Volleyball Super 7: Who are the top players in Western Mass.?
Jason Remillard, September 08, 2011 8:58 p.m.

KELSEY ABRAMSON, Frontier
Senior middle blocker took on the role of unsung hero for the Division III
state champion Red Hawks; posted 114 kills and 41.5 blocks; had nine kills
in state semifinal win over Millis and seven blocks in Western Mass.
semifinal win over Turners Falls.

MEGAN HOUFF, Longmeadow
Senior middle blocker had a breakout season as the Lancers won their fourth straight
Western Mass. Division I title; tied single-match school records for aces (11) and
blocks (6); finished season with 146 kills, 73 aces and 29 blocks.

JAMIE HOYLE, Amherst
Senior middle hitter/blocker came into her own by leading Hurricanes in kills and blocks;
team MVP; posted 18 kills against Westfield; will be aided this year by the ever-improving
Athena Donta and Sarah Krasnik.

COURTNEY PARENT, Frontier
Senior setter and opposite hitter had a breakthrough season for the Division III
state champion Red Hawks; second-team All-Scholastic choice as a sophomore;
three kills and 10 digs in 3-0 win over 2009 Division I state champion New Bedford
.

SHANNON ROBITAILLE, Ludlow
Senior middle/outside hitter captained the Lions to a victory over Commerce in the Western Mass. Division II tournament; had eight aces and nine kills in upset win
over South Hadley.

CASSIDY STANKOWSKI, Frontier
Junior outside hitter earned second straight nod to coaches’ Division III All-State team; one of 150 PrepVolleyball.com All-Americans; nominated
for state’s Gatorade Player of the Year; finished with 302 kills, 39 aces, 173 digs, .581 kill percentage; 26 kills in win over eventual Division I state
champion Barnstable; three-time All-Scholastic first-teamer.

HEATHER WHITE, Westfield
Senior outside hitter made the jump to become one of the top players in the Western Division; notched 24 kills, eight digs and eight aces in Western Mass.
Division I quarterfinal match against Amherst; three-year varsity

Megan Sullivan returns to spark Frontier volleyball in win at Longmeadow
By JIM PIGNATIELLO














LONGMEADOW -
Megan Sullivan watched her Frontier Regional volleyball teammates play the biggest games of the year from the sidelines last season.

Sullivan suffered a torn ACL against New Bedford on Oct. 8. The Red Hawks overcame the injury to finish the season undefeated en route to the state Division 3
Tournament championship.

After missing all that time, Sullivan was excited to have a big match to return to Wednesday night as Frontier took on Longmeadow in both teams' season opener.

"I didn't get to play in any of the championship games and I missed the game against Longmeadow," said Sullivan, who had surgery three days before
Thanksgiving. "We are friends with all of the (Longmeadow) girls, so it was really nice to be able to play them."

In a game between two powerhouse programs - Frontier is the six-time defending western Mass. D-3 champion, while the Lanchers have won four straight D-1
titles - the Red Hawks cruised to a 3-0 victory, 25-20, 25-16, 25-17.

"For the first match, after losing as many seniors as we did, I think we played really well," said senior setter Courtney Parent, who finished with 18 assists. "There
are definitely still things to work on, but we did a good job."

Sullivan spent the winter, spring and summer working hard to be back in time for the start of her senior year and is also working through a position change from
the middle to the outside.

"Megan had a good game. She's playing a different position on the right side instead of middle," Frontier coach Sean MacDonald said. "I think she's still getting
the confidence back, but she did a good job in her first outing."

Sullivan said playing in Wednesday's game was another big step in her recovery, which she now considers complete.

"I am feeling 100 percent. Definitely after this game, I'm feeling a lot better," she said. "I feel like (my game) coming back. I'm playing a new position than I did last
year, so that's been an adjustment. I think I played pretty well."

All-State junior outside hitter Cassidy Stankowski led the way with 25 kills and six aces.

"We're still struggling a little bit with how smooth we are. We aren't passing as well as we'd like," MacDonald said. "Our setting consistency isn't quite where we
want it yet, so (Stankowski) isn't sure where to expect the ball.

"I thought the first couple sets, she didn't really connect as well as I know she can because it isn't smoothed out yet. But it's coming. It's only the first match. We're
happy to come into a place like this against a very good team and get a win."

Junior middle hitter Julia Wan added four kills, four blocks and four aces in the victory.

"Julia, I thought, served very well," MacDonald said of the 5-foot-11 junior. "She still has plenty to work on, but she did some good stuff for us tonight. She had
some blocks and served well."

Frontier played without one of its returning starters, senior 6-foot middle hitter Kelsey Abramson, who suffered an ankle injury in practice. MacDonald wasn't sure
when she would return.

"We are very fortunate to get a 3-0 win against this team without her," he said. "We moved Mel Abercrombie from outside to middle and she did a nice job. She
was giving up a lot of size and played well for us."

Frontier downs Longmeadow 3-0 in season-opening match of defending Western Mass.
volleyball champions
Jason Remillard, September 07, 2011

LONGMEADOW - To say Sept. 7 was circled on the calendars of these two teams is an understatement.

