Media Coverage 2007

Raider teams triumph over Westboro

Seniors' last home game ends in win

SENIORITIS - Seniors on the girls' varsity volleyball team enjoy a special moment pre-game. The girls and their parents were honored on Senior Night, held to celebrate the team's final home game of the season. BHS seniors on the 2007 team are: Amanda Parker, Kara Cullen, Kortney Kelley, Kristi Everson and Casey Eagan.

By Kathleen Szmit

It was a big night for the Barnstable girls' volleyball team on Wednesday, and the junior varsity team got the party started in style defeating Westboro 2-1.Offering the sizeable crowd a solid glimpse of their future promise, the team put forth a tremendous effort against their well-matched counterparts.

Although the girls lost the first match 25-22, they rallied and claimed the next two 25-13 and 25-17, turning out some great volleys and demonstrating skilled play.

Maribeth Martin and Jackie Friel were excellent at the net, while Nicole Horvath is to be commended for an incredible diving dig that cleared the net for a Raider point.

The JV win was simply the beginning of an exciting evening of volleyball at BHS. The thrill-ride continued when the varsity team took the floor and handed Westboro their only loss of the season.

The Raiders dropped the first match 25-22 to their strong opponents, but quickly regrouped to defeat the Rangers 3-1 with scores of 25-18, 25-18 and 25-19.

After falling behind 11-3 in one game, Barnstable refocused with the help of senior setter Amanda Parker, who sent over six straight service points. Parker also saw her name hit the BHS history books when she became the fourth player in Raider history to earn 1,000 assists. Parker added 46 more assists to her tally total during the night.

Kara Cullen led with 23 kills, followed by Stephanie Bristol with 21. Nora Wood and Kortney Kelley combined for 26 digs, while teammates Steph Tuepker and Alison Klotz played well for the Raiders.

The game marked the final home game of the 2007 season. The five seniors on the team were honored as part of Senior Night and were presented with flowers from their parents, who were also honored. The seniors on the 2007 team are Amanda Parker, Kara Cullen, Kortney Kelley, Kristi Everson and Casey Eagan.

The Raiders travel to Medfield tonight for a 5:30 p.m. game.




October 25, 2007

HYANNIS - In the unfamiliar position of underdog, the Barnstable High School volleyball team responded to a first-game defeat with energetic victories in the next three games last night to hand previously unbeaten Westboro a 3-1 defeat.

The scoring went 22-25, 25-18, 25-18 and 25-19.

Amanda Parker, who entered the match as the fourth player in Red Raiders history to tally 1,000 assists, put the deciding game in hand with two phenomenal runs at the service line.

Trailing 11-3, Barnstable (18-1) regained composure when Parker delivered six straight service points. She returned to the line with Barnstable behind by a point, serving seven straight points for the victory.

Parker added 46 more assists to her career total, while Stephanie Bristol had 21 kills, five of which came in that pivotal final run.

Kara Cullen led with 23 kills, and Alison Klotz and Stephanie Tuepker came up big in a number of key moments.

Nora Wood and Kortney Kelley combined on 26 digs.

Barnstable 3, North Quincy 0


October 17, 2007

HYANNIS - The class of the Atlantic Coast League North was no match for the class of the state.

Barnstable swept, 25-5, 25-14, 25-6, behind strong serving.

Alison Klotz (seven service points and three aces in the first game, eight service points and three aces in the second game) and Nora Wood (11 service points in the first game) led the service parade for the Hyannis-based Red Raiders (15-1).

Melanie Appleman recorded eight assists in the second game, which was tied at 11-11.

Stephanie Bristol collected five kills in the first game, and Kara Cullen and Stephanie Tuepker hurt the Granite City's Red Raiders (14-2) with three and two kills, respectively.

Kortney Kelley led the way in the decisive third game with six digs.

Amanda Parker had six assists, and Casey Eagan also played well.


Barnstable 3, B-R 0


October 16, 2007

BRIDGEWATER - The Red Raiders made a strong showing in their tuneup for tonight's home match with rival North Quincy.

Barnstable improved to 14-1 and 6-0 in the Old Colony League with its 25-6, 25-10, 25-10 win over the Trojans.

Junior Alison Klotz led the way with eight aces. Stephanie Tuepker finished with nine kills and Lilly Lowe pitched in with five kills.

Michelle Begley and Maribeth Martin paced the defense with 11 combined digs, and sophomore Melanie Appleman had 12 assists.


Barnstable scores big volleyball win


October 15, 2007

HOLYOKE - Barnstable High volleyball coach Tom Turco couldn't stop talking, he was that excited.

With good reason. The 13-1 Red Raiders rallied for a thrilling 3-2 victory over Burnt Hills High School of Albany, N.Y., yesterday in the Volleyball Hall of Fame Showcase of Champions Invitational in Holyoke.

A quick glance at the scores of the win over the sixth-ranked team in New York state tells a lot of the story: 18-25, 25-9, 23-25, 25-23, 15-6.

But not all.

"That's as good a regular-season win as we've had," said Turco, "given their ranking in New York state and the players they have."

The match may have turned in Game 4 with the score deadlocked at 18. Burnt Hills' Syracuse-bound 6-2 attacker, Erin Little, hit a viciously hard shot that was dug out by Alison Klotz and turned into a kill by senior Kara Cullen.

Cullen, a senior, had 22 kills and was voted Most Outstanding Player in the match.

The match began as if it would be a blowout in favor of Burnt Hills. The Red Raiders fell behind 11-0 before fighting their way back into it. They roared out to a 10-1 Game 2 advantage, with Casey Eagan serving eight points, including three aces, in the run.

After two highly competitive games in 3 and 4, Nora Wood served Barnstable from a 9-4 to 14-4 advantage in the decisive fifth game.

Junior Stephanie Bristol had 14 kills in the Red Raiders great defensive effort that also included Wood, Kristi Everson and Courtney Kelley.

Sophomore Melanie Appleman (18 assists) and senior Amanda Parker (14 assists) also played a key role for the Red Raiders.


Barnstable 3, Attleboro 0


October 11, 2007

HYANNIS - Senior Casey Eagan had 14 service aces and the Red Raiders rebounded from their first loss since 2002 with an Old Colony League sweep of the Bombardiers.

Barnstable (12-1, 7-0 OCL) had won a state-record 110 consecutive matches prior to Saturday's 3-1 loss to the Brentwood School in California. But the Raiders were back in fine form yesterday, beating Attleboro 25-9, 25-6, 25-5.

Kara Cullen had seven kills and Stephanie Tuepker and Stephanie Bristol four apiece to highlight a standout effort.

The Raiders are off until Sunday, when they take on Burnt Hills High (Albany, N.Y.) in a 24-team volleyball invitational at Holyoke Community College.


Barnstable 3, Medway 0



October 02, 2007

MEDWAY - The Red Raiders pushed their record to 10-0 in preparation for this weekend's games in California.

Barnstable topped the Mustangs by scores of 25-10, 25-11 and 25-16.

Kortney Kelley and Nora Wood combined for 22 digs for Barnstable, while Amanda Parker finished with 32 assists.

Kara Cullen had 17 kills and Stephanie Bristol added 12 kills. Both contributed two blocks.

Stephanie Tuepker and Alison Klotz had four digs apiece.

Kristi Everson and Casey Eagan combined for six kills.


And for their next act..

By Don Sherlock

GateHouse News Service

Wed Sep 26, 2007, 02:43 PM EDT


Barnstable -

"Most teams go through rebuilding phases. This team reloads."

Those words from Barnstable High School athletic director Steve Francis aptly describe the dynasty volleyball coach Tom Turco has built at the West Main Street gym in Hyannis.

It seems nothing less than perfection will satisfy Tom Turco, and his players have been nothing but perfect for almost two full years. The last game Turco's Terrors lost was Oct. 27, 2005. The last match they lost was Nov. 13, 2002 in the state semifinals.

So when Barnstable's JV team pumped three serves into the net with the score tied at 15, 17 and 19 in Friday's preliminary against Notre Dame of Hingham, the 53-year-old adaptive physical education teacher of special needs students was not happy.

