Div. 5 volleyball: Frontier sweeps Mt. Greylock to take home 11th state championship (PHOTOS)

  • Frontier celebrates after scoring the final point against Mt. Greylock to win the MIAA Div. 5 state championship 3-0 Saturday at Worcester State University. From left are Caroline Deane (11), Brooke Davis (10), Samantha Baker (14), Eve Dougan (4), Sydney Scanlon (2) and Gabby Adams (5). STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Eve Dougan jumps up for the game winning kill against Mt. Greylock to win the MIAA Div. 5 state championship 3-0 Saturday at Worcester State University. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier players storm the court after scoring the final point against Mt. Greylock to win the MIAA Div. 5 state championship 3-0 Saturday at Worcester State University. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier players huddle in celebration after receiving the MIAA Div. 5 state championship trophy on Saturday at Worcester State University. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier poses for a team photo with the MIAA Div. 5 state championship trophy on Saturday at Worcester State University. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier celebrates after scoring the final point against Mt. Greylock to win the MIAA Div. 5 state championship 3-0 Saturday at Worcester State University. From left are Caroline Deane (11), Brooke Davis (10), Samantha Baker (14), Eve Dougan (4), Sydney Scanlon (2) and Gabby Adams (5). STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier players celebrate after defeating Mt. Greylock 3-0 to win the MIAA Div. 5 state championship Saturday at Worcester State University. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier players celebrate after defeating Mt. Greylock 3-0 to win the MIAA Div. 5 state championship Saturday at Worcester State University. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier players receive their MIAA Div. 5 state championship medals after defeating Mt. Greylock 3-0 on Saturday at Worcester State University. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Jillian Apanell serves an ace against Mt. Greylock in the third set of the MIAA Div. 5 state championship Saturday at Worcester State University. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Jillian Apanell serves an ace against Mt. Greylock in the third set of the MIAA Div. 5 state championship Saturday at Worcester State University. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier players celebrate an ace by Jillian Apanell against Mt. Greylock in the third set of the MIAA Div. 5 state championship Saturday at Worcester State University. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Samantha Baker hits at the net against Mt. Greylock in the third set of the MIAA Div. 5 state championship Saturday at Worcester State University. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Sydney Scanlon serves against Mt. Greylock in the third set of the MIAA Div. 5 state championship Saturday at Worcester State University. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Samantha Baker serves against Mt. Greylock in the third set of the MIAA Div. 5 state championship Saturday at Worcester State University. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Eve Dougan lunges for the ball against Mt. Greylock in the third set of the MIAA Div. 5 state championship Saturday at Worcester State University. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Samantha Baker hits against Mt. Greylock in the third set of the MIAA Div. 5 state championship Saturday at Worcester State University. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Caroline Deane hits against Mt. Greylock in the third set of the MIAA Div. 5 state championship Saturday at Worcester State University. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Samantha Baker hits at the net against Mt. Greylock in the second set of the MIAA Div. 5 state championship Saturday at Worcester State University. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Caroline Deane (11) hits against Mt. Greylock in the second set of the MIAA Div. 5 state championship Saturday at Worcester State University. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Caroline Deane hits against Mt. Greylock in the third set of the MIAA Div. 5 state championship Saturday at Worcester State University. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Samantha Baker lunges to save a pass against Mt. Greylock in the first set of the MIAA Div. 5 state championship Saturday at Worcester State University. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Gabby Adams (5) tips the ball against Mt. Greylock in the third set of the MIAA Div. 5 state championship Saturday at Worcester State University. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Caroline Deane hits against Mt. Greylock in the first set of the MIAA Div. 5 state championship Saturday at Worcester State University. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Brooke Davis serves against Mt. Greylock in the first set of the MIAA Div. 5 state championship Saturday at Worcester State University. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Eve Dougan hits against Mt. Greylock in the first set of the MIAA Div. 5 state championship Saturday at Worcester State University. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • The Frontier girls volleyball team lines up prior to the MIAA Div. 5 state championship match against Mt. Greylock on Saturday at Worcester State University. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Sydney Scanlon sets the ball against during the MIAA Div. 5 championship Saturday at Worcester State. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 11/19/2022 11:00:03 PM

WORCESTER — The Frontier volleyball team wasn’t going to be denied this fall. 