While the high school volleyball teams from Frontier Regional and Longmeadow are very close off the court, they are incredibly competitive on it. As soon as the
schedule revealed these two powerhouses would begin the 2011 season against each other, the good-natured trash talk began.

On Wednesday, it was Frontier that emerged with early-season bragging rights, thanks to a 25-20, 25-16, 25-17 victory over host Longmeadow. Cassidy
Stankowski led the six-time defending Western Massachusetts Division III champions - and defending state chanps - with 25 kills.

"Most of us (from Frontier) played in the offseason with the majority of them," said Stankowski, a junior outside hitter who was runner-up for Gatorade state player
of the year last season. "To see them on the other side of that was way different, but it was so much fun - competitive the whole way through."

Jen Hurwitz paced the Lancers, who have won the last four Western Mass. Division II titles, with 10 kills in her first match as a regular varsity starter.

Longmeadow coach George Mulry and Frontier coach Sean MacDonald took advantage of this year's schedule - in which their two leagues were slated to play
twice in crossovers anyway - to open and close the regular season against each other. The Lancers and Red Hawks meet again Nov. 1 in South Deerfield, a
perfect tournament tuneup if there ever was one.

"It was the way Sean and I wanted to set it up," Mulry said. "We didn't have to use an independent (match). There's nothing like a trial by fire, especially for the
newer players."

Each team is breaking in a few new starters from the previous season, but both look like the teams to beat once again. Frontier has to deal with an ankle injury to
middle blocker Kelsey Abramson, which could keep the 6-footer out for some time. Melanie Abercrombie filled in and played very well, giving MacDonald an option
if Abramson is out for awhile.

"We were very fortunate to get a 3-0 win without her," MacDonald said.

Megan Sullivan appeared fully recovered from an ACL injury last season, sliding into the starting opposite hitter spot and collecting four kills. Another new starter,
Julia Wan, served four aces and had three kills.

"We have some people that can do a few different things," MacDonald said.

Longmeadow's own 6-foot middle blocker, Megan Houff, had eight kills, and new setter Mackenzie Ditomassi handed out 20 assists.

Photos from Dave Roback, The Republican























Volleyball notebook: New coaches at the helm at West Springfield and
Minnechaug
Jason Remillard, September 08, 2011 8:51 p.m.

New coach Chelsea Barnicle inherits the task of keeping the West Springfield High School volleyball team atop the Western Division despite several key losses to
graduation.

Gone from the Terriers’ squad that lost to Longmeadow in the last two Western Mass. Division II finals are All-State honoree Vanessa Ruiz and fellow All-
Scholastic first-teamers Alyssa Danilow and Chrissy Vigliano.

The cupboard isn’t completely bare on Piper Road, as eight seniors return. Among the leaders of that group are Gina Battista, Natalie Berwald, Dana Theobald,
Valentina Ruskevich and Julia Mosijchuk.

Also joining the head coaching ranks is longtime Minnechaug Regional assistant Mark Taylor, who replaces Steve Jarvis at the helm of the Falcons.

TALENT REMAINS: Longmeadow also graduated three All-Scholastic first-teamers – Anna McGann, Ali Donnelly and Caroline Martin. However, coach George
Mulry’s team appears stacked enough to remain in the mix in the Northern Division, as well as to contend for a fifth straight sectional championship.

Senior middle blocker Megan Houff had a breakout season in 2010, and defensive stalwart Cady Deary also returns.

Throughout Division II, 2010 was a senior-heavy year. Only four of the 17 first-team selections return – Houff, Jamie Hoyle (Amherst), Shannon Robitaille (Ludlow)
and Heather White (Westfield).

MORE OF THE SAME: Only Frontier Regional could lose three All-State players to graduation and come back just as dangerous.

That’s because the defending Division III state champions still have one of the best players in New England – junior outside hitter Cassidy
Stankowski – for another two seasons.

Coach Sean MacDonald has compiled a 175-13 record in his first eight seasons in South Deerfield, with seven straight Northern Division titles
and six consecutive Western Mass. Division III championships.

Joining Stankowski are talented returnees Courtney Parent, Kelsey Abrahamson and Marie Wheeler. Stankowski, Parent and Abrahamson were
first-team All-Scholastic selections a year ago.
Frontier standout Cassidy Stankowski records 1,000th kill of career during
sweep of Mahar
Russ Held, The Republican, September 20, 2011 10:06 p.m.

There were 999 reasons that made one kill so special for Cassidy Stnakowski Tuesday night.

The Frontier Regional junior recorded the 1,000th kill of her career during the Red Hawks' 3-0 win over host Mahar Regional in Orange.

"I have no records, from before I got here,'' Frontier's ninth-year coach Sean  MacDonald said. "And I can't bet my life on it, but I'd come close to syaing that no one else
had ever done this here.''

Stankowski , a fifth-year starter, made five kills to help a team effort led by Marie Wheeler (four aces, 10 assists).