"Three serves in a row into the net; three serves in a row into the net . knuckleheads!" he muttered, shaking his head in disbelief.

Turco and Barnstable's varsity squad were waiting for their shot at history, and he was not in a patient mood. A fourth serve found the net. "I'm outta here!"

The JV lost that second game, 25-21, but when they scored the first five points of the deciding third game, Turco had reappeared and called for the varsity to prep for its shot at state history.

Turco is methodical. His rotations are done with purpose. He's firm, but fair and his criticisms are done with a calmness not generally associated with coaches these days.

When the team runs onto the court for warmups, they come out revved, jumping right into rolling exercises, in preparation for diving all over the floor after their opponents spikes. Nobody gets a pass. They all do it together, as a team.

Player introductions usually feature a step forward; for Barnstable, the whole team takes a step back to give the individual the spotlight . and they do that as a team as well.

Turco, now in his 20th season and the winningest volleyball coach in state history with a 428-43 record, honors his seniors every year. And at the conclusion of Friday's record-breaking 105th straight win, he took the microphone and named all the seniors in the classes of 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 who were part of that streak.

There was a small scare when the Raiders fell behind 10-6 in the first game against Notre Dame, but five straight points put them ahead and then seven straight making it 21-14 put an end to any fears. After losing the first point of the second game, the well-oiled machine hit its stride behind "Hammer Time" Kara Cullen (14 kills) and solid play by the entire team.

Setter Amanda Parker played a stellar match and has been a part of the streak since 2004. Kortney Kelley strung together seven straight points on serve, including an ace, during the surge that made it 21-9 in the third game. And Turco was still pacing the sideline. Then Stephanie Bristol scored on a touch, Nora Wood had a service winner, Bristol nailed a kill and finally, at 6:25 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, Kristi Everson, Bristol and Stephanie Tuepker went up in the air at the net to block a weak shot and produce a 25-19, 25-6, 25-9 victory for the Barnstable team.

And Tom Turco finally smiled. "I'm glad it's over; it's good for these kids. They had to prevail in a stressful moment," Turco said. "It's awesome."
For the record, the JV won that third game, 25-3. Turco may have to do some extra work on the serving game of his future stars, but chances are Barnstable will remain in the thick of the state title chase for many more years.

Barnstable 3, Dartmouth 0


September 25, 2007

HYANNIS - With a new mark in the books, it was the same old story at the Barnstable High gym.

The Red Raiders (7-0, 4-0 Old Colony League) won their state record 106th consecutive match with a 25-12, 25-9, 25-7 victory over the Indians.

Stephanie Bristol and Kara Cullen each registered nine kills. Casey Eagan, Amanda Parker and Kortney Kelley combined for nine aces.

Alison Klotz, Nora Wood, Stephanie Tuepker and Kristi Everson all excelled in the Raiders' victory.

Barnstable volleyball nets record win

From left, Kristi Everson, Stephanie Bristol and Stephanie Tuepker of Barnstable's Red Raiders block a shot by Notre Dame Academy during the teams' volleyball match in Barnstable last night. More coverage in Sports /C-1Cape Cod Times/Ron Schloerb



September 22, 2007

HYANNIS - The three of them leapt all at once, with a singular purpose.

And, though Kristi Everson, Stephanie Bristol and Stephanie Tuepker surely weren't thinking it at the moment, it was an absolutely perfect capper to the Barnstable High School girls volleyball team's absolutely perfect run.

With the Red Raiders on the verge of a state record 105th consecutive victory yesterday, leading Notre Dame (Hingham) 2 games to none and 24-9 in the third game, the Cougars were scrambling to return Kortney Kelley's Barnstable serve.

After some confusion on the Notre Dame side, a Cougars player managed to poke the ball over from close range.

It didn't go far.

As soon as it cleared the net, the ball hit the flying wall of Everson, Bristol and Tuepker. Down it went on the Notre Dame end of the court, and down went Joseph Case High School's state record of 104 straight match victories.

On their own, Everson, Bristol or Tuepker might not have gotten to it. The sneaky shot could likely have gotten through the arms of one, or past two.

But it didn't. All of them jumped. All of them did it.

To clinch a record that took 30 players of all shapes and sizes - and, of course, coach Tom Turco - more than four seasons to build, the last stuff of the 25-19, 25-6, 25-9 triumph was more than fitting.

It was perfect.

For a program riding four straight Division 1 state titles and 12 straight Div. 1 South Sectional crowns, the consecutive wins record was never about any one of them, or even any one year's worth of them.

"Every individual from previous years has definitely contributed to this win," said senior setter Amanda Parker, a veteran of the 2004, 2005 and 2006 state championship clubs. "They should get a lot of credit for it. We just happened to be here for this win."

"This" win, and a slew of others.

The 2007 Raiders are 6-0, and haven't dropped a game all season. But that's nothing new - Barnstable swept all 25 matches last season, and last lost a game in a 3-1 home victory over Medfield on Oct. 27, 2005.

The last match loss came to North Quincy in the Div. 1 state semifinals on Nov. 13, 2002.

"I'm proud of these kids. That's what I told them after the game," said Turco, who ran his career record to 426-43. "They respect and have looked up to the '03, '04, '05 and '06 teams. In that situation, they were the ones who had to carry it through."

This year's Raiders haven't disappointed. They opened the season by sweeping Dennis-Yarmouth for No. 100, beat Taunton on Wednesday for No. 104 and, now, stand alone with perfection.

As alone as they can be, that is, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with years of teammates sharing in the achievement.

"We all so excited, but also excited for the teams from the past," said Kelley, a senior. "Just to be part of the program, it's awesome."

Staff writer Adam Smartschan can be reached at asmartschan@capecodonline.com.


Barnstable volleyballers set record with 105 straight wins

Members of the 2007 Barnstable squad take a moment to celebrate their milestone. With yesterday's 3-0 triumph, the Red Raiders passed Case High for the most consecutive volleyball victories.

Cape Cod Times / Ron Schloerb



staff writer

September 22, 2007

HYANNIS - The Barnstable girls volleyball team spiked the state record last night, winning its 105th match in a row.

The last time the Red Raiders lost was in 2002, ancient history in teenage years. None of the current players has ever experienced a defeat.

But even for a team clearly familiar with victory, last night's win was extra special. The Red Raiders beat the state record of consecutive wins formerly held by Swansea's Joseph Case High School. And it happened at home.

The fans had filled the stands, including the flash-bulb-popping parents, but also folks like Jack Durant of Osterville, who began following the team's success in the sports pages four years ago, and soon became a regular in the stands.

Students also packed the gym, chanting and shouting as the points stacked up steadily against Notre Dame Academy.

"We take a lot of pride in the volleyball team," said Rob Bancroft, a senior.

It was toward coach Tom Turco that much praise flowed after the match. The quiet yet intense special-needs gym teacher has taken four consecutive teams to state championship success.

While Turco had little to say last night beyond "thank you" to the audience after the record-breaking display of volleyball dominance, people had plenty to say about him.

"He's built the entire program from the ground up," said Brian Cattabriga, a former junior varsity volleyball coach. "He's very positive. He's very focused. He provides young kids with a positive focus."

Elementary-age students start learning volleyball in Turco's recreation programs. Cattabriga said more than 200 signed up to play this summer. "He starts exposing them to the game from a very young age," Cattabriga said of the volleyball machine that Turco has crafted and honed to perfection. "At this point, it just feeds itself."

Turco intently studies the game and refers constantly to his dog-eared copy of Pat Riley's book, "The Winner Within," said his wife, Diane. "He has the girls study it, too," she said.

"They write reports and make presentations on it."

Then he works his players hard. "We sweat more in practice than we do in games," said former player Carly Newton, who graduated in 2006 and now plays volleyball at Keene State College in New Hampshire.

While the Red Raiders posted a 3-0 result last night, Notre Dame Academy put up a good fight.

In the first match, Notre Dame was several points ahead in the early going, and the stands became quiet. The fans grew still and eyes widened in shock with each point notched against Barnstable. For a few minutes anyway, the Red Raider faithful contemplated the unthinkable, defeat.

"We've been so spoiled," said Ward Parker, the father of senior setter Amanda Parker.

