After winning a close first round game over No. 8 Bishop Stang, No. 1 Old Rochester Regional made noticeable improvements and cruised past No. 4 Dedham, 34-14 in the MIAA Division 6 South Sectional Semi-Finals.
A big part of the Bulldogs’ offensive jolt was Will Garciareturning to the field. After suffering an ankle injury in week 3 of the season, the senior running back was sidelined. He wasn’t exactly back to his old self, only logging nine carries after being cleared to play on Monday, but he did score one touchdown on a 27-yard run.
“It feels great to finally be back and play for my team and do something,” he said. “It really sucks standing on the side and not being able to do anything. I’m really glad to be back.”
Garcia and the rest of the offense also took care of ORR head coach Justin Kogler’s greatest concern coming out of the win over Stang: ball security. After turning the ball over four times against the Spartans, the Bulldogs never surrendered a takeaway, while logging three of their own on defense.
“The last two weeks we’ve been horrible with the turnovers,” Kogler said. “All week long we worked on it and stressed it and we have to continue to work on it and stress it. If we don’t turn the ball over, we’re a tough team to beat. We make it easy on people when we turn the ball over.”
The Bulldogs (9-0) will host No. 2 Ashland (8-1) on Saturday at 7:00 pm. Ashland won its opening round matchup with No. 6 Norwell, 25-16, and followed that up with a 19-14 win over No. 3 Medway.
No. 5 ORR (14-8) volleyball saw its season come to an end in a 3-1 loss to No. 4 Apponequet (16-6) in the quarterfinals of the MIAA Division 2 South tournament.
After losing the first set 25-15, the Bulldogs came back in the second set to win 25-19. ORR took control of the next set, but could not maintain its grasp to the finish, losing 25-22. The Bulldogs then scuffled out of the gate in the fourth set. Although they made a small comeback, Apponequet held on to its lead, winning 25-19 to secure the match.
South Coast Conference All-Star Natalia Wierzbickiwas strong at the net for the Bulldogs, leading the team with 21 kills and four blocks. Fellow SCC All-Star Delaney Soucywas strong in defense for ORR, finishing with 26 digs. ORR setter Michelina Ditata was consistent throughout, logging 31 assists.
This was the final game as a Bulldog for Samantha Nicolosi, Delaney Soucy, Natalia Wierzbicki, Lea Bourgeois, Ashley Soares, Maya Doonan, and Jennifer Durocher.
“Every single one of those kids played a huge role on this team at one point in this season or another,” Jimmy Oliveira said. “They’re 100 percent going to be missed. They’re the first class I had for four years. A lot of them I had as freshmen and sophomores on junior varsity. I took over varsity when they were juniors. That connection is definitely going to be missed. But I think they left their mark on the program; there have been several records set. I’m proud of them.”
After cruising past Atlantis Charter 42-8 in a non-playoff matchup, Old Colony football is set to visit Fairhaven on Friday at 6:00 pm. This is a significant opportunity for the Cougars (5-4), who are looking to show the neighboring towns with larger schools that they’re capable of competing with everyone.
Tabor Academy field hockey improved to 12-4 on the year following a 4-1 win over St. Mark’s school on Friday. The victory extended the Seawolves’ winning streak to six games.
Olivia O’Brien, Ashley Clark, and Skylar Irvingeach scored a goal for Tabor in the win.
Cat Barrycontinues to add to her Tabor Academy girls soccer scoring record, finishing with a hat trick in the 5-4 nail biter win over St. Mark’s on Friday. Tali O’Learyand Lily Glanceeach scored a goal for the Seawolves (11-1-2), as well. Jaydah Bedoyaplayed facilitator in Tabor’s win, logging two assists.
High School Sports Update
By Nick Friar