"A thousand kills is defintely an achievement,'' MacDonald said. "She was excited, but it's not her top goal, by far. She wants to help the team win Western Mass. and state
championships.''

Cassidy Stankowski blasts 1,000th career kill as Frontier Regional sweeps
By THE DAILY HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE
Staff Writer
                            
Cassidy Stankowski joined an elite list of one Tuesday.

The junior outside hitter recorded her 1,000th career kill in Frontier Regional's
3-0 sweep of Mahar in Orange. The Red Hawks won 25-9, 25-8, 25-17.

"She's possibly the first one" from Frontier to reach the milestone, said coach Sean MacDonald.

Stankowski entered the match with 996 kills. She recorded No. 1,000 midway through the second set.

"It is a rare feat," MacDonald said. "You sometimes see a setter get 1,000 assists but they're
distributing those among many hitters. One hitter getting 1,000 kills is a lot harder."

Stankowski finished with three aces and five kills.

Courtney Parent had four aces and eight assists, including the milestone assist to Stankowski.

Kate Harper had six kills while Marie Wheeler added four aces and 10 assists for Frontier (5-0, 2-0 Northern).

MacDonald said Stankowski is the first player during his nine-year tenure to achieve the feat. MacDonald
said Stankowski has had the luxury of playing more sets. At one time, teams played best two-out-three sets
as opposed to now, when teams play best three-out-of-five.

Stankowski's career record is 96-4. Of those 96 wins, 88 have been straight set victories.                                                  JERREY ROBERTS
                                                                                                                                                                                   Cassidy Stankowski, Frontier Regional
























































































Frontier volleyball superstar Cassidy Stankowski works hard on, off the court
By jimpignatiello
Created 09/29/2011 - 12:53am

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Just after 5 p.m. on Sept. 15, Frontier Regional junior Cassidy Stankowski climbs up the school bus stairs and heads directly to the back seat on the
left.

While there's plenty of chatter around her, Stankowski spends the first 15 minutes of the ride north to Greenfield with her earbuds in, staring at the back of the seat in front
of her.

"I'm always in that seat," Stankowski said. "I like having it to myself. I like to listen to my music and focus on what's coming up and how the game is going to go. I'm thinking
about what the other team is going to look like and what we're going to do. It's really my focus time."

Many juniors are still relatively new to the varsity experience. For Stankowski, it's old hat. Already in her third year as a team captain, she's got the routine down.

The volleyball standout has been starting for the Red Hawks' juggernaut since her seventh-grade season. That year, she played libero for the two-time defending state
champions alongside older sister Alyssa, then a junior.

In the four-plus seasons since, the Red Hawks have gone 99-4 with four straight Western Massachusetts Division 3 Tournament championships. Last year, Frontier went
26-0 and won the state title. During the regular season, it defeated eventual state D-1 champion Barnstable and D-2 winner Medfield.

Stankowski, meanwhile, was a Gatorade Player of the Year nominee both as a freshman and a sophomore. Earlier this month, she tallied her 1,000th career kill and was
named the MaxPreps/AVCA Massachusetts Player of the Week.

"The thing that's most overlooked is that she works really hard at being better at what she does," coach Sean MacDonald said. "She's striving every day to get better. A lot
of people in her position don't do that. They think they've arrived because they are the best around. That's not her. She works hard in the offseason. She works hard
physically in the weight room and doing plyometrics to jump higher and she works hard in the classroom.

"And she's naturally gifted. She's one that picks up things fast. That combination makes her a pretty dangerous volleyball player."

5:18 p.m.

As the bus drives down Federal Street in Greenfield, the chants and cheers start. The Red Hawks loudly roll into the Greenfield High School parking lot singing their own
praises.

The Green Wave, who were winless last year, aren't likely to put up much of a fight against Frontier, which has won more than 100 straight games against western Mass.
opponents.

But the Red Hawks aren't preparing any differently. That's why they don't suffer letdowns.

"We try to stay as positive as possible on the court, have a lot of energy and be loud," Stankowski said. "We always remind each other that we have to play the way we
know we can play no matter who the opponent is. We try to stay as mentally focused and as loud as possible throughout the whole game. Even if it isn't the most exciting
game of the year, you still have to have a lot of intensity on the court."

The Red Hawks exit the bus and the varsity team settles into the stands behind the Frontier bench, while the JV warms up for its match. Stankowski and senior Courtney
Parent sit together listening to their iPods, texting on their phones and joking with one another.

Stankowski said her mental preparation for the match isn't less focused because Greenfield is unlikely to give the Red Hawks much trouble. She is, however, aware of the
potential lineup changes toward the end of the match.

Regardless of the opponent, "I listen to the same music and have my pregame routine. I know in the first game (MacDonald) is not going to put me in as the starting setter,"
she said. "So I'm just focused on the first game and I know that as we go on we'll deal with what's coming up next.

6:01 p.m.

After taking part in a bit of the JV warm-ups, the varsity squad heads back to the stands, which begins looking like a beauty salon with various players working on a
teammates hair. Stankowski puts together Parent's look for the night and then assistant coach Bernie Sadoski comes over to tape everyone.

