By Chris Paul
The Londonderry High School Girls’ Volleyball team had two victories to start their quest for a division title last week, winning their first round match in straight sets, but then having to come from behind in the quarterfinals match.
The Lancer squad finished the season with an exceptional 16-2, finishing in third place behind the Bedford Bulldogs at 18-0 and Hollis Brookline, who also finished at 16-2, but beat Londonderry in the final week of the season.
The team’s stellar record put the girls in the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association’s Division I playoffs as the number three seed facing the Nashua South Purple Panthers in the Preliminary Round at home on Tuesday, Oct. 25.
The LHS squad had very little trouble getting by the #14 seed to move on to the quarterfinals. Londonderry had a 3-0 victory over Nashua South with 25-18, 25-17, and 25-11 games.
Junior Ally McGonagle had 12 kills and three aces in the match, while senior setter, Lexi Small, finished with 28 assists and two kills.
Freshman Riley Campo got six kills; senior Lacey Turner had five kills; and senior Madi Saucier had 4 kills.
Junior Abby Harrington finished with five digs and three aces, and senior Bella Elguezabal had six digs and three aces.
The Lancer teams second win of the tournament didn’t come anywhere near as easily as the first.
Londonderry had to fight hard to come back from a two-game deficit against the Dover Green Wave, to take three of five games and move onto the semifinals.
Dover was the #6 seed in the bracket and had just come off a 3-0 win over Pinkerton to start their tournament.
The Green Wave had the home crowd silent as they began the match with a 25-8 win in the first game.
Londonderry battled back in the second game and had as much as a five-point lead, but eventually lost 26-28.
In the third set, on the brink of elimination, the Lancers dug deep for the turnaround and kept Dover on their heels for a 25-14 victory. They led by as many as 13-points in that pivotal set.
The Lancers moved on with 25-19 and 15-11 victories for the nail-biting quarterfinal win.
Highlights for the Lancers included: McGonagle with 22 kills, seven aces and 11 digs; Small had 35 assists, three kills, thee digs, and two aces; Elguezabal got 11 digs, four assists, and two aces; Turner had 10 kills; and Saucier finished with four kills, three aces, and two blocks.
With the win, the Lancers need to get by Hollis-Brookline (#2 seed) in the Semi-Finals on Tuesday, Nov. 1, to get to the championship game.
Hollis-Brookline beat LHS 3-1 in the final week of the regular season, handing them just their second loss.