What would he have done if they lost?

"Well, there are two bridges on the Cape," Parker joked.

Barnstable High has won four consecutive state girls volleyball championships, and 10 championships in 13 years.

Turco has said his players became determined to not lose a game at the start of the 2003 season. They've been on a roll ever since.

After last night's match ended, the girls hugged and cheered. Fans posed with uniformed players as though the high school girls were high-paid professionals.

High School principal Pat Graves patted Turco on the back. "This instills a tremendous amount of pride in the whole community," Graves said.

Coach Gary Patch of Assumption College in Worcester drove more than two hours to scout players from both teams.

"Barnstable has notoriously been the number one team for four or five years," Patch said. "We know them very well."

K.C. Myers can be reached at kcmyers@capecodonline.com.

Barnstable spikes win record

HYANNIS - Notre Dame Academy coach Josh Shepherd popped "Miracle" into the bus's entertainment system on the way to Hyannis yesterday. The choice was fitting, since a miracle might be the only way anyone can beat the Barnstable Red Raiders.

With last night's 3-0 victory, the Barnstable girls' volleyball team set a state record for consecutive wins with 105, breaking the mark set by Swansea's Case High in 1991.

With more than 500 fans watching and cheering, Barnstable endured a slow start to sweep Notre Dame of Hingham, 25-19, 25-6, 25-9.

Asked what the record-setting win meant, coach Tom Turco said, "It means we're 6-0. That's what it means."

The match was scheduled as a home game for Notre Dame, but at the request of Barnstable athletic director Steve Francis, Notre Dame agreed to play in Hyannis.

"It seemed like the right thing to do," said Shepherd.

The record Barnstable set? "It's pretty impressive," said Shepherd, before adding with a laugh, "I'll tip my hat to them and say that they're good. They're fantastic."

The Cougars, who practiced with simulated crowd noise to learn to play in a hostile environment, were not intimidated initially. After Barnstable senior Kara Cullen started the scoring with one of her 14 kills, Notre Dame used a hit by Rebecca Gwaltney and two errors by the Red Raiders to take the next 3 points. The teams exchanged runs, and Notre Dame led, 10-6, before a 5-0 Barnstable run put the Red Raiders up to stay.

Using strong hits from Cullen and Stephanie Bristol, strong passing by setter Amanda Parker - including several spectacular sprawling digs - and tight overall defense, the Red Raiders were never really threatened after the middle of the first game. Kathleen Colpoys, who led the Notre Dame offense in kills, had Barnstable scrambling early, but Cullen and the defense adjusted.

"They played a good game," said Cullen, a middle hitter and captain. "We were really nervous going into the game, and so it had to do with that. I think once the game went on, we got more confident and felt more comfortable."

There were nerves involved, Cullen said, but it was more about the crowd than the streak.

"For us, it was just our sixth game," Cullen continued. "We don't really think about the record that much."

Turco, who has compiled a 427-43 record in 20 seasons, said his team has been through this before. "We had a winning streak that was at 90, and the one thing I learned from that is that you play for this year.

"You don't play for anything that's in the past."

Parker, a captain, agreed. "It feels good to win, but all the other girls from all the other teams get a lot of credit. We just happened to be here for this win."

While the real reward for setting the streak may not sink in right away, a more immediate one was awaiting the Raiders: a congratulatory cake.

Victory is sweet.


Barnstable volleyball ties state mark with 104th straight win


September 20, 2007

HYANNIS - One more to go for the Barnstable High School girls volleyball team.

The Red Raiders tied the state record with their 104th consecutive victory yesterday, sweeping Taunton 25-7, 25-13, 25-10.

The Red Raiders can set a new state record for consecutive girls volleyball wins Friday when they face Notre Dame (Hingham) at Barnstable High School at 5 p.m.

Barnstable, which has won four straight Division 1 state championships, will try to take the record all to itself tomorrow, when it hosts Notre Dame (Hingham) at 5 p.m.

Yesterday, senior Kara Cullen contributed a team-high 12 kills for Barnstable (5-0).

Junior Stephanie Bristol chipped in with eight kills, and Kristi Everson and Nora Wood added four kills apiece.

"The young kids played well, and it was a match that all 13 players played well," Raiders coach Tom Turco said.

Kortney Kelley and Allison Klotz took care of the back row, combining for 12 digs. Sophomores Mary Beth Martin and Melanie Appleman set for eight and seven assists, respectively, and senior Amanda Parker helped out with seven assists of her own.

Michelle Begley, Lilly Low, and Stephanie Tuepker all stepped up with impressive play defensively.

The Raiders were last beaten in the 2002 state semifinals at Mansfield High, losing to North Quincy.


School volleyball:

Victory puts Barnstable a step closer to history


September 18, 2007

HYANNIS - The Barnstable Red Raiders marched to the brink of the record books with a precision 3-0 girls volleyball victory over Bridgewater-Raynham yesterday.

Tomorrow's home match with Taunton will be an attempt at Barnstable's 104th consecutive triumph, which would make Friday's match with Notre Dame of Hingham a bid to set a new standard in Massachusetts high school volleyball.

That game with Notre Dame, originally scheduled to be played at Hingham, has been moved to Barnstable's home gym at 5 p.m. on Friday.

Nora Wood, Stephanie Tuepker, Stephanie Bristol and Kara Cullen had five kills apiece against the Trojans. Kortney Kelley led the Red Raiders with 12 service points, while Kristi Everson had 10 and Alison Klotz added eight.

Amanda Parker finished with 20 assists for the Red Raiders, now 4-0 this season.


Barnstable volleyball reaches 100 straight wins



By Rob Duca

September 11, 2007

HYANNIS - The only banners in evidence were the 10 championship flags on the wall at the far end of the gym. No one held up a sign proclaiming the 100th straight triumph.

When it was over, and the Barnstable High girls volleyball team had done what it has in every match since the beginning of the 2003 season, there wasn't even a whiff of a wild celebration.

"It's just another match on the schedule," senior setter Amanda Parker insisted.

Not quite. Yesterday afternoon marked the 2007 season opener for the Red Raiders, who rolled to a 3-0 victory over Dennis-Yarmouth. And that meant something to coach Tom Turco and his girls. It meant they are 1-0.

"You never want to let the kids lose focus that this is their season and only their season," Turco said. "For the first time we addressed the streak in our meetings. I told them, 'Play for this season. You own this season. Those other kids aren't here. Don't play for the ghosts of the past.' "

For the record, last night pushed the Red Raiders' winning streak into triple digits, leaving them only four to go to tie the state record held by Swansea's Joseph Case High.

None of the girls wearing red shirts and black shorts has been around for all 100 triumphs. But Turco has been the one constant, and as he stood at center court following the milestone win, he pulled out a paper on which were typed the names of every player and assistant coach who has been with the Red Raiders over the past five seasons.

"From a program standpoint, it's kind of hard to believe," he said. "What goes through my mind is an appreciation of the players, starting with the 2003 group that came back after a loss and was determined not to let it happen again. That started everything."

You would never know about this history or tradition of excellence if you walked into the gym at around 6 p.m. last night, unaware of the program built by Turco. The Red Raiders chalked up No. 100 just as they captured No. 82, or No. 46 or No. 1. No trash-talking. No gloating. No swagger. No acknowledgement of anything other than the business at hand.

"We didn't even think about the record," junior middle-hitter Stephanie Bristol said. "This is the program's 100th straight win, but it's not our team's. It's a great accomplishment for all the teams before us, and congratulations to them. But we never talk about (the streak) when we play. We take it one match at a time and try to play our best."

The Dolphins gave the Red Raiders all they could handle in the first game of the match before losing, 25-17. The Red Raiders settled down and took control in the middle game, rolling 25-7. After falling behind 4-2 in the third (stop the presses!), they took the clincher, 25-10.

As always, they were methodical, unrelenting and supremely confident. It's a new team and a new year, but little appears to have changed.

"It was a little nerve-wracking," Parker conceded after some prodding. "We talked about (the streak) during the summer, that we wanted to keep it going. We just played one point at a time. There's always pressure, but you have to just settle down and go back to basics."