Along with her ankles, Stankowski has Sadoski tape around the metatarsal region of her feet to help protect against shin splints. She's symptom-free for now and wants to
keep it that way after a tough bout at the end of last season.

Stankowski sat out the Red Hawks' first three postseason matches last year because of the ailment and struggled with having to watch from the sidelines.

"That was hard," she said. "That's when it really counts, one and done and I can't even help out. It was really frustrating for me, but I still knew I had to be as encouraging
as possible and have a lot of energy for my teammates."

She felt much better when she returned for the team's final three matches - WMass finals, state semifinals and state finals - racking up 46 kills combined.

6:30 p.m.

Just as the JV team is putting the finishing touches on a 2-0 victory, the Red Hawks are putting on their own final touches - glitter.

"Glitter has always been around for as far back as I can remember," Stankowski said. "I don't know where that came from."

The team gathers in two circles getting one another fired up for the game and warm-ups begin. They begin working on serves first and Cassidy shows off both her regular
serve and her wicked jump serve, which, when she gets it perfect, looks like a Major League slider humming over the net and then darting to the side.

Then they move on to setting and hitting. Stankowski and the other hitters flip the ball up to one of the setters - Parent, Marie Wheeler or Tori Whitney - who flicks the ball
up to the net for a spike.

A spectator can close his or her eyes and still usually know when Stankowski takes her turn. There will be the hard thwack of her making solid contact followed by the thud
of the ball slamming onto the gymnasium floor. That's generally followed by impressed murmuring from the crowd, especially in away gyms.

Stankowski makes that level of impression. She was so jaw-dropping in last year's state semifinal win over Millis (14 kills, nine digs, five aces) that many central Mass.
people attended the state finals just to see her play again. They didn't leave the 3-0 win over Case disappointed, as she notched 17 kills, including the match winner, for
the program's first state title since 2006.

7:02 p.m.

The match begins and Greenfield wins the first point, sending its bench and fans into a mini-frenzy. This is the way things are for Frontier, which is 185-13 in eight-plus
years under MacDonald. All WMass programs, even four-time defending Division 2 sectional champion Longmeadow, measure themselves against the Red Hawks.

"We respect our opponents and we try to keep our heads screwed on to do the best that we can against everybody," MacDonald said. "We say regardless of what their
record is, we treat them as standing in the way of the goals we have. So, we have to focus and try to score 25 points three times."

The Red Hawks win 25 of the next 34 points and need just 15 minutes to take the first game 25-10. MacDonald shuffles the lineup around and Stankowski sets the first two
points of the second game. She's then in and out of the rest of the game, watching from the sidelines and cheering on her teammates.

"I definitely love seeing all the girls on our team step up and help out," she said. "I try to be as loud as possible for them. It's a great experience for them.

"And it's nice because I definitely could not have done it without my teammates. Without them, I definitely would not be where I am right now. I've always had great
teammates throughout my whole career."

7:36 p.m.

Stankowski is back on the court and goes up for a big kill on the left side. But Greenfield's Naomi Bledsoe leaps at just the right time, gets both hands up and blocks the
shot. She - and the entire Green Wave side - react at the level Frontier saves for titles. For Greenfield this is a clear highlight of the season.

Stankowski, who says she usually doesn't hear the crowd, is amused by the reaction.

"It didn't really bother me. People get blocked and it's no big deal," she said. "It wasn't that I didn't care, but it is only one point in the match and I knew I was going to get it
back, so I wasn't that concerned."

The second game takes 16 minutes for a Frontier 25-13 win. For Game 3, MacDonald has Stankowski setting and the junior returns the dozens of favors to Parent, sending
a pass her way for an early kill.

"I like (setting). It's a change and it's fun for me to not always be a hitter and use my shoulder constantly," Stankowski said. "It's fun to do once in a while. I wouldn't want to
do it forever, but it's a good change."

Nineteen minutes later, the match is over via a 25-15 final game and Frontier is off to a 4-0 start despite missing cocaptain Kelsey Abramson (ankle) at middle hitter.
Stankowski, meanwhile, finishes with three kills and four assists in a match that went as expected. Abramson has since returned and the team is now 8-0.

8:05 p.m.

The teams go through the handshake line and Stankowski and her teammates sit on the court to change their sneakers. That's when Stankowski is approached by a high
school age boy from Greenfield with a sneaker in one hand and a permanent marker in the other.

"You're like a star," he says to her and then asks for her autograph. She smiles and agrees, signing her name and her No. 13 on his sneaker while her teammates chuckle.

"It's kind of crazy because I'm only in high school," said Stankowski, who had autograph and picture seekers following last year's state semifinal as well. "It's a weird feeling.
It's really cool that they think that highly of me to ask me for an autograph."

Others have noticed Stankowski's ability as well. The 16 year old, who will turn 17 in mid-October, has Division I scholarship offers in hand.

"It's definitely going to come down to where I'm most comfortable and academics," said Stankowski, who wants to study athletic training. "Volleyball will definitely help in the
decision, but when it comes down to it, I'm going to go where I'm going to be most happy."

