Melrose High’s girls’ volleyball team remained perfect this season, handing Arlington Catholic its first loss of the season Wednesday in convincing fashion. The Division 2 state runner-up Red Raiders sputtered early in the first two games but tightened their defense to take command and win, 25-22, 25-23, 25-17, to improve to 8-0 this season. “The scores were pretty tight and in each of the games we feel behind early,’’ Melrose coach Scott Celli said. “But once we got the lead in each game we never lost it. “Arlington Catholic (7-1) is a very dominant. They made us work and they got kills but we were able to withstand any pressure every time they started to make a run.” Early in the first game, the Red Raiders were down, 4-0, but they found life after senior middle hitter Sarah McGowan took command of the offense. The 5-foot-10-inch Division 2 All-State middle hitter drilled seven kills and powered a Melrose front-row attack that grinded through a competitive first game. “We didn’t panic. AC had a nice home crowd and they were undefeated in their own gym,” Celli said. “But we pretty much got ourselves back in a comfort zone and held our own.” Senior setter Brooke Bell helped guide the Raiders’ offense in games two and three and finished with 28 assists. Meanwhile, junior Jill MacInnes played a key role on defense in the third game for Melrose. “Defense has been our strength all year, both front row and back row, and when our offense runs we are a tough team to stop,” Celli said. “We preach defense in practice and we work on it more than anything.”
Melrose 3, Arlington Catholic 0
Wednesday, Sep. 26, 2012, at Arlington
Updated: Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, 8:04 p.m.