NORTH ATTLEBORO — Glimpses of North Attleboro High volleyball team potential were seen often by Rocketeers coach Kim Marshall through the first five matches of the season, but any success had been fleeting.
On Monday, the Rocketeers may have played their best three games of the Hockomock League season thus far at Kenneth Pickering Gymnasium, taking a 3-0 victory over Foxboro High, 25-16, 25-14, 25-20.
“This is what I was waiting for,” North Attleboro coach Kim Marshall said. “I know that’s the team that I have.”
The Rocketeers never trailed in the first game, opening up a 5-1 lead on three service points from Julie Chen and an Annelise Grunewald kill.
North Attleboro faced three two-point deficits (5-3, 6-4, 9-7) in the second game, but took control when senior captain Joanna Collins-Bilyeu accounted for four straight service points with Sara Carter having a kill for a 12-9 lead.
The Rocketeers trailed 4-0 in the third game and 15-14 when Collins-Bilyeu stepped to the service line for five straight points with three aces to put North in front 19-15.
“It’s been little things, being in the right position, getting the talking going,” Foxboro coach Vicki Santana said of her Warriors’ 1-6 start to the season.
Foxboro was unable to take a point on its first six services in the first game, but a kill by senior outside hitter Emma Keefe and two from senior middle hitter Shannon McDonald pulled Foxboro back to within 16-11 before the Rocketeers answered with a block by junior middle hitter Madelyn Corsetti, a kill by junior Amira Boory and a block by senior Jasmine Anderson to put the Big Red in front 19-11. On game point, two superlative digs by Collins-Bilyeu and Ava Dunlvey closed out the game.
In the first game, Grunewalk and Carter each had three kills, Anderson had two kills and two blocks, while Chen accounted for six service points.
In the second game for the Rocketeers, Grunewald (three kills), Carter (two kills) and Anderson (two kills, two blocks) were demonstrative at the net.
After Collins-Bilyeu gave North Attleboro a 12-9 three-point lead, Grunewald stepped to the service line and delivered eight straight points with Anderson having two kills and two blocks in the surge for a 24-13 advantage.
“I’m hoping that we give them a better fight Wednesday,” Santana said of the rematch in Foxboro.
Four service points by senior Isabelle Clarkin with an ace and a Grunewald kill pulled North into a 5-5 deadlock with the Warriors at the outset of the third game.
McDonald (four kills, two blocks) was strong at the net for Foxboro in that third game, while the Warriors took advantage of eight North hitting errors to gain a 15-13 lead. Collins-Bilyeu’s streak of five straight service points gave North Attleboro its fourth lead of the third game at 19-15, and a kill by Grunewald finished off the match.