Here are the basics for Barnstable volleyball: Play hard, keep your composure, maintain your focus. The Red Raiders' success has been built on an unwavering dedication and commitment that flows through every practice and meeting. And they worry only about preparing for the postseason and another state crown.

Before this season is completed, they will play road matches in New York and California, refusing to protect the streak. Turco has never scheduled to maintain the undefeated record.

"Our goal is to win the state title," Parker said.

That's down the road. For right now, their goal is to beat Attleboro tomorrow and improve to 2-0.

"There's definitely pressure to keep the streak going, for the program and what it has become," senior middle-hitter Kara Cullen said. "But I think we handle it pretty well."

You could say that about the 2007 team and all those girls who have come before them, always playing in the shadow of past greatness. Try doing anything 100 straight times without messing up.

Try sinking 100 straight 2-foot putts. Or making 100 straight uncontested layups.

Yesterday afternoon the Barnstable girls volleyball program - and it is about the program - won its 100th straight match. It was another match on the schedule, and another night of perfection.

Barnstable girls' volleyball win streak reaches century mark

When it comes to landmark winning streaks, the same rules apparently apply in volleyball as they do with a possible no-hitter in baseball. Until the achievement is realized, there can be no speaking of it. The difference in the case of the Barnstable girls' volleyball team, as it tried for its 100th straight victory in its first match of the season yesterday, is that the silence came not from fear of a jinx, but as a way to underscore the streak's significance.

The Raiders reached the milestone by defeating Dennis-Yarmouth, 3-0, and "as a program, we're proud of it," coach Tom Turco said. "But the only streak in our sights is to be able to run a 5-0 streak at the end of the year [in the state tournament].

"We were quiet about [100 straight wins] . . . I didn't talk about it pregame; it didn't matter.

"What matters is that we're 1-0."

Although Turco seemed hesitant to play up the milestone, in a nice bit of symmetry, Dennis-Yarmouth was the very team the Raiders defeated in 2003 to begin the streak.

Barnstable had come close to the century mark almost a decade back, when it reached 90 straight wins in 1998 before losing. A state championship that season made up for that missed opportunity.

With 422 career wins and 10 state championships, it's easy to see why Turco, now in his 20th season, doesn't give a whole lot of weight to milestones. More rewarding is the high level of quality and consistency his teams have maintained.

The seniors who began the streak in '03 are now in their senior year of college, and he has sophomores on the varsity who were in the sixth grade when it began.

"The town's definitely supportive of volleyball," Turco said.

Barnstable prevailed by scores of 25-16, 25-7, 25-20.

Senior Kara Cullen and junior Stephanie Bristol delivered 11 kills apiece.

Senior Amanda Parker chipped in with 25 assists

Barnstable nets 100

The Barnstable girls volleyball team opened the season the same way it finished 2006 . . . and every other match the Red Raiders have played during a span of five seasons. The Red Raiders picked up their 100th straight victory by knocking off Dennis-Yarmouth 25-16, 25-7, 25-10 in a nonleague home match yesterday. Barnstable has not dropped a match since falling to North Quincy in the 2002 state semifinals and has lost only eight individual games total during their run.

"It gives me a tremendous feeling of appreciation for all these kids that play in this program," coach Tom Turco said.

Middle hitters Kara Cullen and Stephanie Bristol had 11 kills each, and setter Amanda Parker had 25 assists. Kortney Kelley chipped in 14 digs and played a strong match along with Nora Wood, according to Turco.

"We have a two-person serve-receive, and they just nailed it all day," Turco said.

While the current players put the cap on the milestone, Turco said the genesis of the streak came from the seniors on the 2003 squad who were stung by the tournament loss to North Quincy after an undefeated regular season.

"It fueled them that entire year," Turco said of former Red Raiders standouts Casey Buss, Whitney Davis, Brittany Enz and Lucy Sweeney. "Finishing second wasn't an acceptable thing in their eyes, which was huge.

"That's a remarkable thing about the kids in this program. They're extremely self-motivated. When they're not playing well, they know it."

Barnstable travels to Attleboro tomorrow, but Turco said the streak could get a test when he takes his squad to California in October. The Raiders will face Beverly Hills, a team they beat last season in Marshfield, then will play a Brentwood High squad that is ranked among the top teams in the Golden State. . . .

2006 Newspaper Clippings

November 19, 2006

Unmatched Barnstable wins its fourth straight Div. 1 title

HUDSON - They were the definition of dominance from the year's opening match. Last night Barnstable High applied the exclamation point to a seasonlong journey that concluded just as one might expect with another state championship.

With their 3-0 triumph over Newton North at Hudson High, the Red Raiders captured their fourth consecutive MIAA Division 1 trophy, their 99th straight match (25-0 this fall) and, in a season of true perfection, finished 75-0 in games.

After watching the 25-11, 25-12, 25-20 dismantling of his Tigers, Newton North coach Richard Barton was asked about the difficulty of slowing down the Red Raiders once they got on a roll.

''To be perfectly blunt, it's kind of tough to slow them down when they're not on a roll,'' he said. ''Everybody can pass, everybody hits it in, everybody serves, everybody has skills all around. The chance for a team like Newton North to beat them is for everyone on our team to play at their best every single moment. That's kind of unlikely.''

And so seniors Erin Johnson, Jessi Goode, Allie Appleman, Natalie Cohen and Marissa Pita played their final games in Barnstable red and white, without tasting defeat in four seasons.

Juniors Kara Cullen and Amanda Parker will return next fall, along with spectacular sophomore Stephanie Bristol, undoubtedly ready to extend their streak to a cool three figures and past the state record of 107 held by Case High.

''Some people expected us to lose (against Beverly Hills, Calif.),'' Johnson said, referring to a match during the regular season. ''But that's when we realized we were really good.''

And just in case opposing coaches are hopeful 2007 might bring a return to earth for the mighty Red Raiders, coach Tom Turco said after last night's win, ''The kids who didn't even play in this game, you know, they're pretty good.''

Last night was no contest. The Red Raiders pounced to a 4-0 lead in the first game with Pita at the service line. The Tigers rallied and were within two points (10-8) after consecutive aces by Sarah Berkland, but that only served to arouse the Red Raiders.

Bristol served six straight points (with Cullen collecting two kills) and the Raiders were off on a 15-3 run that closed out the game.

Bristol finished with six kills, while Cohen, Johnson and Parker also contributed winners, providing evidence of Barnstable's depth.

The second game was even quicker. With the game deadlocked at 1, Johnson pounded a winner that began a 12-0 blitz. Cohen was on the line for 11 straight points.

The Red Raiders simply never let up.

''The intensity that they show out there is the intensity they show in practice,'' Turco said. ''That carries to the court, the same disciplined way of playing.''

The Tigers finally provided competition in the third game. They led 5-1, only to see the Red Raiders score five straight points for a 6-5 edge.

There were four lead changes and 12 ties before the Red Raiders took control for good on Pita's ace for a 21-19 advantage.

Moments later, Cohen's spike ended it, sparking what has become an annual championship celebration.

''We played quite a good game, and then we had a few glitches and the game was over,'' Barton said.

Some people say the issue was decided each time the Raiders arrived at the gym this season, regardless of the opponent. In 2006, they were that overpowering.

''We just took it one step at a time,'' Johnson said. ''We were never thinking we were going to have a perfect season.''

But perfect it was, once again.

(Published: November 19, 2006)



Barnstable goes fourth

By Bruce Lerch/ Div. 1 Volleyball
Sunday, November 19, 2006 - Updated: 02:48 AM EST

HUDSON - Four seasons, 99 straight victories since 2003, four consecutive Division 1 state championships, one well-oiled machine.


    In what could be termed "business as usual," Barnstable capped an impressive streak by defeating Newton North, 3-0, to capture the Div. 1 girls volleyball state title last night at Hudson High.


    Barnstable won by scores of 25-11, 25-12 and 25-20.


    "It doesn't ever get to be routine," said Barnstable coach Tom Turco following his 10th state title. "Every year brings a new group of kids and a new set of goals. I couldn't be prouder of this group. I have tremendous admiration for what they have accomplished."



