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MHS Boys Volleyball Peaking for Postseason

As the Milford High School boys volleyball team wraps up the regular season and turns its attention to the playoffs, head coach Linda Zacchilli is hoping a tough schedule will pay dividends in the second season. The Scarlet Hawks may not be at the top of the standings, since won-loss record is the only factor to determine seeding, but there's no question Zacchilli's team is battle-tested.
"We have a very competitive schedule," she said. "We play teams from all over the state and because of that, I'm not sure whether we will have a home match in the playoffs."
Milford began the week 12-5 with matches against Randolph and Brockton on the docket. The Hawks dropped matches to Wellesley and Lawrence in the past couple of weeks, but rebounded for wins over Taunton, Marlboro, and Millis.
"Our strong points right now are from behind the service line and the fact that I have multiple attackers," Zacchilli said. "It makes it hard for teams to zero in on any one player."
Three players, senior co-captain Erik Vega, senior middle hitter Devin Lemote, and senior right side hitter Earl Bassett, all have more than 100 kills on the season. Vega leads the way with 196. Senior-co-captain Stevan Luna is the team's setter, but has also been strong on the attack with 94 kills, a sign of the squad's versatility.
"Stevan quarterbacks the team, but he has been getting the chance to swing at a few balls because Bassett is capable of setting." Zacchilli said. "The two compliment each other well. They are both versatile across the net, strong in the back row, and strong from behind the service line."
Senior Lucas Bentes and junior Paulo Xavier have stood out on the block, and junior middle hitter Michael Haver has been able to work his way into the lineup more consistently as the season has progressed. Milford has also welcomed the return of senior David Abrego. The defensive specialist suffered a torn ACL during the football season and finally returned to the court last week, just in time for the postseason.
Junior backup setter Ryan White, 6'7" senior Dylan Leahy, and senior outside hitter Seth Little help round out one of Zacchilli's deepest and most versatile varsity floors in awhile.
The head coach said she hopes he team responds well to the challenge of having to play road matches in the postseason. Milford entered the week 8-1 at home and just 4-4 away from the MHS gym. "We are not always great on the road," she said. "We have not been as consistent as we are when we play in Milford, which is why I am hoping we can grab a home court advantage in the opening round. But we will have to wait and see how the seeding comes out."
"This is a group with great leadership," she added. "The captains and seniors have been very good all season, and they work very hard."




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