With a host of players returning, Fineran’s girls will be prepping for a playoff berth in 2023
The Everett High School volleyball team wrapped up the regular season at home against Lynn Classical on Oct. 24. They then defeated host Saugus to complete the schedule on an upbeat note.
Before the match against the Rams, the team’s seven seniors were honored for their contributions to the program throughout the last four years. The spotlight was on libero Jane Ebay, outside hitter Sophia Sousa, back row passers Emanuelly Fernandes and Alejandra Cajamarca, setters Samela De Souza and Julie Miranda, middle hitter Vanessa Almonte and outside hitter Michelle Ngo. After the festive pregame ceremony, it was then time to gear up for what turned out to be a most competitive match against their league rivals from Lynn, who defeated the locals in four close games, 3-1.
Sousa played a solid all-around game that included three kills, according to first-year coach Michael Fineran. “She also served the last two points of the third set to help give Everett the win, which extended the match to the decisive fourth set, 30-28,” Fineran added.
Also standing out among the seniors in the final home match of their careers were Miranda (16 successful serves), Ngo (eight kills) and Almonte (five service points, four kills). Juniors Kaesta Sandy and Nicole Brandao also played well, while combining for seven kills and five blocks.
In the team’s final match of the season last Thursday (Oct. 27) at Saugus, Everett was able to avenge an earlier loss to the non-league Sachems. They ended up beating the home team this time around in three sets, 3-0. Fineran lauded his team’s focus and aggressive approach against Saugus, noting that his girls hit nearly 90% of their serves, which helped shutdown their Northeastern Conference counterparts.
Sousa again propelled her teammates to victory with 11 service points in the first set, including nine in a row. She also had seven aces in the opening set, while adding eight more service points and three additional aces in sets two and three to seal the deal. Miranda served 16 times against Saugus, including four of the most crucial serves of the match, when Everett trailed, 22-21 in the second set. Ngo, who scored a perfect 100% in serves during this match, also added five kills that were made possible by solid back row passes from Ebay.
Fineran called the triumph over Saugus a total team win, while adding that the team’s final record of 7-12 fell short of their goal to make the postseason. But nonetheless, winning two of the last three matches sends them to the offseason on a positive note.
And next year promises to be rather good for the Crimson Tide, who have a solid group of sophomores and juniors coming back with varsity experience that should put them over the top with a winning record and into the playoffs.