Wednesday, March 03, 2021


H-K Girls’ Volleyball Puts Bow on 10-0 Regular Season


Senior captain Addy Duquette and the Cougars finished the regular season by claiming recent victories over Morgan and North Branford. File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source

Senior captain Addy Duquette and the Cougars finished the regular season by claiming recent victories over Morgan and North Branford. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source | Buy This Photo)

After advancing to the Class M State Tournament semifinals last year, the Haddam-Killingworth girls’ volleyball team wanted to have another big season during the fall of 2020. Mission accomplished.

H-K recently wrapped up its regular season by winning its last two matches for a perfect record of 10-0 on the year. The Cougars’ success is even more impressive considering the fact that Head Coach Robin Callender’s squad has played all of its matches on the road due to construction at H-K’s home site at the Patsy Kamercia Field House.

“We’re having a really good year,” Coach Callender said. “The girls, first and foremost, are really happy that they are able to play. We wish it could have been a full season, but we are thankful for what we have been given. One of our goals this year was to be undefeated, and we have accomplished that so far. Our other goal was to make it to the finals of our Conference Tournament, and we are hopeful to get there as well.”

Senior captains Meghan Doxsee, Addy Duquette, and Lizzy Celano are leading the way for H-K on the court this fall. Doxsee, who primarily serves as the Cougars’ setter, is having a career year by averaging nearly 6.7 assists per set, upping that number by one assist per set from last year. Doxsee finished the regular season with 235 assists to go with 39 digs, 25 aces, and 38 kills.

Duquette is the libero for H-K and has the second-most digs on the team with 50. Duquette is only behind sophomore Lola Chagnon, who has 67 digs this season.

Coach Callendar called Celano is the heart and soul of her squad. Callender said that Celano often provides H-K with a spark off the bench whenever the Cougars need a rally.

“All three of these girls are so important to the team and the success that we’ve had this year,” said Callender, who has been coaching at H-K for six years. “Meghan has been doing club volleyball since 8th grade, and she’s just an incredible player. I believe she’s one of the smartest players in our conference. She doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, and she lets things roll off her shoulders very easily. Lizzy and Addy are right there with Meghan in terms of being great leaders. I am really happy that they were able to have a final season together, and I’m hoping we end it on a high note.”

H-K played two matches to conclude its regular season last week and won both of them decisively. On Nov. 3, the Cougars defeated Morgan by the final score of 3-1, taking the match with set scores of 25-10, 22-25, 25-18 and 25-10. Junior Jess Timothy recorded 15 kills for H-K, and senior Caitlyn Esposito contributed 10 kills with six aces in the victory. Doxsee and Chagnon combined for 21 of H-K’s 40 total digs with Doxsee also dishing out 32 of the team’s 33 assists.

“Morgan is a tough team to play. They held their own, but our girls have been so strong this year throughout every game, and we’ve been tested in every capacity,” Callender said. “Our toughest game came just a game before Morgan when we played Valley Regional. They are a very senior heavy team, but we managed a 3-2 win over them. Winning that game was important, because it let all of us know that we are capable of beating any team.”

In its final match of the regular season, H-K swept North Branford by a 3-0 (25-17, 28-26, 25-10) score on Nov. 5. Doxsee had 19 assists to go with nine service points and six kills, while Timothy posted eight service points and nine kills in the win. Sophomores Audra Yazmer and Peyton Yazmer combined for four kills, five service points, and three aces for Coach Callender’s club.

Callender said that she’s proud of her team for overcoming multiple obstacles on its way to another successful season in 2020.

“Obviously, this season has been very difficult with COVID-19, but on top of that, our field house is being renovated. We have to travel to the middle school for practices, and every single match we’ve played has been an away contest,” said Callender. “These seniors have handled everything so well. It’s amazing to see them handle adversity like adults.”

The Shoreline Conference is hosting a postseason tournament in which every team in the league will compete this week. With its record of 10-0, H-K has earned the No. 1 seed and has a bye through the first round. The Cougars were scheduled to play a semifinal match on Nov. 9 (after press time). The semifinals were slated to take place on Nov. 11 (after press time) with the championship on Friday, Nov. 13.

“We have shown what we are capable of,” Callender said. “We are a talented team, and I really think that we can win the conference. It would be the perfect way for these seniors to end their great careers.”

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