The Barnstable Red Raiders ratcheted up the intensity this season with several come-from-behind victories in the state tournament, one against Lincoln-Sudbury in a five-set rally with a last minute scoring surge to move on to the state final against Newton North.
Odds were in the Tigers' favor after having delivered an earlier loss to the Red Raiders, their first in two seasons. After a dominating presence by the Tigers' Keane Brazda, it looked like coach Richard Barton had the match in the bag. But Tom Turco's seniors rose to the occasion and with his Kayla Crook-Regan Bristol combo, the program clinched its 15th state championship. It also clinched Barnstable No. 1 ranking in the final girls' volleyball Top 20. Crook was the first Red Raider to eclipse the 1,500 assist mark, ending the season with over 2,000.
Newton North came in second in the poll.
With just a single blemish on its record, Melrose brushed past Longmeadow to clinch the Division 2 crown behind showstoppers Brooke Bell and Sarah McGowan, who snapped program records in doing so while falling in the top tier of the state statistically. Melrose finished the year No. 4 in the poll.
Frontier's Cassidy Stankowski helped her team beat Lynnfield in straight sets for the Division 3 crown. Lynnfield ends the year at No. 6.
Make sure to check out the final girls' volleyball poll to where each school is ranked.
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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.