Millis Girls Volleyball See Young Talent Coming Up the Ranks

By Christopher Tremblay
After some changes, Millis Girls Volleyball is looking to stay competitive with some talented players.
Issue Date: 
October, 2016
Article Body: 

Despite struggling in the Tri-Valley League, where they were the only Division 3 team, the Millis girls volleyball team did manage to make the tournament, where they fell in the first round to Tri-County of Franklin.
“Playing in the TVL was a learning experience for this team,” Millis Coach Lisa Farese said. “In the past, the program had five or six district titles in an 11-year span, but when things changed (the loss of 7th and 8th graders to the Middle School), the numbers went down, and the program lost a lot of athletes who had one or two years of high school experience.”
Although the Mohawks have a good number of sophomores (now juniors) from last year’s tournament team, there is only one senior on this year’s squad. Second year player Hannah Finley, who arrived from Wisconsin joined the team four days prior to the school year getting underway last fall. Unfortunately, the outside hitter is currently on the sidelines having injured her ankle prior to tryouts. Farese is hoping that once her injury is fully healed, she’ll be back on the court where they team will be looking for her strong play.
In addition to Finley Farese will be looking to another outside hitter junior Lydia Flaherty.
“Last year at 5’4”, she played the middle for us. She may be short, but as a basketball player, she jumps extremely well,” the coach said. “This year, she’ll be playing where she belongs now that we have some size. Due to her size, she was usually underestimated last year, but this season by moving her to the outside it will open up her defensive play.”
Taking position in the middle this fall will be two first year players at Millis – sophomores Abby Clark at 5’ 11” and Elizabeth Green at 6’ 1”. Clark, who is another basketball player, has literally been playing volleyball for about a week at the time of this writing. However, despite her lack of playing time the sophomore has impressed the coach.
“Abby has been doing real well so far and is very instinctive when it comes to the game,” Farese said. “Once she develops her skills she is going to be scary.”
Green is a Millis resident who had attended another school as a freshman but decided to come to the high school this year.
“I had only heard about her prior to tryouts from the other girls,” the coach said. “They told me that she was big, but having a rather small team, I was unsure of what I was actually getting. I was surprised when she showed up and had played before.”
As the season gets closer junior Mandi Payne is battling the team’s starting libero Haley Donovan. Donovan has held the position for the past two seasons under Farese, but Payne is pushing her for the spot.
“Mandi played last year, but didn’t see as much time as she would have liked, so she worked very hard in the off season,” Farese said. “Both girls are the same age and about the same height so there is no real advantage. I have no idea who will be the starter on opening day, but both are capable of running the floor.”
Both athletes will get the colored shirt designating them as the libero, so that Farese can use which girl she feels is producing on any give game day.
Although Millis plays in a tough league with higher division level schools, the Mohawks are looking to be as competitive against them all each and every time they step on the court.
“We’re looking to be our old self, the team of yesteryear,” Farese said. “We may not win all of our games, but we will be competitive now that we have the tools to go up against the top teams in the league.”
Other Millis volleyballers looking to help the squad reach the top of the TVL are Allie Smith, Yasmine Azzouz, Cassie Ford, Emily Bicalho, Molly Kane, Grace Steeves and Morgan Kane.