Milford Volleyball Back in the Postseason
By Chris Villani Sports Reporter/Columnist · October 29, 2016
By Chris Villani
The Milford High School girls' volleyball program is back in the postseason, and head coach Linda Zacchilli is excited to bring her team to the tournament in a deep central district.
"None of these kids have been in a tournament situation yet, so it's something to celebrate, that was one of our goals," the hall of fame coach said. "There are good teams all over the state, but Division 2 Central is loaded. I think it's going to be competitive and we may have a chance to host a match, which would be phenomenal for the kids."
Milford began the week 11-5 overall and 9-5 in the Hockomock League. The regular season came to a close with Wednesday's senior night against Sharon, and the postseason will begin no sooner than next Thursday, Zacchilli said.
"We are going to try to get some teams in to scrimmage to get us ready," she said. "That's a long time to sit without playing a match."
The Scarlet Hawks have been paced by outsider hitters Ally Zagami and Kelly Reichert throughout the season. Zagami, a senior, has been the team's leading attacker and one of the top attackers in the Hock and Reichert, a junior, as shown an ability to attack well from the back row, Zacchilli said.
Seniors captains Lauren Zouranjian and Allie Collins have quarterbacked the offense as setters in Milford's 6-2 attack. The biggest improvements, Zacchilli said, have come from middle hitters Gillian Valanzola and Juliana Tracy.
"They are our strongest blockers, they angle their shots, and hit with authority," Zacchilli said. "They have made a huge difference in our success."
Junior libeiro Kyra Alves leads the team in digs, and is second in the Hockomock League in that category. Senior right side hitters Stefanie Chiarelli and Brianna Croteau, along with defensive specialist Jane Schuler, have helped round out a deep Milford lineup. Kate Lobisser has been a key depth option at multiple positions.
"All of those kids see a considerable amount of time on the floor," Zacchilli said. "The more kids you can get out on the floor, the happier your team will be."
Zacchilli said Milford will likely finish in the middle of the pack when it comes to district tournament seeds. While many teams would want a first round bye, the chance to shorten the layoff and host a tournament game has Zacchilli wanting to get on the floor as soon as possible.
"We would like to play right away," she said. "We are hoping we will be prepared and ready to go."