Minutes after her autograph session, she's back on the bus, back in the back seat on the left side. This time, there's no pregame stare only smiles and laughter, capped by
the team's big cheer as the bus pulls back into the Frontier parking lot. The cheer varies depending on the result, ending in either a scream in victory or whisper in defeat.

In 103 career matches, Stankowski has whispered only four times. Midway through her junior year, she's already had a full careers worth of these nights. She hops off the
bus and heads home for an early bed time to prepare for another day as one of WMass' most successful athletes.

Red Hawks drop 5-set match to D-1 champ Barnstable
By Daily Hampshire Gazette
Created 10/01/2011 - 5:00am

The Frontier Regional girls volleyball team suffered their first loss Friday.

In a matchup between defending state champions, host Barnstable handed the Red Hawks a 3-2 loss. The Red Raiders won 16-25, 25-17, 25-17, 17-25 and 15-6.

Barnstable is the defending Division 1 sate champ. Frontier won the D-3 title. The Red Hawks also won the regular season matchup last season.

"It felt OK. I think it's a little sad because we felt like we could have had them," coach Sean MacDonald said. "They have a lot of their team back and we actually don't. It
feels pretty good, but on paper they probably should have blown us out 3-0."

Cassidy Stankowski recorded 22 kills, 12 digs, and three aces. Courtney Parent had 20 assists and three kills. Marie Wheeler had nine assists and Julia Wan had three
aces. The loss was the first for the Red Hawks (8-1). It also snapped a 34-match win streak.

"It was a good test for our team, and good gauge as to what we need to improve on and work on in practice on Monday," MacDonald said. "Serving, covering some tips,
and mental focus are some of the things we need to improve on."
Cassidy Stankowski earns 100th career Frontier volleyball victory
By THE DAILY HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE
Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Junior Cassidy Stankowski registered her 100th career win as the Frontier Regional girls volleyball team defeated Belchertown 3-0 in South Deerfield on Monday. The Red Hawks (9-1) won 25-4, 25-13, 25-17.

Stankowski had seven kills, six aces and four assists as her career record improved to 100-5.

Marie Wheeler had 12 assists, while Kate Harper added three kills and an ace for Frontier, which bounced back from its first loss of the season to Barnstable Friday.

Emily Kubacki had five digs and Laura Dore three blocks for Belchertown (6-5).

Frontier volleyball improves to 100-5 in Cassidy Stankowski's career with 3-0 win
over Belchertown
Jason Remillard, October 03, 2011 8:21 p.m.

Nothing seems to rattle Cassidy Stankowski. Not playing in front of several college scouts, nor trying to earn the 100th victory of her stellar playing career.

Stankowski racked up seven kills, six aces and four assists Monday as her Frontier Regional School volleyball team defeated Belchertown 3-0. The junior outside hitter has now been a part of 100 Red Hawks victories
in her 4 1/2 varsity seasons - with only five losses.

"When I got 100 wins, I had 10 losses," said Frontier coach Sean MacDonald, who will reach the 200-win plateau either during the postseason or very early next season.

Marie Wheeler added 12 assists and Kate Harper three kills for 9-1 Frontier.

Emily Kubacki (five digs) and Laura Dore (three blocks) played well for Belchertown.

Frontier volleyball takes eighth straight Northern Division title with 3-0 victory over
Mahar
Jason Remillard, October 24, 2011 8:37 p.m.

One of the most impressive team resumes in all of Western Massachusetts high school athletics just added another line Monday.

Cassidy Stankowski registered nine kills as host Frontier Regional School locked up its eight consecutive Northern Division volleyball title with a 3-0 victory over Mahar.

The Red Hawks (16-1, 7-0) have sat atop the league standings every year since 2004 - the only one in that span in which they did not win the Division III sectional title.

Sarah Woodward, not to be confused with the Mahar coach of the same name, added five kills and three aces for Frontier, and Kelsey Abrahamson racked up three kills and three digs.

Mahar's usual dynamic duo of Sabrina Silva (three aces, six kills) and Sam Parker (seven kills) were tops for the Senators.

Frontier Regional girls volleyball claims Northern Division title
By THE DAILY HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE
Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Add an eighth straight Northern Division title to the Frontier Regional girls volleyball team's hefty collection of recent achievements as they swept Mahar 3-0 in South Deerfield Monday.

The Red Hawks won 25-15, 25-12, 25-18.

Cassidy Stankowski led Frontier (16-1, 7-0 Northern) with nine kills, while Sarah Woodward added five kills. Kelsey Abramson had three kills and three digs.

Cassidy Stankowski, Frontier volleyball sweep powerhouse Medfield
By THE DAILY HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE
Staff Writer
Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cassidy Stankowski had 20 kills and three aces as the Frontier Regional volleyball team picked up its best win of the season with a 3-0 sweep of defending state Division 2 champion Medfield in South Deerfield on
Wednesday night.

Courtney Parent and Marie Wheeler combined for 30 assists as the defending state D-3 champion Red Hawks (17-1) rolled 25-18, 25-15, 25-21 over the Warriors (13-3).

