It’s been close to two decades since Dave Moore was holding the reins for the Bourne High School volleyball team, but the veteran coach could not be more excited to once again be leading the Lady Canalmen into the Fall 2 2021 season. Following a tumultuous ending to the previous regime at BHS, which resulted in the exit of former head coach Andy Mather, Moore agreed to return to the fold following the 2019 season and was excited to lead the squad through the 2020 season.
That season begins now, in 2021.
With volleyball being pushed out of the Fall 1 season to Fall 2, the campaign that would normally have been held back in September will be played this spring, under the designation of Fall 2. Football and indoor track, which will be run outdoors, are also being played during Fall 2.
Moore joined the coaching staff in an advisory role following the departure of Mather, assisting in the transition to an interim coach to finish out that season. He then applied for the open position after it was posted in December of 2019, and was hired to take on the job as head coach, which would have started eight months later in late August. The pandemic then intervened, and now, 15 months after being hired to take the job, he finally will be holding his first practices beginning on Monday, March 8.
Moore said that he had been hopeful that the season would begin when it was supposed to, but that he’s happy to be getting started now. “I think that we’re definitely in a rebuilding mode and focused in getting the team in a different place, bring back a little more joy and make sure that it’s still fun,” he said.
Focusing on mentorship and the enjoyment of the game is a point of emphasis, the coach said. He said that he has, over his decades of coaching experience, which had stops in Bourne, Salve Regina University, Bridgewater State University and then as a volleyball referee for the MIAA, several lessons that he hopes to pass on. He said that playing the game for more than just winning, but with enjoyment and camaraderie as focal points, is something that he plans to emphasize. He also said that his time spent as a ref helped to appreciate just how quickly the game moves, how difficult the job of refereeing is, and how much pressure is involved in that line of work. “It’s tough,” he said with a laugh. “I definitely appreciate the refs and understand what they’re going through a lot more now than I did before.”
With several of his players participating in a winter league prior to the start of the upcoming season, Moore said that he hopes that the Lady Canalmen will be able to hit the ground running heading into the 2021 slate of games. He does not expect this year’s team to be at the level that the 2018 state championship-winning club was, but with no state tournament to be held this year, that won’t matter all that much anyway. He said that he hopes that by the time the South Coast Conference Tournament is held at the end of the season that the squad will be at a point where it can compete with the best of the league.
Hopefully leading the way in that pursuit will be a solid crop of seniors. Returning to the fold are outside hitters Kiely O’Connor and Isabella Dipaolo, setter Jillian Orth and libero Sophia Amaral. Junior Emma Undzis plans to return to the squad as well. Also back in the fold will be four sophomores who played varsity last year: Mary Berio Rollands, Quinn Hawkes, Sarah Sweeney and Kendall Fortune.
Coach Moore said that he is excited to have a strong crop of coaches helping him as well. His daughter, Cassie Lee, will serve as a varsity assistant. Sam Fasoli will head up the junior varsity, and Donna Lyons-Look will coach the freshman squad.
Moore said that playing good team-oriented volleyball is the goal for the Lady Canalmen. “I think the team could have been better (last year) and that it was more of a mental thing than a physical one. I think that we’ll have a good offensive attack and I think we’ll work that end of it and the ball off of the floor on defense and give us a chance to transition.”
The team will start competing on Friday, March 26, and play through into April before the start of the spring season in May.