Girls’ hockey with historic win over Barnstable
The Vineyarders had only one game this past week, but they made it a special one, beating Barnstable for the first time in school history. Their 3-2 overtime win in Barnstable territory was just as close as their home loss (3-2) to the Red Hawks back on Jan. 7, which made their victory last Wednesday that much sweeter.
In a back-and-forth battle, the Vineyarders’ win initially came down to fundamentals. Coach Geoghan Coogan has been encouraging his forwards to be a presence around the net, and take as many shots as possible, which they followed to a T.
First, freshman Elle Mone tucked in a rebound after a coordinated attack from senior captain Alana Nevin and freshman center Emily Coogan. Then freshman Esme Colon got her second goal in two games, quickly shooting in the puck after a successful face-off by junior captain Olive MacPhail. Meanwhile, on the other end, senior goalkeeper Nellie Long was a major presence in net. Long had 31 saves, earning herself the Big Hat for Player of the Game. “Nellie was immense … she’s carried the load the entire season,” said Coach Coogan.
In overtime, the Vineyarders had to throw out the playbook and go for gold. In a three-on-three (both teams had a penalty during the overtime four-on-four), junior defenseman Maia Donnelly did it herself, starting from behind the blue line and skating around two Barnstable defenders, finally burying a shot past their star goalkeeper. Donnelly was promptly mobbed on the ice by her teammates.
“Boy, that feels good!” the Island’s Joe Mikos exclaimed from the commentator’s booth.
With this victory, the Vineyarders are one more win away from qualifying for the MIAA state tournament for the first time since 2013. They have three opportunities to clinch the berth this upcoming week, with games in Falmouth on Wednesday at 5, Nantucket at home on Saturday at noon, and Sunday at home against Boston Latin at 2.
“Huge game at Falmouth for us,” said Coach Coogan. “We’ve had our eye on that game since they tied us up [back in December].”
Indoor track team excels at the Cape & Islands Championships
On Sunday, Feb. 5, the Vineyarders traveled to Roxbury’s Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center to cap off their regular season at the League Championships. With an incredible all-around team performance, the Vineyarders achieved 11 personal records, a school record, a qualification for Nationals, and seven medal (top three) finishes. Coach Joe Schroeder summed it up by saying, “The kids have really high standards … and our goals were hit.”
The key events for the Vineyarders were the boys’ 1,000m run, the boys’ 4x800m relay, the girls’ high jump, and the girls’ 4x200m relay.
In the 1,000m run, senior Daniel da Silva tied his school record (2:36.3) with a first-place finish, and Daniel Serpa finished right behind him (2:36.9), good for a personal record and an appearance at the New Balance Indoor Nationals alongside Da Silva, who qualified last week. Sophomore Rodeo Purves-Langer also took fifth (2:58.6; personal record) in the event. In the 4x800m relay, these three teamed up with sophomore Broden Vincent to win first (9:10.6).
In the girls’ high jump, sophomore Camille Brand and senior Eloise Christy triumphed, something they’ve done all season. Brand (5 feet, 0 inches) took home the gold, and Christy (4 feet, 8 inches) took home the bronze. These two qualified to compete in the high jump at the New Balance Indoor Nationals back in early January. In the 4x200m, they teamed up with junior Caroline Bettencourt and senior Shantavia Whylly to come in third, with a time of 1:57.55. Finally, in the girls’ 4kg shot put, sophomore Madison Mello (31 feet, 5 inches) snagged second overall, and in the two-mile run, Adrienne Christy (11:45.6; season record) received silver as well.
With their regular season all wrapped up, the Vineyarders’ postseason will begin with the MIAA Division V Championships on the 16th. For the boys, Daniel and Daniel have qualified for the 600m and 1,000m races. Da Silva will also be participating in the one-mile race. For the girls, the Vineyarders’ high jumpers and 4x200m relay team have qualified to compete, as have Mello (shot put) and Adrienne Christy (1,000m, one-mile, two-mile). In addition to the high jump and 4x200m relay, Christy’s twin sister Eloise will also be racing in the 300m dash. If any of the Vineyarders do exceptionally well, they could move on to the MIAA’s Meet of Champions later on in February, or even the New Balance Nationals in March.
Boys’ hockey falls to Nantucket at home
On the evening of Saturday, Feb. 4, the Vineyarders hosted the Whalers for a rematch of their 3-2 overtime victory in early January.
With the Martha’s Vineyard Ice Arena packed to the brim, the Vineyarders had an opportunity to sweep the season series in front of their home crowd. Unfortunately, the Whalers were out for revenge, and won 5-0.
On offense, the Vineyarders couldn’t get into a rhythm, and on defense, they weren’t poised. In a game where nothing seemed to be going the Vineyarders’ way, even the scoreboard started to malfunction. “It wasn’t what Nantucket did, it was what we didn’t do,” Coach Matt Mincone said after the game. “[It was] a decent effort, but [with] a lack of synergy.”
On the bright side, the Vineyarders still boast an 11-4 record, and have demonstrated the confidence and wherewithal to shake off the loss. “Practice on Monday was upbeat, and the ‘compete dial’ was turned back up,” Coach Mincone said.
Moving forward, the Vineyarders have another tough match ahead of them in Nauset (No. 4 in Division III) away on Saturday, Feb. 11. Later this month, they will host Nauset, as well as the Lynnfield Pioneers (No. 1 in Division III) and a couple of other teams to finish out their season. “Back to the basics, knowing every game is tougher now opponent-wise; all part of the buildup to the state tournament,” Mincone said.
