Sports

Senior Erin Cox was among the leaders of North Andover in the state volleyball tournament, despite an off-court controversy.
Senior Erin Cox was among the leaders of North Andover in the state volleyball tournament, despite an off-court controversy.Mark Lorenz for The Boston Globe

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As it steamrolled into the state tournament, the North Andover girls’ volleyball team did not let the controversy surrounding former captain Erin Cox slow its momentum.

Cox, a four-year varsity player, was suspended for five games and stripped of her captaincy by school officials last month after she was identified as appearing at a house party in Boxford where alcohol was present.

Cox’s attorney, Wendy Murphy, who had said previously she was considering filing a federal lawsuit against the school district over Cox’s punishment, said in an e-mail Thursday “there is no litigation yet — nothing pending and nothing planned until after she graduates.”

Despite the distractions, Cox and the rest of the Scarlet Nights kept their eyes on the ball. They went into the North Division 1 Sectionals as the No. 2 seed with a 19-1 record and won two matches before bowing to Andover, 3-1, in Thursday’s semifinals.

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