This week, the Vineyarders were scheduled to host games against Nantucket and then Abington high schools. Unfortunately, the co-ed matchup with the rival Whalers on Saturday was canceled due to weather concerns, making the Monday game against the Green Wave their marquee matchup of the week. Although Abington presented a much less anticipated opponent, the game did not disappoint in terms of entertainment value.
The Vineyarders got the crowd involved quickly when senior center Matheus Rodrigues won the tip-off, and junior forward Josh Lake sank an open three. Then Rodrigues had two awe-inspiring blocks, the latter controversially called a foul. But what really made the game interesting was how unexpectedly streaky, and nerve-wracking, the game proceeded to be. After giving up the Lake three-pointer, the Green Wave’s aggressive and annoying press kept the Vineyarders on their toes and off the scoreboard for the next six minutes, and they abruptly conceded a 14-6 run to end the quarter.
For the first time all season, the Vineyarders didn’t look dominant in front of their home crowd. Prior to Monday, the Vineyarders had been 4-0 at home, outscoring their opponents by an average of 26 points per game. When the second quarter kicked off in similar fashion, some of the Vineyarders looked a little fazed, but Rodrigues took over. Tapping into his aggressive side, he quickly earned himself a couple and-one plays down low, regalvanizing both his teammates and the crowd. In the third quarter, Lake followed suit, hitting three threes to accompany another Rodrigues and-one, and the Vineyarders built themselves a comfortable 45-31 lead going into the fourth.
But when the Vineyarders least expected it, their offense went cold, and Abington’s got hot. Riding on the back of freshman Tyler Staiti’s incredible performance from deep (five second-half three-pointers, including three in the fourth quarter), the Green Wave quickly made their way back into the game, bringing it to 45-43 in the blink of an eye. At risk of losing their four-game winning streak, the Vineyarders settled in and slowed the game down, yet Abington still managed to tie it at 53-53 on a pull-up jumper with 19.5 seconds to go. Finally, on their final possession of the game, the Vineyarders missed a three, effectively sending the game into OT … when suddenly junior Nate Story stole the ball and quickly banked it in, winning it for MVRHS.
Speaking with Coach Mike Joyce after the game, it was evident that he saw the game as a testament to the importance of effort and preparation. “We couldn’t make shots early … but our activity level and effort increased as the game went on,” he stated. As for the Green Wave’s fourth-quarter comeback, he explained that part of their game plan was to keep an eye on Staiti, “but we let him run free in the fourth.” The Vineyarders’ next games will be this weekend against Cape Cod Academy away, and Nantucket at home. According to Coach Joyce, the Whalers have had some impressive wins, but also some suspect losses. “It should be fun,” he said. The Vineyarders are currently 9-1 overall, and riding a five-game winning streak.
Girls’ hockey finishes their toughest week 2-1
This past week, the Vineyarders traveled to Norwell to play the Clippers on Wednesday, who were seeded No. 9 in Massachusetts’ Division II rankings. Then, on short rest, they hosted the annual Nan Rheault tournament at the Martha’s Vineyard Ice Arena, welcoming Old Rochester Regional, Scituate, and most important, St. Mary’s of Lynn, ranked No. 1 in all of Division I.
To start their week, the Vineyarders had a statement 4-1 win over Norwell. In the first period, freshman Emily Coogan converted right before the intermission, after a series of shots and ricochets near the Norwell goal. In the second period, Norwell tied it while the Vineyarders, who committed two penalties in the second period alone, were in the penalty box. But with just a couple minutes left before the break, Coogan scored again off an awesome pass from senior Alana Nevin, who received the puck in the middle of the ice and skated a semicircle around the Norwell defense, before sending it to Coogan under pressure from behind the net. Coogan would go on to complete her natural hat trick, and Nevin would put it in the books on a breakaway in the third.
Next, the Vineyarders drew St. Mary’s of Lynn in the first round of the Nan Rheault tournament. The Vineyarders were defending champs, however the Spartans were no joke, and wound up winning 6-2. Coach Geoghan Coogan stated, “We knew that was going to be a tough test for us, but also wanted that game to see where we are at this point in the season.” In the first couple of periods, St. Mary’s definitely looked nervous at times, and Nevin scored toward the end of the second period to make it 2-1 SMH. But over the course of the game, the Spartans consistently found ways to get open on offense, ultimately overwhelming the Vineyarders, despite a magnificent performance in goal by senior Nellie Long. After the game, various St. Mary’s parents mentioned that MVRHS proved to be their toughest opponent all year, and Coach Coogan stated, “It was a great game for us to build off of.”
Finally, the Vineyarders played Old Rochester Regional in the match for third place. MVRHS happened to have their home opener against the Bulldogs, winning it 4-2. This time around, the Vineyarders won by four: 6-2. Freshman Elle Mone earned Player of the Game with one goal and three assists, while six total Vineyarders found the back of the net. Coach Coogan also had lots of praise for his defense, including sophomore Audrey Heidt, freshman Jane Coogan, senior Julia Murray, and juniors Maia Donnelly, Marin Gillis, and Violet MacPhail: “Rock-solid group.”
MVRHS’ record is now 6-3-2 on the season. The Vineyarders’ next game will be a rematch against Sandwich at home on Saturday, Jan. 21.