Boys’ basketball has its senior day, extends winning streak
This past week, the Vineyarders rattled off three more wins in the span of four days, beating Monomoy both at home and away, as well as Dennis-Yarmouth at home.
Starting with their Senior Day on Feb. 4, the Vineyarders had an exciting win over the Sharks, 65-54. Led by sophomore Jackson Rocco, Monomoy kept it close through the first two quarters, but the Vineyarders pulled away in the third. Senior center Matheus Rodrigues finished with a monster double-double (25 points, 15 rebounds), while senior guard Kaio DaSilva and junior guard Nate Story complemented the scoring with some exciting threes from deep. It was probably junior Josh Lake who wooed the crowd the most, however, with his plethora of unbelievable dimes. Lake was finding guys through the narrowest of spaces, hitting no-lookers, and being as unpredictable as possible.
On the 6th and 7th, the Vineyarders had two dominant wins over the Dolphins (60-42) and the Sharks (74-25) to extend their winning streak to 12 games.
Against Dennis-Yarmouth, Rodrigues had another big double-double, with 21 points and 15 boards, and senior guard Ryan Koster tacked on 15 points of his own. Against Monomoy, the Vineyarders took a 50-12 first-half lead, and Lake finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds. When asked about their 16-1 record, Coach Mike Joyce nodded to the culture the seniors have created. “A lot of our success is due to the seniors getting along, competing at practice, and their camaraderie … Their leadership has brought the team together,” he said.
The Vineyarders will finish their regular season with an away game versus Abington on Monday, and a four-team tournament at Apponequet High School on Feb. 22. If the Vineyarders continue to roll, they could host one or even two home games to kick off the postseason bracket.
Girls’ basketball staying busy off-Island
With a five-day break starting Jan. 31, the Vineyarders only had one game this past week, against Dennis-Yarmouth away on Monday, Feb. 6. The Vineyarders started off great against their experienced league rivals, even taking the lead in the second quarter. Unfortunately, though, the 10-3 Dolphins got hot in the second half and pulled away, handing the Vineyarders a 47-24 loss.
“They played a really tough game, showing resilience and perseverance,” Coach Melissa Braillard stated. Senior captain Josie Welch led the scoring with 11 points, while fellow co-captains Maria Andrade and C.J. Walsh combined for a bunch of blocks and rebounds down low.
Moving forward, the Vineyarders will finish out their season with six games in 12 days. Beginning with the Dennis-Yarmouth game, the Vineyarders play four away games (Sturgis West, Bourne, Abington, and Monomoy) in a row, before capping off their regular season against St. John Paul II at home, which will also be their Senior Night. With a win over Monomoy, the Vineyarders could clinch a tie for first, or even take sole possession, in the Cape & Islands Lighthouse division.
Reflecting on their season thus far, Coach Braillard praised her team’s ability to work together, regardless of who’s on the floor. “They’ve jelled as a team,” she said. “They’re lucky to be so cohesive and get along. They’ve realized what their roles have been, on and off the ball … I want them to enjoy the next week and a half, and have fun with it.”
MVRHS swimmers tune themselves up for postseason run
On Friday, Feb. 3, the Vineyarders traveled to Sandwich to compete in the Last Chance Meet prior to sectionals next weekend. Originally, the whole team was going to go, but considering the weather would inevitably prolong their stay in Sandwich, Coach Jen Passafiume brought only the six swimmers who were in range of qualifying for more sectionals (and states) events.
On the girls’ side, junior Olympia Hall and sophomore Sylvia Carroll competed in the 50-yard freestyle, with Hall taking second place (27.31 seconds), and Carroll taking fifth (28.39 seconds). Hall also raced in the 100-yard freestyle, placing first (59.68 seconds). Hall’s times didn’t qualify her for states, but she will have another opportunity to do so at sectionals next week, where she has qualified to compete in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle races.
On the boys’ side, senior Christian Flanders, senior Nathan Cuthbert, junior Emmett Silva, and sophomore Kaua DeAssis swam as a pack in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Having already qualified for states (and sectionals) in the 200-yard freestyle relay, the Vineyarders went all-out for the 400. With the extra rest and motivation, the four of them took first place (3:38.39) and beat the threshold to appear at states by three seconds. Furthermore, Flanders’ 100-yard split qualified him for his fourth event at states in the process. He will now be competing in the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle, and the two relays at sectionals (Feb. 12 at the Beverly YMCA) and states (Feb. 19 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
Chess team finishes third in Cape League
The MVRHS chess team wrapped up their season these past couple of weeks with two big wins over Wareham (5-0; 4.5-0.5) on Jan. 31, and a split effort against Sturgis West on Feb. 2 (4.5-0.5; 1-4). Senior Nikola Nikolav, junior Kestutis Biskis, freshman Grady Stalgren, freshman Ronan Kelly, and freshman John Hoff played at tables one through five, respectively. With these three wins, the Vineyarders finished their season 5-2-3, good for third overall in the Cape League.
Looking back on their season, Coach T.J. Reap stated, “It was so much fun — and a privilege working with [this] exceptional group of Vineyarders. They represented our school with class.” This spring, the Vineyarders will lose their top player in Nikolav, as well as fellow seniors Linus Munn and Vivian Peak, but will retain their young, ambitious core.
“[I’m] thankful we return Biskis, sophomore Finn Robinson, and freshmen Stalgren, Kelly, and Hoff,” Reap said. “Plus there are a few other students at school hoping to make the starting lineup next season. This intersquad competition will make everyone better.”
Later this month, the Vineyarders will play a unique exhibition match with Falmouth Academy, taking place during a ferry ride to Woods Hole and back on the 21st.