Sights are Set High for Tri-County Volleyball

Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
After three straight state titles, Tri-County Volleyball starts the new season this month with the backbone of a few top-notch players.
Issue Date: 
September, 2018
Article Body: 

Looking at the Tri-Valley girls’ volleyball team, one could classify them as a dynasty, as the Cougars have been on a roll capturing five out of the last six State Vocational Championships. Last fall, TC went an impressive 17-1capturing yet another Mayflower League Title before sailing through the small school division of the State Tournament.
Prior to last season beginning, Coach Stephanie Caffrey had to say goodbye to only a handful of seniors. Unfortunately, one of them happened to be the Mayflower League Player of the Year. When the season concluded last year, the TC seniors on the team, who happened to start playing varsity volleyball as freshman, had been to four MIAA Tournaments, won four Mayflower League Titles and been to four State Finals, winning the last three. The only time the seniors felt the agony of defeat in a State Championship game was way back in their freshman campaign.
With three straight championships already in the book, the Cougars are looking for their fourth straight State Title this fall.
“Last year, the girls stepped it up as they really wanted that third straight title,” Caffrey said. “This year, they have set high expectations for themselves as they want to go for four straight.”
TC will be led by three 3-year starters in setter Sarah Killoy, outside hitter Carolyn MacPherson and middle hitter Elizabeth Naff. Having been with the coach for three years now these girls know exactly what their coach is expecting from this team on and off the court.
“These three-play great defense and offense – they do it all,” the Coach said. “The better the competition, the better they seem to play.”
Other athletes coming back looking for the school’s fourth straight championship are senior Ashley Barry, an outside hitter who is retuning for her second year as a starter as is junior outside hitter Kiara Dempsey.
“Kiara is one of our strongest players, and she is only in her second year,” Caffrey said. “Not only playing in her second season, she was awarded the Mayflower League Player of the Year.”
According to the Coach, Dempsey does it all; is the team’s first server, can block and covers a lot of ground defensively.
Claiming back-to-back Player of the Year athletes, the Cougar Coach proclaimed, was not of her doing; it was just that she had some very talented volleyball players.
With most of the positions filed by returning athletes, Caffrey will be looking to fill the final three positions (2 defense and 1 offense) with new players either coming from last year’s varsity bench or junior varsity players moving up to the varsity level.
“They will be fighting for the final three positions, and it should be a competitive battle,” Caffrey said. “All of the girls are currently playing in the summer league, getting touches and getting them ready for the upcoming high school season.”
In addition to the State Vocational Tournament, Tri-County has also qualified for the MIAA State Tournament, where they have not done as well. Being a Division 3 school, with a boy on their roster, the Cougars were forced to move up a division to play in the MIAA tournament.
“The change hit us hard in the tournament, but it was certainly worth the experience,” the coach said. “This year, I have upped our schedule with some tougher teams to get us prepared for the MIAA tournament.”
As the Cougars get ready to open the season during the second week of September in defense of their three straight Vocational Titles, Caffrey knows this is definitely the squad to capture its fourth straight championship.
“These girls, all love the sport and a lot of them have been with me when I was the JV coach and have since moved up to the varsity team,” she said. “They know me better than anyone, and they know exactly what I’m looking for them to do on the court.”
The Cougar volleyball team knows that they would love nothing more than to give their coach her fourth straight championship and sixth out of the last seven years.