The Redhawks entered the MIAA Division 5 state tournament as the No. 1 seed and played like it throughout, facing its toughest challenge in the semifinals where it fought back to earn a victory over Paulo Freire — the team that beat them in the Div. 5 finals a season ago — to secure a spot in Saturday’s championship match against No. 3 Mt. Greylock. 

If there were any worries Frontier would have a hangover from the win over the Panthers, those fears were quickly dispelled. The Redhawks raced out to a 17-3 lead in the opening set of the finals against the Mounties and cruised to a win.

Frontier battled to win the second set and made a late run to secure the third to take home the state championship with a 3-0 sweep over Greylock at Worcester State University.

“This feels so good,” Redhawks senior Sydney Scanlon said. “We’ve been working so hard since the end of last season to get to where we are now. I’m so proud of all of us.” 

The win marked the 11th state championship in program history, the second most for any program in the state. It’s the first title for Frontier since 2019.  

“It never gets old,” Frontier coach Sean MacDonald said. “It’s a new group of kids every year. It’s exciting for them and exciting for me to see their growth and play in this game against a good team. I’m very proud of them and the growth we had this year.” 

The Redhawks stormed out of the gate. Eve Dougan put down a kill and Brooke Davis smashed an ace and a few Mountie mistakes later, Frontier held an 8-2 lead. Scanlon then went in the service station where Frontier ripped off nine straight points behind three kills from Caroline Deane helped them take a commanding 17-3 lead. 

“We did a really good job coming out not nervous and starting strong,” Scanlon said. “That’s something we struggled with at the beginning of the season but got a lot better at.” 

Greylock settled in after that but the damage was already done, with Frontier earning a 25-13 win to take a 1-0 lead. While it was an ideal start for the Redhawks, MacDonald said he knew it wasn’t going to be that easy moving forward.

“You knew that wasn’t real,” MacDonald said. “The score is real but you know the other team is better than that. They made a lot of mistakes in the first set and you knew they were going to come back to their average, which they did. We knew it was going to be closer in the ensuing sets.” 

Closer it was. The Mounties looked like a different team in the second set, with Talia Kapiloff smashing an ace to put Greylock ahead 9-8 – its first lead of the match. 

It was tight throughout the entire second frame before Frontier turned it on late, with Jillian Apanell and Sam Baker each tallying a key ace to keep the Redhawks lead at two. Greylock eventually missed a hit to give Frontier a 25-22 set win to take a 2-0 lead. 

The Mounties were playing better, but errors by the Redhawks cost them in the set in keeping it close. 

“They started playing better and we started making mistakes,” MacDonald said. “It was like a wind storm in here. You touched the ball and it flew out 10 feet. There was a lot of wind movement in here.”

Like in the second, Greylock played its best early in the third set with its back against the wall. The Mounties ran out to a 9-5 lead, but that was the final time Frontier didn’t hold an advantage. 

Dougan and Baker crushed back-to-back kills before Apanell served three straight aces, giving the Redhawks a 10-9 lead. It was all Frontier from that point on, as Dougan closed out the set with consecutive kills, giving the Redhawks a 25-19 victory.

“We feel great about how this ended,” Apanell said. “There’s a lot of pressure to not mess up the 17 straight Western Mass. championships in a row. Sometimes we feel like nobody takes us seriously at school because they think we just win states every year. We have to work hard to get here every year. People don’t appreciate that as much.” 

Dougan led the way with 11 kills in the win. Deane smashed nine kills while Apanell, Baker and Kate DeMaio each tallied two kills. It was a diverse attack for the Redhawks, with Scanlon dishing out 18 assists. 

“There was a little pressure, but we knew we had to be us and we’d be able to do it,” Scanlon said. “If I could get the ball to my hitters I knew they could put it down and I knew the passes would be good. We just did what we had to do like always.” 


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