They made sure of that Thursday night in emphatic fashion by routing South champ Bishop Feehan in three games, 25-11, 25-15, and 25-10, in a state semifinal match at Milford High. Now, just one more game stands between them and their fourth Mass. volleyball crown (1998, 2005, 2006).
"How does it feel?," coach Jack Hastings pondered. "It feels pretty good! But it doesn't feel as good as it will when we get there on Saturday."
Hastings said the team has been driven by "a bad taste in their mouth" since their heartbreaking defeat one year ago. Led by their senior co-captains Melissa Haskell and Caitlin Barrett, the 22-2 Warriors have certainly played up to the role of "team on a mission" throughout the regular season and the playoffs.
Haskell was at the forefront of Medfield's offensive assault against the Eastern Athletic Conference champion Shamrocks. She notched 16 kills and 16 digs, as well as nine service points and three aces.
But Hastings was quick to say that the entire team deserved praise.
"Every time she goes out, as long as she's with this group, she's fine," he said. "You put her with another team, and she'd be okay, but they wouldn't be the dominant force [Medfield is] now."
Indeed, Medfield's depth shined on Thursday. Barrett chipped in with nine kills and 22 assists, while the junior trio of Morganne Gagne (18 digs, five solo blocks), Jessica McLeod (five assisted blocks), and Georgia Naumann (seven kills, seven service points) also had a great night.
Haskell echoed her coach's sentiments.
"Everyone was hitting so well and everyone was doing their part...They couldn't shut down just one hitter," she said. "Every single girl on our team played amazing, and that's why we did so strongly."
Bishop Feehan hung around early in the first game, but then the Warriors stretched out their lead in the middle stages and cruised to their first win of the night. The next pair of games weren't as competitive, with Medfield leading by as many as 11 points in Game 2 and closing out Game 3 on an 8-3 run.
With the Shamrocks out of the way, the biggest game of the season is next. But while Haskell acknowledged what will be at stake against the Raiders on Saturday, she said that the team will keep doing what they've been doing up to this point.
"Same mindset, still one game at a time," she said. "We just need to go into it like any other."
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- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
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