After scuffling noticeably during its final handful of regular season matches of 2016, the Londonderry High boys’ volleyball squad stepped into the state tournament late last week and trounced its first opponent to move on further in the playoffs.
The Lancers ended the regular campaign with a sub-.500 record of 7-9, due in large part to the fact that coach John Vaughn’s LHS charges went 1-4 in their last five matches.
The locals closed out the regular season with a 3-0 shutout loss to the Windham High contingent on the road Tuesday, May 31. The hosts finished the regular season at 13-3 with 12 wins in their final 13 contests.
In that May 31 battle, Windham took game victories of 25-17, 25-16, and 25-20 to bag the match.
Mike Vivian contributed 18 assists to the LHS effort, Nick Anderson notched eight kills and three digs, Ryan Crowley collected eight digs, Riley Treanor snared seven kills, and Danny Bears dug up six digs.
But then came the eighth-seeded Lancers’ first-round tourney match with number nine Keene, which like Londonderry ended the 2016 regular season with a 7-9 record.
When Londonderry faced the Blackbirds in a regular season contest at LHS on April 27, the hosts collected a 3-1 win. But they’d shut Keene out in the tourney rematch Friday, June 3.
None of the Lancers’ three wins in the match was easy, but win they did in 27-25, 25-22, and 25-21 decisions.
The Blackbirds managed to swing the momentum in their favor several times throughout the match. In the first game, Keene tied things up at 25 and in the second, the visitors had control of the game until the final few serves.
Vivian dealt out 21 assists and knocked down four service aces, Crowley was good for a total of 15 digs, and Anderson tallied 14 kills.
By virtue of that tourney success, Londonderry advanced to a quarterfinal-round tournament match with the defending state champion, 14-2 Timberlane Regional Owls in Plaistow Tuesday, June 7, after Londonderry Times press time.
LHS volleyball stalwart Nick Anderson and his teammates stepped into this week with a huge task – to beat talented Timberlane in the tourney.