Some interesting tidbits on the high school girls' volleyball scene:
1. Notre Dame of Hingham needs a second look -- If you remember last season, Notre Dame of Hingham was the first squad to steal a set from 15-time Division 1 state champ Barnstable in the regular season. This time around, the Cougars stepped their game up a notch behind returning All-Scholastic Julia Flynn, pushing Barnstable to five sets.
After dropping the first two sets 26-28, 27-29, Flynn punched in 25 kills and 12 digs to strip Barnstable of its lead after winning the next two sets 25-19, 25-22. Sophomore Avery Spaziani was behind Flynn with 17 kills and 10 digs. The Cougars came up just short in the fifth set, 11-15 despite sophomore Corinne Cox's 59 assists. The loss is the Cougars' first blemish of the season, 4-1, and they'll get another chance at Barnstable Oct. 23.
Next, the Cougars face third-ranked Medfield who is 7-0 Thursday, which is sure to be a tight match.
2. The head of the pack -- Here are some of the most notable highlights so far this week:
- Case junior Samantha Travis had 23 aces and 13 assists for the host Cardinals (5-3) over Wareham, 3-0.
- Archbishop Williams junior Molly Plunkett helped the Bishops sweep Wayland 3-0 with 15 aces and 10 digs.
- Concord-Carlisle senior Margaret O'Brien had nine kills and five blocks for the visiting Patriots (4-1) over Acton-Boxboro, 3-1.
3. Kristin Fechtelkotter, one of Medfield's strongest -- The six-footer leads the state in kills per set, according to MaxPreps, at 4.8. The senior outside hitter has delivered 77 kills to propel Medfield to a seven-game win streak. Fechtelkotter isn't a stranger to winning. The two-sport athlete aided her basketball squad's Division 2 state championship run last season and was a Tri-Valley League All-Star.
4. Under new direction, Brookline upsets No. 2 Newton North -- Under first-year coach Shayna Orent, the Warriors started with a perfect five-game streak, not dropping a single set. Tuesday, the squad showed second-ranked Newton North they're a contender. In the fourth set, a team effort by Orent's upperclassmen, combined with Bay State All-Star Lisa Tarasyuk's kill at match point, helped Brookline register a 25-21 final to defeat previously unbeaten Newton North (6-1).
5. Calling all coaches -- This Sunday between 1 and 5 p.m., call in your player of the week nominations and league standings to Liz Torres at (617) 929-2860. Do you have a tip on a good team story? An outstanding player? A great matchup? Let her know.
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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 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 email@example.com.