for the Cure" match. Proceeds are donated to the American Cancer Society. The freshmen play at 4 p.m., the JV play at 5 p.m. and the varsity play at 6 p.m.
The Stoughton High boys' soccer team picked up its second straight win, beating Randolph 5-4 Tuesday afternoon at home.
The Black Knights jumped out to an early lead en route to improving to 3-8 on the season.
Stoughton built a 3-0 lead in the first 15 minutes of play, holding on for the 5-4 win.
"[Randolph] came late so we knew they were going to come out cold and we had to get out quick when they were rusty," junior captain Mike Gallagher said.
Gallagher, Evan Schulze, Kevin Bernard, Sheldon Oliveira and Melvin Amado scored for Stoughton.
Freshman goalie Kyle Silverman showed poise in net in the final minutes of play to preserve the one-goal Stoughton lead.
"Our whole team, we're getting healthy," Gallagher said. "Now that we're getting all our pieces together we're getting strong and trying to make a run."
Stoughton travels to North Attleboro on Thursday and hosts Sharon on Friday.
BOYS' CROSS COUNTRY:
The following report is from coach Harvey Blonder:
The Stoughton High boys' cross country team lost a heart-breaker to Canton, 28-29 (lower score prevails), in a meet at Houghton's Pond on Tuesday.
Sophomore David Lockhart (18:14) won his first meet overall with his best performance on Stoughton's home course.
Wayne Barnaby (18:24) and Alec DeNapoli (18:54) were close behind in 2nd and 5th. Both Wayne and Alec's times were one second off their personal bests.
Luke Butera (19:51 - 10th) and Nick Quattrucci (19:57 - 11th) turned in strong performances to finish 4th and 5th on the team. Luke and Nick both broke 20 minutes for the first time ever.
Jason Marshall (21:01 - 15th), JackD'Addieco (21:22 -18th), Rob Gair (21:55 - 22nd), Sean Ellertson (22:06 - 23rd) and Jonathan Oliveira (23:32 - 28th) rounded out the Stoughton team.
GIRLS' CROSS COUNTRY:
The following report is from coach Bob Clarke:
The Stoughton High girls' cross country team was in a hard fought battle Tuesday with Canton on Houghton's Pond 5K course. Canton came on strong to win the meet 26-30 (lower score prevails). Stoughton's league record fell to 3-2.
Amy Kelly continues to tear up the courses winning the race with Kerry O'Neil right behind her for second overall.
The surprise of the meet was Katie Daly finishing third among Stoughton runners. Shannon Barkey is also coming into her own. Susanna Noe and Carson McGrath along with Erika Raskind, Rebekah Medina, Julia Bobeck, Ariel Eloi and Ariene Ohimor filled out the team.