Lyman volleyball takes the season all the way to Class S finals

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Lebanon - posted Tue., Nov. 19, 2013
Michelle Valliere prepares to serve for Lyman Memorial during a Class S semifinal game against East Hampton on Nov 13. Photos by Melanie Savage.
Michelle Valliere prepares to serve for Lyman Memorial during a Class S semifinal game against East Hampton on Nov 13. Photos by Melanie Savage.

The Lyman Memorial High School girls’ volleyball team ended a successful season on Nov. 15 with a 3-0 loss to Morgan in the final round of the Class S state tourney. “We’ve been to the quarterfinals for and lost for four straight years in a row," said coach Marty Gomez. “So to win that quarterfinal game at home against Coginchaug was a big hurdle."

Lyman went on to play East Hampton in the semifinal round, beating the team in three games on Nov. 13 at the Sport and Medical Sciences Academy in Hartford. “To be in the final four was new territory for us,” said Gomez. “It was a big thrill for us.”

“They elevated the program to a level where we’ve never been before,” said Gomez. “I’m very proud of them.”

Gomez said that the team's seniors had a great deal to do with the season’s success. “All of the seniors really had very significant roles on the team,” he said. Michelle Valliere, Natalie Wieczorek, Mikayla Luft, Sierra Weum and Elizabeth Peay, “were all four-year seniors,” said Gomez. “All five seniors exhibited tremendous loyalty to our program, and it will be very hard to replace.”

Setter Maggie Tarbox is a junior and will be returning next year. Juniors Madison LaFlam and Anna Puleo are also experienced front-line players.  Also expected to return to the front line are Kristina Olenick (sophomore), Abby Bundy (freshman) and Megan Goldstein. “With that nucleus coming in, in the front, along with Maggie Tarbox, I think we’ll be in pretty good shape in the front line,” said Gomez.

Back-line defense will be of more concern, with so many players being lost to graduation. “But I believe we have girls that know they have opportunities, so I’m pretty excited to see who is going to emerge as our back line and passing team,” said Gomez.

Valliere, Peay and Tarbox were all named ECC All-Conference players this year. LaFlam and Weum received honorable mention. Wieczorek was chosen for the sportsmanship award. Valliere was chosen to play in the senior All-Star game on Nov. 18.

“Only 24 girls from the state of Connecticut are chosen for that, so it’s a pretty big honor,” said Gomez. In addition, “I’ve got a feeling that Michelle has got a very good shot at All-State,” said Gomez.


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