A year after making an appearance in the state final, the Hopkinton High School girls volleyball team is once again heading into the postseason as one of the strongest squads in the area and eyeing another lengthy run in the postseason.
“The team has been playing well,” said coach Margie Grabmeier. “We have a small roster but a lot of talent. Every player adds a wealth of volleyball experience and they are coming together and playing better defense as the season progresses, just in time for tournament.”
The Hillers posted a 13-1 record heading into last week’s Senior Night match with the lone setback coming against Barnstable back in late September. Grabmeier said the multi-team tournaments the team has played in this year have included playoff-caliber competition. The coach praised her team’s improvement across the board, particularly her seniors who are heading into their final high school tournament.
“The seniors have stepped us,” Grabmeier said. “This is their last opportunity playing volleyball as Hillers and they want to leave their mark.”
Bella Onsi and Jenna Willwerth have driven the Hillers’ attack from the outside. Setter Mia Ardila and right side hitter Angie Grabmeier, the coach said, have “elevated our game with strong setting, serving and a balanced offense accounting for many kills on the right.”
Grabmeier said libero Morgan Allen has served well and helped solidify the back row defense along with defensive specialist Lydia Rudden. Middle hitters Cecily McNamara and Ashley McDermott have been strong on the block, Grabmeier said, and added “quick, strong offense when needed.”
Hopkinton’s three sophomores, Millie Senseney, Cate Cestari and Rachel Leeret, have also been consistent contributors.
Grabmeier said the team is constantly emphasizing on-court communication, saying “We are not the loudest team yet, but we are working on it.” Off the course, she said the team is a tight-knit group and student managers Keelan Boyle, Jaimie Hart and Nina Salmucci have added to a positive team chemistry and dynamic.
The Hillers had three matches left on the regular season schedule before turning their attention to the playoffs. Grabmeier said this squad could give Hopkinton fans another lengthy postseason.
“This is definitely the type of team that can make another deep tournament run,” she said. “We absolutely have the talent, so with sustained intensity and a bit of luck, we’ll be back in the mix.”