Kate Harper had six kills for Frontier, which suffered its lone loss earlier this season at defending state Division 1 champion Barnstable.
Frontier defeats Medfield 3-0 in matchup of defending state volleyball champions
Jason Remillard, October 26, 2011 9:01 p.m.
With three Division III state championships in the last six years, Frontier Regional School is one of the preeminent volleyball powerhouses in Massachusetts.

So is Frontier's opponent Wednesday night. Medfield has brought home Division II state titles in five of the last six seasons.

When the two dynasties collided in South Deerfield, Frontier emerged with a tremendous victory. Led by 20 kills from Cassidy Stankowski, the Red Hawks downed Medfield 25-18, 25-15, 25-21.

"I don't think they're as strong this year as they've been in the past, but they're still a good team," Frontier coach Sean MacDonald said. "Any time you can beat Medfield, no matter what year it is, it's a good win."

Last season, Frontier won a best-of-three match at a weekend tournament, but this is the first time the teams have met in a regulation best-of-five that counts in the standings. The return match will be at Medfield next
season.

Courtney Parent and Marie Wheeler combined for 30 assists, and Julia Wan posted six aces and two kills for the 17-1 Red Hawks.

















































Power outages wreak havoc with high school tourney schedules
By MIKE WILKINSON
Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 1, 2011

With power down in communities throughout western Massachusetts, the first week of high school tournament action will likely need at least another day to get sorted out.

The seeds for the Western Massachusetts Division 1 & 2 Field Hockey Tournaments were scheduled to be released Monday, but the meeting at Northampton High School was postponed to today at 1 p.m.

Tournament director Diane Lussier said she likely would have released the seeds with or without today's meeting taking place.

"The work is pretty much all done, I was able to do that Monday using the Walker system to set where everyone fits," she said. "I just need to have the committee go over it before the announcement."

Northampton athletic director Jim Miller sent out an email Monday night confirming the rescheduled meeting, despite the city's schools being closed today.

The next challenge will be to determine when the games can actually be played. Lussier's goal would be to start play Thursday.

"We're putting it out to the schools that may not make it back to school until late this week or even next week," Lussier said. "We need to know what works best for them, and adjust accordingly."

The scheduled dates for the semifinals at Mount Holyoke College are next Tuesday and Wednesday. Lussier said she's still planning on those days, and she's holding out hope for the finals to be played on Friday, Nov. 11.

"At this point, the (early round) games can be staggered, but it all depends on the facilities," she said. "We may have to look at alternate or neutral sites. ... I don't know what schools don't allow games on a day with no school,
so it depends on the individual schools and the athletic directors."

Girls volleyball

The seed meeting for girls volleyball is scheduled for Wednesday, but some teams still need to finish the regular season.

"I talked to the tournament director (Deb Loomer) Sunday, and she didn't have power," Amherst Regional coach Kacey Schmitt said. "I went online and got the information for her. But there are still some teams to play. This is
bizarre - I never before had to worry about cancellations for volleyball."

Schmitt, whose team completed its regular season Friday, said the meeting is still on schedule, but is highly skeptical.

"I can't imagine having it at that time unless they look at games and find they don't count much toward the seeding," she said. "The MIAA will have to sort all of this out."
Kate Harper recovers to help Frontier volleyball win another state title
By JIM PIGNATIELLO
Staff Writer
Monday, November 21, 2011

NORTHBOROUGH - Kate Harper knows she gets down on herself too much on the volleyball court.

"I think I'm the worst on the team," the Frontier Regional volleyball junior hitter said. "When I get down, it's really hard to get back up."

Harper had some tough moments midway through Saturday's state Division 3 tournament championship match, allowing one hitting error to turn into two, then three.

But she turned things around in time to come up big in the deciding fifth game of the Red Hawks' 3-2 win over Case at Algonquin Regional.

"The nerves definitely got to me at one point," said Harper, whose team won 23-25, 25-18, 17-25, 26-24, 15-11. "That may have been part of it."

Harper settled down, however, with strong play late in the fourth game as Frontier stayed alive with a 26-24 win and then had two big kills in key moments in the fifth and final game.

Senior Marie Wheeler said she was impressed to see Harper recover.

"She played so well after that" early trouble, Wheeler said. "Everyone has rocky spots in games. It just happened that this was her game, and she pulled it off at the end so well. She couldn't have done any better."

With Case leading 8-7 in the game to 15, Harper dropped a big kill to even the score and stop a 6-1 run by the Cardinals. The teams then traded points before Harper hit another winner, this time with a tip, and then
scored on a service point to take a 13-10 lead en route to closing things out 15-11.

"Kate started out all right and then started struggling early in the match," coach Sean MacDonald said. "She came up for us big. Some of it wasn't pretty, but it got the job done. Kate has played so well for us this year.
She's been one of our most improved players. I'm very proud of the way she mentally came back from that."

Harper finished the game with five kills.

"It's really hard when you get down, but when you get back up it's almost like you can accomplish anything," she said.

