By Chris Villani
The Milford High boys’ volleyball team started the season with a perfect 6-0 record, including victories over its top competitors in the Tri-Valley League, much to the delight of head coach Andrew Mainini.
“We were able to beat Medfield and Nipmuc 3-0, but those matches were pretty competitive and the scores were close,” Mainini said. “It was nice to see some mental toughness from my team. They dug in their heels in both of those matches to seal the victories.”
MHS has earned a top-20 ranking in the state by virtue of its early-season success and Mainini has said this team could be one that puts together a deep run into the postseason tournaments.
Senior outside hitter Jack Callahan has been a spark for the Scarlet Hawks’ attack. He’s been leading the team in kills and is one of the most consistent threats on offense.
Milford has also received a boost from the return of Chris Tocci, who missed the start of the season after dislocating his shoulder but has returned to lead the team in hitting percentage and is second in kills.
“It’s been a huge addition having him back,” Mainini said.
The Hawks have been strong on defense as well, with senior Oscar Orellana, a libero, leading the way for that part of the team’s game. A newcomer, sophomore Alex Guerra, has quickly become a big part of the varsity lineup as well.
“He stepped in as the right side hitter and he also sets the offense when we are out of system,” Mainini said. “He has been on the court for every set and every play and he has done a really nice job of taking on a really big role in only his second year playing volleyball and his first year as a varsity athlete.”
Mainini said his team is on par with the lofty expectations he set for them at the beginning of the season. Milford is heading into a difficult run of non-league games, with some of the top teams in the state on the upcoming schedule, starting with Tuesday’s contest against fellow unbeaten St. John’s Prep of Danvers.
In the coming weeks, Milford will take on Cambridge Rings & Latin, Wayland, and Natick, all of whom have been ranked in the top-10 by various publications.
“It’ll be good to see how the boys respond,” Mainini said. “I think we really need to refine some of the finer aspects of the game.”