The summer season isn’t only for days at the beach and evenings around the grill. Every Monday, from 6 PM to 8 PM, girls from across the Cape gather in Hyannis to fine-tune their serves and work on team communication.
At the Hyannis Youth & Community Center, five local high school teams—Falmouth, Dennis-Yarmouth, Sandwich, Plymouth North and two Barnstable squads—make up the varsity division. Plymouth North, Dennis-Yarmouth, St. John Paul II, Cape Tech, Sturgis East & West and two Barnstable teams compete in the junior varsity division.
Teams play three sets matches in a 45-minute time frame and play a six-game regular season that leads to a four-team playoff. The high school league championships take place on Monday, August 12, at 6 PM.
Below is a notebook on the two competing teams in the Hyannis summer league, Falmouth and Sandwich, as well as some updates on the reigning Division 3 state champion Bourne team.
Sandwich vs Falmouth
Needing a set victory to avoid a sweep, the Sandwich summer league squad battled in the second set and played a sound team game to force a decisive third set. The Blue Knights closed the second set by winning five of the last seven points for a 25-22 victory.
Sandwich trailed by as many as four points at three different junctures of the set, always staying within striking distance. The two teams were tied at 16, 17 and 20 before Sandwich pulled away. Falmouth had some miscommunication and court awareness issues later that let the Knights grab a hold of the lead.
In the third set, however, the Clippers regained their composure. After both teams traded points in the early goings, Falmouth jumped out to a five-point, 14-9 lead. FHS regained its composure, converting a number of points off set pieces while showing off a combination of power and precision. Still, Sandwich didn’t go down without a fight. The Knights scored three of the next four points to pull back within three, 15-12.
But Falmouth eventually wore down Sandwich, winning on long rallies and failing to give up possession. The Clippers closed the game on a 10-3 run to win the match overall, 2-1.
Sandwich and Falmouth meet again in each team’s regular season finale on Monday, July 29, at 6:45 PM.
Bourne head coach Andy Mather may be taking the whole “keep your enemies closer” thing too literally.
The Canalmen defeated Frontier in three games during the Division 3 state semifinal this season en route to a state championship. A year prior Frontier dashed Bourne’s state title dreams with a 3-1 win against the Canalmen in the 2017 state final.
Now, for the second year in a row, the two teams will train together in preparation for the coming fall season. On the final Friday before Labor Day, August 30, Bourne will open its doors to Frontier—the team that was once a major roadblock in the Canalmen’s championship path.
It’s a can’t-lose situation for Mather, I’m sure. Frontier has been in at least the state semifinals every year since 2014 with three state titles mixed in. If they are willing to come over the bridge, it’s an opportunity for Bourne to play against the top competition in the state while also getting an early scouting report of a dominant team out west.
But, more than gaining any intel, the greater takeaway from this upcoming meeting is how two rivals can come together through the game of volleyball and learn about one another, beyond what goes on from serve to spike.
The ties between the two state powerhouses grow stronger when considering that Mather’s son, Harrison, has coached alongside Redhawks head coach Sean MacDonald previously.
“I’m very familiar with him and his coaching philosophies,” Mather said. “It’s a good connection.”
The Bourne volleyball team also hosted a camp of roughly 53 young volleyball players at Bourne High School this week, hoping to inspire today the future volleyball stars of tomorrow.