SENIORS - The match was the final contest for Frontier seniors Megan Sullivan, Melanie Abercrombie, Courtney Parent, Kelsey Abramson and Wheeler.

"They are an amazing group of girls," said junior Cassidy Stankowski, who served as team captain alongside Abramson this season. "They work hard every day. It feels great to send them out with a state
championship. I hope they all remember this day for the rest of their lives."

MacDonald praised his senior class after the match.

"I have to give it up to them. Courtney and (Wheeler) set great today, hit great today," he said. "Kelsey was hurt early in the year, came back and has been great at the net. Mel played a lot when Kelsey was hurt (early in
the season) and got the team through that time. She also did a nice job when we had her come in for a bit (Saturday) to give Kate a rest. Megan Sullivan was hitting on the right side when (Wheeler's) shoulder was hurt
and that was big for us at that time."

INCREDIBLE NUMBERS - The season ends with the Red Hawks continuing to post amazing marks.

Frontier now has not lost more than one match in a season since 2007 and more than two since 2004. The Red Hawks are 91-3 over the past four seasons and MacDonald is 198-14 (.934) in nine years at Frontier.

COMMON OPPONENT - Both Frontier and Case entered Saturday's championship match with one blemish on their records and they were both to the same team.

Frontier's lone loss this season was a 3-2 defeat at defending state Division 1 champion Barnstable.

Before Saturday's 3-2 victory, those were the only three games the Red Hawks lost all season.

Case, meanwhile, took a 3-1 loss at Barnstable. The Cardinals had lost only a total of six games all season before Saturday.

With state championship at stake, Red Hawks turn to Cassidy Stankowski
By JIM PIGNATIELLO
Staff Writer
Monday, November 21, 2011

NORTHBOROUGH - When the state championship was on the line Saturday, there was little doubt where the Frontier Regional volleyball team was going to send the ball.

Late in the fourth game of Saturday’s ultra-competitive Division 3 tournament final against Case, it became Cassidy Stankowski time.

The Red Hawks junior blasted a pair of kills and followed with a big block for three of her team’s final four points in an epic 26-24 match-saving fourth game victory. Frontier then pulled out the fifth game for a 3-2 victory.

“If you’ve got one of the best players in the state and you’re down a couple of points, if you’re going to lose, it’s because (the opponent) blocked her or dug her,” said Red Hawks coach Sean MacDonald, whose team
won its fourth state championship and second in a row.

Stankowski, arguably the best player in the state, posted 24 kills, 16 digs and five aces in the contest, but it was the explosion at the end of the fourth game that truly stood out.

With Frontier trailing 2-1 and behind 23-22 in the game, Courtney Parent sent a pass to the net for Stankowski, who crushed it to the middle, but Case was able to dig the ball and get it back over the net. Parent found
Stankowski for another attempt and this time she drilled it even harder for the point and a 23-23 tie.

The teams traded points to 24-24 before Parent set up Stankowski again and the junior delivered with another thunderous kill to give her team a 25-24 lead.

“When Cassidy is on fire, I have to keep giving it to her,” Parent said. “I know she’s going to put it down and I just have to have faith in her.”

On the following point, Danielle Robillard of Case went for the kill, but Stankowski sent it right back over the net and down to the ground to end the game and even the match at 2-2.

“I definitely felt the momentum turn” during that run of points, Stankowski said. “They were on their heels and we felt it, We had to attack them right then and there before we lost our opportunity. We had a lot of energy
and everyone was going crazy.”

Stankowski added five more kills early in the fifth game as Frontier jumped out to a 6-2 lead, which was key in weathering a run by the Cardinals back to 8-8 before the Red Hawks finally pulled away for good.

Stankowski credited the team’s hard conditioning work as key for the victory.

“We worked hard on and off season in the weight room and in the plyo room, building up endurance and strength,” said Stankowski, whose team had swept 22 of its prior 23 matches heading into Saturday’s
championship. “That really helped us with the long rallies to not get as tired. (Assistant coach) Bernie (Sadoski) is our weight guy and I give him this win. His work really helped us. Our stamina was up the whole game
and we just fought until the end.”

Adding to the sweetness of the victory for Stankowski was tying older sister Alyssa’s mark of two state championships. Alyssa led Frontier to titles in 2005 and 2006.

“I know she’s happy for me and I know she supports me, but to be able to tie her record is amazing,” Cassidy said. “I know when I get home, she’ll just give me a big hug. She’s definitely a great supporter of mine and I
looked up to her my whole career.”

Frontier downs Case in epic five-set showdown to repeat as Division III state volleyball champions
Jason Remillard, November 19, 2011 2:59 p.m.

NORTHBOROUGH - Sibing rivalries are fun, especially when someone's keeping score.

When Frontier Regional School won its second straight Division III state volleyball championship on Saturday, the scoreboard at the Stankowski household in South Deerfield became tied.

Cassidy Stankowski, a junior, took the Red Hawks on her back in the decisive fifth set and lifted Frontier to a 23-25, 25-18, 17-25, 26-24, 15-11 victory over Joseph Case of Swansea in the state final at Algonquin
Regional High School.

