Lancer Spikers Battle Hard But Drop Season-Opener at Home

James Buttafuoco (left) and Jackson Lyscars try a block against Salem during the LHS boys’ volleyball team’s season-opener. Photo by Chris Paul

After getting over run in the first game of its season and home-opening match against the perennially-tough Salem High Blue Devils at home this past Monday, April 10, the Londonderry High boys’ volleyball squad showed that it has no shortage of either intestinal fortitude or fight in its makeup.

The Lancers lost game one by a lopsided 25-11 margin, but they were full of fight in games two and three despite dropping decisions in both cases. The visiting Blue Devils won game two by a 25-22 score, and game three by a 25-21 count, having had to work considerably harder than in game number one in collecting the 3-0 match success.

“We had to overcome a little adversity in set two when Bryan Murphy suffered a cut to his skull,” said LHS coach Dave Starin. “All in all, given the experience and limited gym time we’ve had this spring, I have to be encouraged with the team. Our serve-receive was good, and we just have to learn some of the finer points of blocking and hitting to limit some of our errors. It was especially good to see improvement as the match progressed.”

The Lancers have returned six players from their 2016 crew – helmed by now-retired coach John Vaughn – including seniors Mike Vivian (a setter), Tim Sullivan (middle-hitter), Murphy (outside-hitter), and Danny Bears (libero), along with junior middle-hitter Tim O’Neil and sophomore defensive specialist Matt Nickerson.

Newcomers to the Lancer squad, who new coach Starin is working diligently to place in the most productive positions, include seniors Ryan Pitard, Nick McCann, Jackson Lyscars, Nalen Iarrobino, and Ian Candela, juniors Abhy Patel and Logan Agrella, sophomores Alex Crutcher, Patrick Cohen, and James Buttafuoco, and freshman Jacob Cullen.

In the opener against Salem, Londonderry received nine assists from Vivian, five service points from Iarrobino, four kills from Lyscars, and three digs from Bears.

In the wake of that season-opening defeat, the Lancers continued on through a slate this week which had them traveling to New Ipswich to take on the Mascenic Regional contingent on Wednesday the 12th – after Londonderry Times press time – followed by a home match against those arch-rivals from Pinkerton Academy at LHS this Friday night the 14th. Pinkerton began its 2017 campaign on Monday night with a pretty convincing 3-1 defeat of the defending state champs from Hollis-Brookline in Derry.

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