 Red Raider after Red Raider echoed the same sentiment about what has allowed them to achieve such tremendous success over the past four seasons - practice makes perfect.


    "There really is very little we see on the court that we haven't already seen in practice," Barnstable senior co-captain Natalie Cohen (three kills) said. "We've faced a lot of great players, including (Newton North), but we face great players every day in our practices. Everything we do there translates onto the court."cw-2


    Added senior captain Marissa Pita: "Something like this just goes to show how our hard work really does pay off. We go at each other with such intensity every day, it's just hard to put into words what that does for us when we face another team."


    The Raiders came out fast, opening up fairly insurmountable leads in each of the first two games behind the duo of Stephanie Bristol (13 kills) and Amanda Parker (22 assists). Newton North battled hard throughout, and in the third game, the Tigers showed that they belonged on the same stage as the Barnstable powerhouse.


    The Tigers never held a lead until roaring to a 5-1 margin to start the third game, thanks to the great play of Sarah Berkland (six kills, two aces) and Hester Breen (eight kills). They withstood the inevitable Barnstable run and hung tough to keep the game tied as late as 19-19, before a pair of Pita aces keyed a title-winning 6-1 run.


    "We have nothing but the utmost respect for what that group of girls has been able to accomplish," Newton North coach Richard Barton said. "We showed in the third game that we were capable, but our consistency was nowhere near theirs."


    In regard to the impressive run he has overseen, Turco pointed out the only streak that he really cares about.


    "We've won 99 games in a row, which is a historical fact that we are very proud of," he said.

Barnstable unbeatable

It wasn't Barnstable coach Tom Turco's idea.

His players meet behind closed doors at the start of each season to come up with goals. And it was they, not he, who wanted not only to go unbeaten, but to avoid losing a game all season.

"When you've got them saying that to you," Turco said, "that's unbelievable."

What's more unbelievable is that Barnstable did it. The Red Raiders (25-0) last night proved again that they play volleyball on a different level from the rest of the state, completing an epic campaign as they defeated the Newton North Tigers, 3-0 (25-11, 25-12, 25-20), in the MIAA Division 1 state championship at Hudson High School.

It was the 99th straight win and fourth straight state title for Barnstable, which has won 10 state championships in 19 years under Turco, and won every game of the season for the second time, the first coming in 2003.

"Consistency," said Newton North coach Richard Barton. "That's why they are the team that they are."

"We've always been taught, 'Never get down,' " said Barnstable senior libero Marissa Pita. "We always try to stay at our own level."

Barnstable created a comfortable cushion midway through Game 1 behind sophomore Stephanie Bristol, who finished with 13 kills.

Game 2 was more lopsided, as 11 straight service points from Natalie Cohen -- with four Bristol kills mixed in -- made it 13-2. Late in that game, a Bristol spike bloodied the nose of Tiger star hitter Sarah Berkland.

Newton North (21-2) kept pace for most of Game 3, but couldn't hang in at the end, as a Cohen kill set off a wild pileup on the court. Seniors Erin Johnson (8 kills) and Pita (4 aces) were vital for Barnstable.


Barnstable is 'unstoppable'

WHITMAN -- There's unbeaten, and then there's Barnstable.

Lincoln-Sudbury, which entered last night's Division 1 state volleyball semifinal at Whitman-Hanson with a 23-0 record, was the latest to find out.

Three-time defending state champion Barnstable (24-0), which has made quick work of its competition throughout a large portion of coach Tom Turco's 19 illustrious seasons, extended its winning streak to 98 matches last night, outhitting, outserving, outkilling, and dominating what could be considered an elite team in a 52-minute, 3-0 shutout.

"There's nothing you can do, they're unstoppable," said L-S coach Judy Katalina. "It's very hard to coach against a team like that. It's not somebody you play everyday."

Barnstable, which has not lost in its latest run through the state tournament -- including 3-0 wins over Marshfield, Fontbonne, and previously undefeated New Bedford -- will face Newton North for the state title Saturday at Hudson.

"It's where we want to be," Turco said. "Tonight, we moved one step forward."

Lincoln-Sudbury did not have an answer in the first game for Barnstable's middle line, which eliminated chances for the Warriors behind the play of Stephanie Bristol (13 kills, 6 blocks) and Kara Cullen (8 kills, 3 blocks).

The Red Raiders took an 18-2 lead, double-blocking nearly every Warrior attempt, and won, 25-10.

"This is how they always play," said Turco, who is going for his 10th state title. "It's how they play in practice. They set the tempo from the beginning."

Katalina said nerves might have plagued her squad.

"In that first game, it was all nerves," she said. "The thought is, that we're playing 'The Great Barnstable.' That's tough for any 16-, 17-, or 18-year-old girl."

Barnstable jumped out to a 10-1 lead in the second game. Dive after dive by the L-S defense made for a good effort, but Barnstable spikes were consistently forceful. Then, despite a small series of L-S rallies, the Raiders kept the pressure on and finished the game, 25-14.

Lincoln-Sudbury made it a contest in the third game, albeit for brief stretches, taking its first lead at 10-9 after storming back from a 9-6 deficit.

"They calmed down and their passing got better," Katalina said. "We brought everything we had with us and put it on the floor."

Cullen and Bristol, however, continued their unstoppable prowess at the net, and combined with Marissa Pita's serving, the Red Raiders calmly went back to a 13-12 lead.

Barnstable then claimed 12 consecutive points, racing ahead to the finish.


November 12, 2006

Barnstable volleyball keeps on rolling

Contributing Writer
WAREHAM - The fact that Barnstable captured the Division 1 South volleyball crown for the fifth straight year should come as no surprise.

The final score of 3-0 should not shock anyone as this year's edition of the Red Raiders has yet to lose a game, much less a match.

But in this case, looks can be deceiving. This was no walk in the park as the top-seeded Raiders were stretched to the limit before prevailing over previously undefeated New Bedford, 25-21, 25-13, 25-23.

Barnstable's 97th consecutive victory stretching over four seasons improves the Raiders to 23-0 and advances them to the state semifinal Wednesday at Whitman-Hanson High School. They face the winner of last night's Central/West final between Lincoln-Sudbury and Franklin.

For second-seeded New Bedford, the loss is the only blemish on its record as the Whalers finish at 22-1.

Barnstable relied on its poise under pressure, refusing to break as the Whalers tied the first game at 16 before Barnstable seemingly broke it open with six of the next eight points, only to have New Bedford tie it again at 21 before the Raiders locked it up with the final four points of that game.

The Raiders rolled to a one-sided win in the second game, thanks to outstanding play by sophomore Stephanie Bristol and junior Kara Cullen (each with 11 kills) along with Natalie Cohen and some timely blocks. A 9-0 run to end the game was a microcosm of how dominant Barnstable was. Erin Johnson served out the game with eight straight winners.

In what turned out to be the final game, Barnstable jumped out to an 8-1 advantage and some of the Barnstable spectators started to leave the Wareham High School gymnasium.

That action was a little premature as the gritty Whalers clawed their way back, tying it four times and actually grabbing a brief 18-17 lead. The play of Julie Clerc, Sarah Mello and Lauren Safioleas keyed the Whalers' resurgence.

''These kids played their hearts out,'' said New Bedford coach Neil Macedo, who has been knocked out by the Raiders for the fourth straight year. ''To beat Barnstable, you have to play a perfect match. There were times out there where we didn't execute and Barnstable was able to capitalize on those opportunities.''

Though tested throughout, the Red Raiders failed to buckle under pressure. And some key points were scored off the strength of the play of Bristol and Cullen as well as sophomore Alison Klotz.

''We play an incredibly competitive schedule throughout the season just so we can be ready for games like this,'' said Barnstable head coach Tom Turco. ''We want the kids tested throughout the regular season, so they won't buckle under pressure. Tonight, our blocks were very good and our kids up front did a tremendous job as did our back line and our subs.

''These kids have icewater in their veins and they don't rattle easily. It's amazing the amount of composure these kids have.''


Keeping up the volley

Raiders again headed to finals

They are the Tiger Woods of volleyball and right now the BHS girls varsity team is reigning supreme over their opponents.th straight.

