A 13-time Division 1 championship dynasty does not come without rivalries and Wednesday night, Div. 1 girls' volleyball champ Barnstable took on one of its longest.
In its season opener, host Barnstable claimed a 3-0 win over Div. 1 state semifinalist North Quincy, a rival for more than two decades (25-17, 25-16, 25-12).
"That's a long one that's been going on for 20, 21 years. And this year was one of the strongest North Quincy teams I've seen," said Red Raiders coach Tom Turco, who began his 24th year with the team.
Although the Red Raiders got off to a shaky start in the first set, tying North Quincy, 12-12, kills from Aine Cole (10) and Carolyn Morin (7) gave them momentum that continued into the second set.
"[North Quincy] picked up a lot of balls off the floor but we had more of an offense, and that was the game-changer," said Turco. "We're hitting from a pretty high hitting percentage and our serve receive is solid. Overall we have a pretty balanced offense and we're hitting from all three spots in the front row."
North Quincy picked up its play at the net in the third set with 14 combined blocks from Maya Umoren and Carolyn Schwartz and four kills and two blocks from Olivia Umoren, but the Red Raiders' Nikki Deluga got under hits with 17 digs.
The Red Raiders took a 17-5 lead in the third behind their seniors and some promising underclassmen. Despite Elizabeth Sullivan's 13 digs for North Quincy, Barnstable was able to outlast its rival behind returning Globe All-Scholastic Kaylee Deluga and Regan Bristol's (10 kills) offensive attack and MGVCA All-State Kayla Crook's 35 assists for the win. Carolyn Morin contributed seven kills.
"I rely heavily on [my senior leadership]," said Turco. "It's their last shot and this is their year. There's a sense of urgency and my seniors are my leaders, that's the way it's always been.
"I don't set any goals for them. They set goals for themselves."
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our fall correspondents:
- Anthony Gulizia | @gulizia_a | Div. 1 football
- Eric Russo | @erusso22 | Div. 2 football
- Stephen Sellner | @stephen_sellner | Div. 3 football
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Div. 4 football
- Greg Joyce | @GJoyce9 | Div. 5 football
- Lorenzo Recupero | @LorenzoRecupero | Div. 6 football
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls volleyball
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail email@example.com.