Barnstable wins its 16th state volleyball championship

After a 5-16 record his first year, decorated Barnstable coach Tom Turco had a dream — one championship.

After Saturday, he has 16.

His undefeated Red Raiders swept Newton North at Algonquin Regional in Northborough, 25-10, 25-15, 25-11, to register the program’s 16th Division 1 state title.

“I had a dream of one [championship],’’ Turco said. “Back in the day, the state championships were at Waltham and I used to drive to Billerica with my family and I’d tell my wife, ‘some day, some day, I’m going to be on a bus with some players going to a state championship.’ ’’


Seventeen seasons later, he is the winningest high school girls’ volleyball coach in Massachusetts history with 571 victories.

Turco stood for the entire match, all 66 minutes. Aside from urging to his players to watch out for Newton North threats Alana King and Infiniti Thomas-Waheed, Turco watched his squad do what they know how to do best — win.

Ciara Bruning (12 kills) helped extend a lead in the third game with a tip-hit combo, and a tip by Colleen Kenney (six kills) and an Olivia Brodt ace handed Barnstable a 19-6 lead. Thomas-Waheed’s efforts for the Tigers ended after a service error, ending the match at 25-11. Hannah Andres contributed five kills for Newton North.

Despite King’s efforts in the second set, errors forced coach Richard Barton to call two timeouts with Newton North trailing, 11-5.

Thomas-Waheed rallied with a pair of hits and an ace to cut the deficit to 21-14, but Newton North errors and a Madison Sollows hit concluded the set for the Red Raiders, 25-15.

Although King picked up the offense for Newton North (19-3) late in the first set, the Tigers’ 15 unforced errors handed Barnstable a 21-8 lead after a pair of hits by Bruning. A Kenney tip and a Red Raiders’ block ended the set, 25-10.


Barnstable, which won it fourth straight state title and 10th in 11 seasons, finished 23-0, the Red Raiders’ 10th unbeaten season in Turco’s 26 years at the helm.

The program’s last unbeaten season was in 2011. The Red Raiders have 19 South Sectional championships.

Division 2

Notre Dame 3 (H), Westboro 2 — Down in sets, 2-1, the Rangers were on the verge of being blown out by Notre Dame of Hingham before a furious rally forced a fifth and deciding set in the Division 2 state championship game at Northborough.

But the Cougars walked away as state titlists, winning, 3-2, by scores of 25-20, 18-25, 25-18, 21-25, and 15-12.

“That comeback was built on playing a [regular-season] schedule that was really tough,’’ said Westboro coach Roger Anderson, whose roster includes a dozen seniors. “We don’t relent against anyone, and that was never more clear than in Game 4.’’

The Rangers finished 21-3. Westboro had won 14 of its last 15 games, including an impressive shutout of Longmeadow in the state semifinals. Notre Dame (20-2) was a juggernaut in the postseason, winning each of its sectional matches by shutout before blanking Bishop Fenwick in the state semifinals.

The Rangers faced Notre Dame in the regular season, with the Cougars winning, 3-2.

After the teams split the first two sets, the Cougars took the third and Notre Dame built an 18-12 lead in the fourth set, but Westboro senior star Samantha Kehoe wasn’t about to let her season and career end that way.

With Kehoe on the serve, the Rangers scored the next 6 points to make it 18-18. Senior Maria Hession tied the score with a booming spike after an extended volley that demonstrated how evenly matched the teams were.


Neither team backed down the rest of the way, but seniors Heather Clemons, Jessica McDermott, and Sarah Anderson helped Westboro with big plays down the stretch in Game 4.

“That was an awesome volleyball game — you can’t deny that,’’ Anderson said. “As a coach, you have to be extremely proud when your team stands in the face of a worthy opponent. [Notre Dame] played great at the very end of that fifth [set]. We threw everything we had at them.’’

Division 3

Frontier 3, Fairhaven 1 — When Fairhaven’s momentum picked up in the final moments of the fourth set, Cassidy Ciesluk and Emily Woodward responded with a hit and a service ace and Frontier (20-4) went on to its fourth straight Division 3 state championship

“It’s a young team and a lot of new people, said Frontier coach Sean MacDonald, whose charges won, 25-20, 25-15, 20-25, 25-22, at Algonquin.

“There’s no All-American, no Gatorade Player of the Year, so it’s really sweet to win with this.’’

Fairhaven finished 22-4, with its first appearance in a Division 3 state final.

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