On Monday the Raiders played in the first round of the MIAA Division I South volleyball tournament, walking away with the win.

While a raucous crowd cheered them on BHS proceeded to take Marshfield 25-10, 25-9 and 25-17, improving to 21-0 for the year. The win marks the team's 95

Marshfield took a quick lead in game one, but Barnstable quickly regrouped and came back in fighting form. Before long they had worked to a 13-7 advantage on terrific service from Alison Klotz, who netted six kills and two aces for the night.

In the second game, it was all BHS as the Raiders leapt to a 10-0 start thanks to the skilled service of Kortney Kelley and Natalie Cohen. Cohen played a tremendous game, adding six kills and a whopping nine service aces.

The third game gave the crowd a bit of anxiety, as it seemed that Marshfield might rally. However, Kara Cullen, who turned in 10 kills and two blocks in the intense matches, combined forces with Cohen to take the team to 20-10.

Refusing to go quietly, much like the crowd, the Rams mustered enough of a rally to bring the score to 23-17 before the Raiders finished things off.

Raiders Down the Ducks

On Wednesday night BHS clinched a spot in the South finals, defeating the Fontbonne Ducks 3-0.

The evening began when the Ducks' first serve hit the net. Seizing the moment, the Raiders quickly vaulted to a 7-0 lead, backed by Cohen's stellar serving and Stephanie Bristol's strong play at the net.

It was Allie Appleman who brought the team Game 1 with nine straight service winners.

The Ducks narrowed the score to 6-5 in Game 2, prompting the spirited crowd to increase its ever-growing volume.

Perhaps feeding off the energy, Kortney Kelley served up a 6-0 scoring run, assisted in the dig department by Marissa Pita.

Casey Eagan stepped up, contributing two aces during a 7-0 run to bring the score to 21-8 before freshman player Maribeth Martin aided Bristol in a clean spike to end the match.

During the final game BHS had nice 7-0 and 8-0 runs, including an excellent tip from Cohen, working on a great serve from Amanda Parker, who had 21 assists during the evening. When all was said and done Barnstable emerged victorious at 25-5, 25-11 and 25-7, bringing their season total stats to 22-0.

Saturday night the team travels to Wareham to compete in the South finals, a match many anticipate will result in another championship. Go Raiders!

November 9, 2006

Barnstable volleyball in another South final

HYANNIS - For a team that hasn't lost a game the entire season, it comes as no surprise when the Barnstable volleyball team finishes off its opponents rather quickly. Last night they prevailed before the winning 50-50 raffle number was even announced.

The three-time defending state champion Red Raiders advanced to the Div. 1 South final with a three-game sweep over Fontbonne Academy last night before a large crowd at the Barnstable High gymnasium. Senior Amanda Parker had 21 assists while middle-hitters Kara Cullen and Stephanie Bristol dominated the net with nice kills apiece in the 25-5, 25-11, 25-7 win.

The top-seeded Red Raiders improve to 22-0 with their 96th consecutive match win and head to Wareham for the South final Saturday at 6 p.m. Barnstable will host second-seeded New Bedford, who defeated Brockton 3-0 in last night's other semifinal. The Whalers are 22-0 as well.

Natalie Cohen had six kills and one ace while Erin Johnson had five assists, Bristol five aces and Cullen three blocks.

''They have some kids who can really serve well and we were able to execute our offense off of their serving,'' Red Raiders coach Tom Turco said. ''The defensive intensity was there as well. We picked a lot of balls up and made some really good saves off of deflected blocks and loose balls.''

After Fontbonne's initial serve went into the net, Barnstable raced to a 7-0 lead behind the serving of Cohen and the play of Bristol at the net. They finished off Game 1 behind nine straight service winners from Allie Appleman.

The Red Raiders led just 6-5 in the middle game before Kortney Kelley's serving sparked a 6-0 run aided by some great digs by Marissa Pita. Casey Eagan had a pair of aces on a 7-0 run to make it 21-8 and freshman Maribeth Martin set up a Bristol spike to wrap up the game.

''We've got the option to go to two or three (touches),'' said Turco.

''We've got a lot of kids who can pass well. We're primarily passing with two people but we can go to three with confidence and it gives us another option and definitely makes us stronger.''

Barnstable had 7-0 and 8-0 runs in the final game with a beautiful tip from Cohen setting up a match-point win on Parker's serve.

The Barnstable juggernaut was all too familiar for Fontbonne coach Katherine Hanchett, who played for the Red Raiders as a freshman and sophomore in the mid-90s.

''Barnstable is a whole 'nother level, a different level than a lot of teams,'' said the third-year coach whose club was 1-17 two years ago.

''Their defense is very, very quick. Their offense is quick. They're ready for pretty much anything.''

Saturday night it could be yet another South championship.


November 7, 2006

Barnstable, Bourne cruise to 3-0 wins

HYANNIS - It was just another day at the office for the Barnstable volleyball team last night in the first round of the MIAA Div. 1 South tournament.

After finishing with yet another perfect regular season, the three-time defending state champion and top-seeded Red Raiders hardly broke a sweat en route to a methodical three-game sweep over No. 9 Marshfield, 25-10, 25-9 and 25-17.

BHS improves to 21-0, increases its consecutive match win streak to 95 straight and hosts Fontbonne Academy in the quarterfinals tomorrow at 7 p.m.

The Rams, who advanced to the first round with a 3-2 preliminary-round win over Braintree, finish 11-11 overall.

''We missed some serves in that third match and after getting a big lead, didn't match their intensity,'' Barnstable coach Tom Turco said. ''But overall, our girls had some nice digs and did what they needed to do to get to the next round.''

Kara Cullen led the Red Raiders with a match-high 10 kills and two blocks, while Stephanie Bristol contributed eight kills and two service aces.

Natalie Cohen played a terrific all-around match with six kills and a match-high nine service aces. Alison Klotz added six kills and two aces, while Erin Johnson played well in the frontline with four kills.

In the first game, the visitors took a quick 2-0 lead before the Red Raiders regrouped to take a 13-7 advantage on solid service by Klotz and strong front-line play by Johnson, Cohen and Cullen.

Barnstable vaulted to a quick 10-1 start in the second game behind the service of Kourtney Kelley and Cohen and consistent all-around team play.

During the third and final game, the Red Raiders seemingly broke open a close 7-6 match with kills by Cullen and Cohen to take a 20-10 lead.

The Rams made it interesting, closing the gap to 23-17, before BHS finally won out

Another perfect season

BHS girls varsity volleyball does it again

The Lady Raiders ended another perfect season this week with a win against Case on Monday evening before beginning preparations for tournament play that begins on Tuesday.

In Monday's 3-0 game BHS was the dominating force from the get-go, with the team demonstrating the communication and cohesiveness that has garnered them such success.

The Raiders swept Case with a perfect 20-0 match followed by 25-14, 25-6, and 25-6, impressing the gathered crowd immensely.

Stephanie Bristol had 13 strong kills in the four matches while Kara Cullen turned in nine. Marissa Pita greatly assisted in the win by chipping in five aces.

In the setter position Amanda Parker was formidable, providing a stunning 36 assists for the Lady Raiders.

Playing in their last official regular season game were seniors Erin Johnson and Natalie Cohen. Always fiery, Johnson and Cohen pitched in six kills each. "Natalie has had a very productive season with great play both at the defensive and offensive end," said head coach Tom Turco. "Erin Johnson's versatility at the Right Front position gave us an effective block on the outside and another setting option."

Turco also noted that Nora Wood, Allie Appleman and Jessie Goode have been excellent defensively, while Casey Egan and Kristi Everson contributed greatly to the offense late in the season.

"Perhaps the most improved player has been Kortney Kelley," said Turco. "She has done a great job defensively and produces from the service line."

The win caps another stellar season for the Raiders who finish at 20-0. On Tuesday the team takes to the court at 7 p.m. for the South Sectional Quarter Finals, sure to be electric. "The goal of the team is to win a state championship, and to along the way put themselves in a situation that would allow us home court advantage," explained Turco of his team's tournament mindset. "It is a five-step process to achieve their goals. You can't skip a step and you can't get to the next step without climbing the one in front of you."