Boys’ hockey extends winning streak to seven games
The Vineyarders defeated Monomoy at home and Bourne away to extend their winning streak to seven games this week. Against Monomoy on Wednesday, Jan. 11, six different Vineyarders scored goals in the 8-1 rout over the Sharks, including a hat trick for junior Liam Conley, who earned the West Tisbury Fire Department Helmet Award for Player of the Game. Sophomore Cal D’Arcy and freshman Griff Callahan scored their first career goals for MVRHS, while sophomore Westley Wlodyka got some valuable playing time in net.
Against Bourne, the Vineyarders improved to 7-3 with their 5-1 victory over the Canalmen. Once again, the Vineyarders had a very balanced attack, with five different players scoring goals (senior captain Nick BenDavid, sophomore Frankie Paciello, junior Liam Conley, senior Richie Combra, and sophomore Hunter Johnson). Meanwhile, sophomore Robby Pacheco won the game’s Helmet Award for his “on fire” defending. On MVRHS’ continued success, Coach Matt Mincone stated, “The synergy among the team is their biggest strength, which has been on display … The team has been supporting one another in all four zones, defensive, neutral, and offensive zone; the fourth zone is off-ice.”
The Vineyarders’ next game will be Wednesday, Jan. 18, at 4:15 versus Dennis-Yarmouth at home. The game will be an interesting litmus test for the Vineyarders, considering Dennis-Yarmouth was the last team to hand them a loss, 32 days ago.
Girls’ basketball continues to improve
On Monday, Jan. 16, the Vineyarders hosted the Abington Green Wave for their only game of the week. MVRHS was also scheduled to play Nantucket away on Saturday, but the game was postponed to this upcoming weekend because of weather concerns. Senior captain Maria Andrade starred for the Vineyarders, putting up eight points, 11 rebounds, six assists, and two steals. The Vineyarders’ pair of talented guards, Piper Blau and Delilah Oliver, also performed well, putting up seven points each, and seven assists between the two of them.
Bridging the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second, the Vineyarders went on a 17-12 run, but ultimately Abington pulled away in the third, winning 62-41. Despite the loss, however, MVRHS looked really composed and focused throughout the game. Coach Melissa Braillard agreed that her team has improved so much, and is looking forward to the rest of the season. The Vineyarders have four games this week: Wednesday against St. John Paul II away, Friday against Cape Cod Academy at home, Saturday against Nantucket away, and finally next Tuesday against Monomoy at home.
Indoor track athletes breaking school records
Over the past couple of weeks, the Vineyarders have left their names in the indoor track record books. Starting with the fourth Cape and Islands League meet at Wheaton College on Jan. 10, senior Eloise Christy and sophomore Camille Brand swept the top two placements in the girls’ high jump, tying the school record (5 feet, 2 inches) in the process. Furthermore, they earned themselves spots in the New Balance Indoor Nationals, held at their facilities in Boston in March. At the same meet in Wheaton, sophomore Madison Mello set the school record for the 4kg shot put (33 feet, 0.75 inches), claiming first out of 24 total participants.
Then the Vineyarders traveled to the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Roxbury last weekend for the MSTCA Northeast Invitational. Featuring 4,000 athletes from dozens of schools, the Vineyarders had an exciting day ahead of them, and managed to break another school record. In the boys’ 1,000m race, senior Daniel da Silva finished in 2:37.64 (sixth out of 174 participants), breaking the record of his former teammate, Jonathan Norton, along the way.
Meanwhile, Mello (32 feet, 5 inches) impressively finished 15th out of 174 participants, and the girls’ 4x200m relay team (Christy, Brand, junior Caroline Bettencourt, senior Shantavia Whylly) placed ninth out of 30 teams. They placed first in Wheaton on the 10th.
Reflecting on the character of his tight-knit squad, Coach Joe Schroeder only had positive things to say about them. “I really like their enthusiasm … they always cheer each other on,” he stated. Moving forward, MVRHS have the MSTCA Division 5 Relays on Jan. 21, and the Cape and Islands League Championships on Feb. 5.
Swim team upsets Sandwich
This week, the Vineyarders raced in dual meets against Sandwich and Nauset, both off-Island. Against the Knights, the girls were outnumbered three-to-one, but the boys had a one-to-one contest, and managed their first win over their rivals in school history. The first big event was the 200-yard medley relay, in which a young boys’ crew (seventh grader Michael Calheta, freshman Grady Stalgren, freshman Jacoby Harris, and junior Emmett Silva) stepped up to place first. Next, the Vineyarders crushed the 50-yard freestyle, with Nathan Cuthbert (24.55), Kaua De Assis (24.93), and Emmett Silva (26.33) taking first, second, and third place respectively. Finally, in the final event of the day, the dogged 400 freestyle relay team (Kaua DeAssis, Nathan Cuthbert, Andy Carr, and Christian Flanders) bore down for first place (4:01.09) and secured the 69-59 win over Sandwich. On the girls’ side, the Vineyarders swam a plethora of personal bests. Freshman Nora Motahari PRed in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle; freshman Leah Debettencourt PRed in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke; and seventh grader Nora Duncheva PRed in the 50 freestyle.
Against Nauset, Debettencourt and Nora set personal records in the 50-yard freestyle, which they would later break at Sandwich. On the boys’ side, Christian Flanders qualified for both sectionals and states with his 50-yard freestyle performance (23.51). Meanwhile, Kaua DeAssis and Emmett Silva claimed the top two spots in the 100-yard freestyle, with Silva setting a personal record along the way. The Vineyarders’ next meet will be this Saturday against Nantucket at home, which was scheduled for last Saturday, but canceled due to weather concerns.