Everyone rebuilds eventually

NASHUA – It feels like a new era for Rivier University women’s volleyball.

The Raiders past has been filled with Great Northeast Athletic Conference championship games, titles, and NCAA tournament appearances.

And now? The Raiders usually don’t say rebuild, but with nine freshmen in a roster of 20, you probably can’t say reload.

“We’ve got some talent,” Raiders coach Craig Kolek said, his team going 2-2 in this past weekend’s Springfield Invitational. “We’re going to be different from last year, last year probably being the best team I’ve ever coached. I had a really talented senior class.”

Think about it. Kolek calls that team which won 32 matches his best team ever and it didn’t win the GNAC, falling to Johnson & Wales in the finals. The Raider road to success is much tougher than it used to be.

“The GNAC is pretty strong,” Kolek said. “Johnson & Wales seems to have taken another step with their most of their programs. And in volleyball, they won last year, and seems to have had a good recruiting class again. They’ll be just as good, and tough to beat.

“We were a top 10 team in New England,and couldn’t close out Johnson & Wales, which was just as good. With the new players we have, it’s going to be trial by error, see who fills in.”

Despite the huge amount of underclassmen, there are some upper class mainstays.

Junior setter Hayley Macken was an All-Region, honorable mention All-American last year, and the Raiders will be relying on her a lot.

“It’s going to be good having her as a setter, leading all of our hitters, who are going to either be freshemen or sophomores,” Kolek said.

Senior Beth Trevino returns to her usual libero/defensive role, she was the conference’s top libero two years ago and an All-GNAC player a year ago.

“Those two are expected to carry the load,” Kolek said, adding he’ll also rely on seniors Alex Trevains (Litchfield, former Campbell standout), Madison Soucy,Erin Rosa, and Ashley Winet, who transferred in a year ago and hails from San Gabriel, Cal.

“They were playing behind seniors last year, so they didn’t see a lot of time on the court,” Kolek said. “It’ll be pretty interesting, pretty exciting.”

As for the freshman, one is local – Six-foot Bishop Guertin alum Jillian Rabasco. There’s two other six-foot freshmen, Emma Soucy of Dunbarton (a Goffstown alum) and Catherine Torpey of Melrose, Mass.

This past weekend, the Raiders predictably lost two 3-0 matches to national power Springfield College, but beat Westfield State 3-0 and Skidmore 3-1. Trevino and Macken combined for 73 digs but keep an eye on 5-7 sophomore outside hitter Taylor Dunster, who had 55. Leading the Raiders with 5-11 freshman Julia Zargaj totalling 34 kills, just ahead of Dunster’s 33.

The Raiders play in the annual Granite State Challenge at Plymouth on Friday and Keene State on Saturday, along with those two schools and Colby-Sawyer. They don’t have their home opener at the Muldoon Center until Sept. 12 vs. Newbury.

Rivier’s Hayden Barbosa picked up his first win as a college head coach this past weekend. After the Raiders lost a tough 1-0 game at Umaine-Farmington in their opener, they topped Wheelock 3-2 on senior Ben Noelk’s overtime goal in Boston in Sunday’s soaking rain.

In the two games, Riv sophomore goalie Collin Deyarmin has a combined 13 saves.

The Raiders were 1-1 going into Tuesday night’s game at Trinity College. They don’t open up at home at Raider Field until Sunday vs. Clark University at 6 p.m. Their first GNAC game is Sept. 16 at home vs. Emmanuel.

Here’s a look at some locals starting the fall season at their respective schools:

Kashka Gammon

Senior midfielder Kashka Gammon of Nashua picked up right where she left off last season for the Simmons College (Boston) women’s soccer team. In the second game of this season, a 9-0 win over Newbury,she matched her career high with six points, scoring two goals and added a pair of assists.Gammon, a Hollis Brookline High School alum, made the Great Northeast Athletic Conference’s First Team last year with 21 points (seven goals, seven assists) in 19 games for the Sharks. Her assist total last year was the sixth most in school history.

Willis Griffith

University of New Hampshire men’s soccer graduate student Willis Griffith of Amherst got credit with a goal that deflected off a Boston College defender in the Wildcats’ big 2-0 upset win over the 22ndranked Eagles last week. That helped UNH off to an impressive 3-0 start.

Greg Stanton

Former Nashua North back Greg Stanton (6-1, 225) appeared in his first game this past weekend for Worcester Polytechnic Institute as a sophomore fullback. WPI bulldozed Anna Maria, 48-0.

Hannah Modelski, Megan Olson

Hollis Brookline alums Hannah Modelski and Megan Olson are playing on the WPI women’s soccer team this fall. Modelski, a junior forward, has started two games this season. She went into the year with a career scoring of two goals, one assist. Olson, meanwhile, is a sophomore back-midfielder after playing in five games as a freshman last season.

Kaitlyn Hess

Milford’s Kaitlyn Hess is a freshman on the WPI field hockey team this fall and had one of the squad’s two goals in its season opening 5-2 loss to Salvae Regina. Hess came to WPI after a stint at the Tilton School.

bby French

St. Michael’s (Vermont) sophomore Abby French (Nashua, N.H./Academy of Notre Dame) turned in her fourth top-10 finish in seven career starts, taking eighth in 19:53 on the 5K course at St.Anslem College in the recent Shacklette Invitational.

Philip Demers

Umass Lowell freshman Phil Demers of Hudson ran well in the recent America East Pre Confereence Meet in St. Albans, Vt.

Amanda Wetmore, Kate Amrein

Hudson’s Amanda Wetmore and Nashua’s Kate Amrein helped pace WPI in tough 3-2 losses to Worcester State and Gordon College in the recent Worcester City Volleyball tournament. Amrein was second in kills in the loss to WSU and Wetmore had 13 digs in the Gordon match.

Marisa Coronis, Joanne Coffey

Marisa Coronis of Hudson paced Southern New Hampshire University with 32 kills in a recent volleyball split with Caldwell University and Mercy College at Bentley University’s Hoffman Memorial Invitation. Coronis, a senior, got her kills on .386 hitting, along with a two-match total of 21 digs. Coffey, a sophomore from Merrimack, had two service aces to close out a 3-0 sweep of Mercy.

Danielle Ross

Hudson’s Danielle Ross had an insurance goal in New Hampshire Technical Institute’s recent 2-0 win over Unity College in Concord. Ross’s tally came in the 73rd minute.

Maddy Anctil

Amherst’s Maddy Anctil ran a 31:47 to help Southern New Hampshire University women’s cross country team record a top 20 finish in the Temple University Invitational last week. Anctil is a freshman on the Penmen squad.