October 31, 2006

Barnstable perfect again

SWANSEA - Barnstable High dominated from start to finish, coming away with a 3-0 volleyball win over Case yesterday.

The Red Raiders, which finished the regular season a perfect 20-0, won 25-14, 25-6 and 25-6.

They have captured 94 straight matches.

Sophomore Stephanie Bristol collected 13 kills and junior Kara Cullen added nine. Seniors Erin Johnson and Natalie Cohen had six kills apiece. Marissa Pita reinforced the victory with five aces.

Setter Amanda Parker played a strong game for the Red Raiders with 36 assists.

October 27, 2006

Raiders blank Case

HYANNIS - It was Senior Night at Barnstable and the Red Raiders' volleyball team didn't disappoint, sweeping Case 3-0 last night to win its 93rd straight match.

Barnstable improves to 19-0 with the 25-9, 25-9, 25-11 victory. The Red Raiders, who cap the regular season Monday at Case, are closing in on the Cardinals' state record of 107 consecutive girls volleyball victories.

Barnstable had outstanding play from its seniors: Natalie Cohen, Erin Johnson, Marissa Pita, Allie Appleman and Jessie Goode. Cohen and Johnson had six kills and an ace apiece, Pita had seven aces, and Appleman and Goode combined for 11 digs in the back row,

Amanda Parker finished with 29 assists for the Raiders. Stephanie Bristol had 11 kills, Kara Cullen six and Nora Wood three.

October 26, 2006

Unbeaten Raiders cap OCL campaign

ATTLEBORO - The Barnstable girls volleyball tea wrapped up an undefeated Old Colony League campaign with a three-game sweep over Attleboro yesterday.

The Red Raiders are 18-0 overall and finish 8-0 in the league with the 25-7, 25-11, 25-7 win over the Bombardiers. Barnstable hosts Case today at 5:30 for Senior Night.

Erin Johnson and Allie Appleman each had seven service winners in the opener while Kara Cullen and Stephanie Bristol had four kills each in Game 1 and nine in the match.

Kourtney Kelley converted seven straight services, including a pair of aces, as Barnstable expanded on an 8-5 lead in the second game. Casey Egan and Nora Wood starred defensively as did Kelley in the middle game.

The Raiders broke out to an 11-0 lead in the final game behind the serving of Marissa Pita and also got three kills from Natalie Cohen. Amanda Parker had 22 assists on the evening.

October 24, 2006


Barnstable 3, Dartmouth 0

SOUTH DARTMOUTH - Stephanie Bristol turned in a season-high 18 kills as the Red Raiders continued their perfect season with a 25-13, 24-14, 25-7 sweep of the Indians.

Kara Cullen finished with nine kills, Kristi Everson seven and Natalie Cohen three for Barnstable, which improves to 17-0.

Seniors Erin Johnson and Marissa Pita also played a strong game for the Raiders, Johnson with 30 assists and Pita with five aces. Allie Appleman had 16 service points while Kortney Kelley, Jessi Goode and Nora Wood were all standouts on defense.

October 21, 2006


Raiders rack up 90th straight win

HYANNIS - The dynasty that is Barnstable girls volleyball hit another milestone.

The Red Raiders notched their 90th straight victory last night with a 25-12, 25-10, 25-9 sweep of Chelmsford.

Barnstable's win streak dates back to 2003 and ties the team's previous record from 1995-98. The Raiders improve to 16-0.

Natalie Cohen, Kara Cullen, Stephanie Bristol and Erin Johnson paved the way for Barnstable, each registering seven kills. Amanda Parker added 29 assists.

Defensive standouts were Marissa Pita, Allie Appleman and Kortney Kelley.

October 17, 2006


Barnstable tames Tigers

HYANNIS - Amanda Parker had 29 assists at setter and undefeated Barnstable swept Taunton 3-0 yesterday in Old Colony League girls volleyball.

Kara Cullen registered 12 kills and three aces en route to the 25-11, 25-6, 26-10 win over the Tigers. The Red Raiders, who haven't dropped a single game all season, improve to 15-0 overall and 6-0 in the OCL.

Other Barnstable highlights: Natalie Cohen had eight kills; Stephanie Bristol had seven kills, an ace and three blocks; Kortney Kelley had six aces; Erin Johnson had two kills and two aces; Casey Eagan finished with three kills; and Marissa Pita had nine digs.


October 14, 2006


Barnstable tops Falmouth 3-0, improves to 14-0

FALMOUTH - Setter Amanda Parker had 28 assists as Barnstable kept on rolling with a 3-0 sweep of Falmouth yesterday in volleyball.

Barnstable remains perfect at 14-0 following the 25-4, 25-2, 25-6 triumph. Falmouth falls to 9-6.

Stephanie Bristol had five kills in the opener and seven kills and three blocks in game two for Barnstable. Marissa Pita had 12 service points in the first game.

Natalie Cohen and Erin Johnson each had three kills in the opener for Red Raiders while Allie Appleman, Jessie Goode and Nora Wood led the defense in the second game.

Kara Cullen had six kills and one block for Barnstable in the third game while Casey Egan added three kills and Kristi Everson starred defensively.

October 12, 2006

Barnstable 3, B-R 0

BRIDGEWATER - The unbeaten Red Raiders rolled to a convincing Old Colony League victory over Bridgewater-Raynham, 25-2, 25-12, 25-4.

Kortney Kelley and Natalie Cohen each had five aces for Barnstable, which improves to 13-0 overall, 5-0 OCL.

Casey Eagan and Kristi Everson combined for seven more aces while Stephanie Bristol led the Raiders' front-row attack with nine kills and Nora Wood chipped in a season-high six kills.

Marissa Pita highlighted the defensive effort with seven digs, and setter Amanda Parker contributed 14 assists.

October 11, 2006

Barnstable 3, Dartmouth 0

HYANNIS - Jessie Goode had 17 service points, including four aces, as the undefeated Red Raiders swept the Indians.

Casey Eagan led the attack with five kills for Barnstable, which improves to 12-0.

Kortney Kelley added three kills and two aces, Nora Wood had three kills and one ace and Kristi Everson had three kills for the Red Raiders, who head to Bridgewater-Raynham for an Old Colony League match tonight.

October 6, 2006

Barnstable 3, Medfield 0

HYANNIS - The Red Raiders responded to their toughest test of the season thus far, defeating previously unbeaten Medfield.

Top-ranked Barnstable improves to 11-0 with the 25-16, 25-19, 25-19 win while the Warriors fall to 10-1.

Sophomore Stephanie Bristol had 13 kills and eight blocks for the Red Raiders and junior Kara Cullen had eight kills and five blocks. Amanda Parker had 29 assists and came up with several huge digs for Barnstable, which was never headed after the midway point of each game.

''We played very, very well, both offensively and defensively,'' Red Raiders coach Tom Turco said. ''Our kids worked very hard preparing for this one. They knew Medfield was coming in looking to give us our first loss and were fired up and focused.''

Senior Natalie Cohen and Erin Johnson had five kills each for Barnstable while Marissa Pita had 11 digs. Nora Wood, Jesse Goode and Allie Appleman also excelled for the Red Raiders.


October 4, 2006

Barnstable 3, Medway 0

HYANNIS - Senior Natalie Cohen had 10 kills and 16 digs as the Red Raiders won their 10th straight to qualify for the state tournament.

Barnstable (10-0) won 25-7, 25-15 and 25-15 and has now run off 30 straight game victories without a loss this season. The Red Raiders are ranked No. 1 in the Boston Globe's Top 20 and will host second-ranked Medfield tomorrow at 5:30 p.m.

Kara Cullen had 11 kills, two aces and two blocks for Barnstable while Stephanie Bristol had eight kills and two blocks. Allie Appleman, Marissa Pita, Jessica Goode and Kourtney Kelley were also standouts in the Red Raiders victory.


September 30, 2006

Raiders win 9th straight

HYANNIS - The student has not eclipsed the teacher. Barnstable coach Tom Turco's Red Raiders beat former assistant Mickey Cahoon's Notre Dame of Hingham team 3-0 last night, winning 25-13, 25-11, 25-15.

