So, what happens when you graduate four of the best volleyball players that your program has produced in the last two decades? Coach Ernie Holcomb and the Falmouth High volleyball team are about to find out the answer.
Despite the departure of four of the Clippers’ best players from last year’s excellent team, the outlook for the 2019 season is looking good. Falmouth returns two all-stars to the lineup and has enough experience to compete in every match. Coach Holcomb believes that if the team’s passing is up to snuff that the Clippers should be right back in the mix in the Division 2 south tournament race.
As for the Cape and Islands League, well, that might be more of a stretch. The realignment of Falmouth’s league saw Marshfield exit and Barnstable enter. The Red Raiders are the preeminent volleyball program in the state and have never lost a match to a Cape Cod squad under the leadership of Coach Tom Turco.
If Falmouth does a good job of receiving serves and passing to the middle, Riley Gregory will make sure that the ball gets where it is supposed to go. The senior all-star is one of the top ball-deliverers in FHS history and is hoping to top off an excellent career with her best season yet as the Clippers’ top setter.
Receiving a ton of those assists will be junior middle hitter Shea MacLeod. The team’s tall and powerful front liner grew into one of the area’s better players last year and is looking to build on that.
Outside hitters Caroline Koss, a junior, and senior Dasia Pena will also be slamming down feeds from Gregory on the front line as two of the team’s top outside hitters. Both played big roles for the team last year and should be large factors. Pena is coming back from a shoulder injury that has kept her out for the past few days, but she hopes to be ready to go for the team’s opener on September 12 at home against Sturgis.
Juniors Lilly Craft and Delia Martino will also play up front. Craft is improving steadily and Martino is currently healing up after a basketball injury.
Backup setter Hunter Engstrom will play behind Gregory. She also is on the mend after hurting herself.
Rounding out the roster for Falmouth will be junior middle hitter Paige Farrington, who will see time on the front row. Sidney Sevigny is a sophomore outside hitter. Kelsey Sheehan, a junior, is a hitter. Senior Alexa Steele is a setter. Anna Falcone, a junior, is a defender, as is Brooklyn Leighton, a junior. Sophomore Anna Fernandez, a sophomore, is a heady player that will see time in the back row.
“We’ll know who we are by the middle of the season,” Holcomb said. “We have a top notch setter, some strong blocking and a couple of experienced attackers in Shea and Dasia...we’ve got some girls that have played at a high level (junior Olympics) that have played competitively. We’re learning and we’re getting better.”
Falmouth opens at home on September 12 at 5:30 PM against Sturgis.
“We’re in a transition, but I think we should make a run at the tournament again,” Holcomb said.