Cahoon, in his third year at Notre Dame, was an assistant under Turco at Barnstable the previous three years.

Barnstable (9-0) spread its offense around. Setter Amanda Parker had 33 assists and Stephanie Bristol had 10 kills. Kara Cullen, Erin Johnson and Natalie Cohen also chipped in.

Marissa Pita added four aces and eight digs. Jessie Goode and Allie Appleman were standouts on defense.

September 29, 2006

Barnstable bests Brockton, 3-0

BROCKTON - Barnstable prepped for today's volleyball showdown with Notre Dame of Hingham with a 3-0 sweep of Brockton yesterday.

Amanda Parker had 26 assists on the night for the Red Raiders, who improve to 8-0 after posting scores of 25-18, 25-12 and 25-11.

Barnstable was leading the first game 18-16 when Natalie Cohen and Stephanie Bristol (eight kills) got kills and Erin Johnson a block for a point to break the game open.

Junior Kristi Everson got game two started with three kills, Kara Cullen added three of her 10 kills and had two blocks. Marissa Pita had five service points in the final game and Cohen had three kills.

Coached by former Barnstable assistant Mickey Cahoon, Notre Dame (8-0) comes to today for a 5 p.m. showdown between two unbeaten teams.

Barnstable coach Tom Turco expects the postgame handshake to be warmer than the Bill Belichick-Eric Mangini encounter after the Patriots-Jets meeting.


September 28, 2006

Barnstable 3, Attleboro 0

HYANNIS - Erin Johnson and Marissa Pita combined for 14 aces to lead the attack, and the Red Raiders rolled to a quick victory over the Bombardiers, 25-7, 25-6, 25-2.

Casey Eagan, Kortney Kelley and Nora Wood played well defensively for Barnstable, which improves to 7-0. Kristi Everson added five kills for the Raiders.


September 22, 2006

Raiders sweep Falmouth

HYANNIS - Barnstable rolled to a 3-0 volleyball victory in convincing fashion over Falmouth yesterday, posting scores of 25-5, 25-14, 25-11.

Marissa Pita and Allie Appleman anchored a strong back row effort for the Raiders, (5-0), combining for 34 service points. Pita added nine digs.

On the front line, Natalie Cohen, Stephanie Bristol and Kara Cullen combined for 15 kills. Erin Johnson contributed 22 assists for the Red Raiders.

The Clippers fall to 2-4.

Raiders on a roll

Girls volleyball team gets 75th straight win and triumphs over Beverly Hills High

The Barnstable High School girls volleyball team is off and running once again. In recent days they have defeated Bridgewater-Raynham, North Quincy and Taunton. The win that everyone is still talking about, however, is that against Beverly Hills High School. Yes, as in California.

The Raiders' season kicked off last Wednesday with a 3-0 win over Bridgewater-Raynham, their 75  th straight win. Several days later, the team traveled to Marshfield to battle the girls of Beverly Hills.

Given that California is practically the volleyball capital of the U.S., folks were expecting a talented team and an exciting match. That is exactly what they got.

The Raiders dominated the court from beginning to end, leaving no doubt in the 90210 set that volleyball in the east can more than stand up against volleyball from the west.

The BHS girls led 4-3 in the opening round, finishing at 11-3 in the set. They capped their win with 25-9 second set and a final set of 25-12.

With players like Stephanie Bristol, Kara Cullen and Natalie Cohen at the net, it was not surprising that Head Coach Tom Turco wasn't nervous about the game. "First you have to play better than your opponent and I felt we did that," he said. "The girls were excited to play a team from California. They wanted to send a message that there was pretty good volleyball on the east coast."

Consider that message sent.

Following the Beverly Hills match, the girls took on North Quincy on Monday, coming away with another win, Turco's career 400 th.

Barnstable sailed through the match, netting 25-11, 25-16 and 25-14 against one of their more formidable opponents. Bristol had 10 kills for Barnstable, while Cullen added nine and Cohen snagged seven.

On Wednesday the team traveled to Taunton, taking them 3-0, another straight-set victory for the Raiders as they came away with 25-6, 25-11, and 25-15. Cullen turned in nine kills and setter Erin Johnson had 23 assists in the win.

The team travels to South Yarmouth on Monday to play the D-Y Dolphins at 5 p.m.


September 19, 2006

Barnstable gives Turco 400th win

NORTH QUINCY - Barnstable's volleyball team gave Tom Turco his 400th career win yesterday as Barnstable cruised, 25-11, 25-16 and 25-14, over one of its staunchest annual rivals, North Quincy.

Turco has been coaching for 19 years and has led his teams to nine state championships.

Sophomore Stephanie Bristol had 10 kills, five aces and two blocks for the local Red Raiders, now 3-0. Kara Cullen added nine kills and three blocks; Natalie Cohen contributed seven kills and an ace; libero Marissa Pita had 24 digs; and Erin Johnson had three kills at critical times.

                                              September 7, 2006

                         Volleyball team ready for its close-up

                           To play Beverly Hills High at Marshfield Sept. 16

What's next? A BHS water polo team?

That's one of the sports offered by the school the girls varsity volleyball team will play next week, when the Red Raiders of Barnstable take on the conquering Normans of Beverly Hills High School.

The Normans (as in the knights of yore, not the scary motel operator in

"It's a great opportunity for us," said Barnstable coach Tom Turco. "West Coast volleyball on the average is the top in the country, and they're exposed to competition at an early age."

Well, not that early, according to Beverly Hills coach Marla Weiss.

"My current team, every one of them learned to play volleyball as a ninth grader," she said. "In Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Newport Beach, even San Diego, those kids do grow up with it. A lot of these other area schools have kids play 12 months of the year, starting maybe in fifth grade."

The top sport at Beverly Hills High is tennis. "Kids have tennis courts on their properties," Weiss said. "A lot of them tend to be strong on the aquatics, probably for a similar reason."

There are a lot of multi-sport athletes at Beverly Hills. "We get athletes and make them into volleyball players," said Weiss. "We are always competitive in volleyball. We don't beat Manhattan Beach, but we can compete with them."

Such modesty is becoming, but Turco says Beverly Hills has a good reputation. "From what I understand, they'd be competing for a state championship out here," he said. "I've talked to some coaches who have seen them play in the past year. Ball control is a big thing with them. It's quick, it's fast."

"We do run some fast plays," Weiss confirmed, but she admitted she doesn't know much about Barnstable beyond its lengthy string of victories.

"We really are very excited to play the Massachusetts state champions and hopefully we'll give them a good match," Weiss said. "It's scary to hear they've won 70 straight matches. Certainly, the pressure's on them."

That's fine with Turco.

"I'll do everything possible to strengthen my team," he said. "Certainly playing a team (like Beverly Hills) this early in the season and having to prepare for a match like this only makes us stronger."

Psycho) are invading Massachusetts for a slew of college visits and two matches at Marshfield High School Sept. 16, starting with Barnstable at noon and the host at 2 p.m. The California school's football team is along for the trip, too, and will play Marshfield later that day.

Team Outlook

The Marshfield matches are a byproduct of the football coach of that system and Beverly Hill's athletic director/football coach agreeing to play. The volleyball team was invited to come along, and the Marshfield volleyball coach invited Turco and his team to join the party.

What will the Beverly Hills team see on the other side of the net?

Turco says his roster isn't set. "It's typical for this time of the year for this program," he said. "There are 12 players on the team and I still don't have a line-up. It's pretty competitive."

There are some knowns.

"We've got back our serve/receive people, Natalie Cohen and Marissa Pita," the coach said. "Marissa is our libero (roaming among defensive positions), and Natalie also hits outside."

Six-footer Kara Cullen, who started last year, returns at middle hitter. Erin Johnson will hit right side ("She's been waiting two years for this shot," Turco said) and Amanda Parker will be setting.

Sophomore Stephanie Bristol, another six-footer, is at middle hitter, while Allie Appelman and Jessie Good will be playing back row.

The coach said Kristi Everson is being eyed for a hitting slot on the outside, with Kourtney Kelley hitting and playing defense. Norah Wood and Kasey Eagan will be featured in the back row.

"We're still running a fast offense," Turco said. "We'll be as quick as we can be."