One of the first things Stankowski did after receiving the championship trophy - the second of her career - was to leap into the arms of her older sister, Alyssa, who guided the Red Hawks to their first two state titles in
2005 and 2006.

"She (Alyssa) would always taunt me about it, saying she has more," said Cassidy, who has been to three state finals in her five varsity seasons. "It's great to finally tie her, and I know she's happy for me."

The last time Frontier (23-1) was involved in such a tight match in a state tournament, Alyssa Stankowski was a freshman when the Red Hawks defeated North Reading 3-2 in a state semifinal that began a four-year
rivalry between the schools.

The third straight meeting between Frontier and Case gave Alyssa and others in attendance flashbacks to that night. The Red Hawks were down two sets to one and 23-22 in the fourth - only two points from losing -
when fortunes began to change.

Cassidy Stankowski's tip block of an attack by Case's Danielle Robillard won the set and gave Frontier a chance to complete the comeback in the fifth.

"A little bit," Alyssa Stankowski joked when asked if the match resembled the North Reading affairs.

Frontier got off to a 4-0 start in the fifth set on two spikes and a two-handed tip by Cassidy. Case (22-2) did not go down easily, however, quickly tying the set at 6-6. The Red Hawks grabbed the lead for good at 10-9 on a
spike by Courtney Parent. Match point came when the Cardinals had difficulty returning the final serve.

"This one, how it stands up, is probably one of the sweetest ones," Frontier coach Sean MacDonald said, putting the match in historical perspective within his team's run of four state titles in seven years. "This team
has had some tough five-game losses, so to have a five-game win in a state final is pretty sweet."

The Red Hawks lost to North Reading in five sets in the 2007 final, Cassidy Stankowski's first varsity season as a seventh-grader.

Oh, how she's developed since then. Stankowski's spikes and serves pack a wallop comparable to the boys, as evidenced by the spike that careened off three Case players to set up match point.

"Cassidy came up big for us," MacDonald said. "But we still ask too much of her."

Junior Kate Harper had a solid match as well, in her first state final as a regular contributor. Her improvement all season is one of the reasons the Red Hawks were in this position to repeat.

"It's crazy," a teary-eyed Harper said. "It's such a great experience, and I can't wait to play next year."

D3 volleyball: Frontier Regional 3, Case 2
November, 19, 2011
By Scott Barboza - ESPN Boston

NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. – Even after losing nine members from last year’s Division 3 state championship, Frontier Regional had enough in the tank to pull out a gutsy 3-2 victory against Case.

Saturday marked the third straight season in which the Red Hawks (23-1) and Cardinals (22-2) met in the title match.

The Red Hawks came from behind to pull out a dramatic fourth set, 26-24, forcing a deciding set. They settled down in the fifth set, taking a 15-11 win and giving the program its fourth state championship Saturday at
Algonquin Regional High School.

“I have to tip my cap to Case,” Frontier head coach Sean MacDonald said. “They made us work for every point. I think this one stands up as one of the sweetest ones.”

Although the Red Hawks lost most of their rotation from last season, they still relied on junior outside hitter Cassidy Stankowski providing an array of powerful kills with a strong service game.

“Cassidy came up big for us,” MacDonald said. “She struggled a little at the end, but we ask too much from her, more than anybody should ask from one player.”

The pivotal moment of the match game in the fourth, when MacDonald rallied his troops to force a deciding fifth set.

Then, the Red Hawks were two points away from losing the match. Down 23-22, Frontier came back to force a fifth set with Stankowski providing a tip block on Case’s Danielle Robillard.

Having to work for this one only sweetened the victory.

“Last year was a twenty-six-and-oh season, but this it was like, ‘Oh, it’s a rebuilding year,’” “Obviously, it was not. We proved that today and it was amazing for my team. I’m so proud of them.”
Frontier Regional girls volleyball primed to seek seventh straight
sectional title
By jimpignatiello
Created 11/03/2011

The best result of the Frontier Regional volleyball team's trip to last weekend's Medfield Playdate was the lack of injuries
heading into the postseason.
Red Hawks coach Sean MacDonald had visions of last year's event, which his team won, but paid for when star player Cassidy
Stankowski suffered shin splints afterward
"I was definitely thinking about what happened last year," said MacDonald, whose team didn't go as all-out in this year's event,
spreading out the playing time over the team's six matches.
Stankowski sat out Frontier's first three postseason contests last year, but the Red Hawks cruised through anyway. She
returned and led the team to an undefeated season and a state Division 3 title.
"We aren't the powerhouse team we were last year," MacDonald said. "And I had no interest in having her sitting on the bench
mad at me for three games because she couldn't play."
Frontier (18-1) is eyeing its seventh straight Western Massachusetts Division 3 title and its fourth state title over that time.
The Red Hawks were named the No. 1 seed in this year's D-3 tournament. They will play the winner of a first round match
between No. 9 Belchertown (11-8) and No. 8 Lenox (10-6) at a date and time to be announced.
MacDonald said playing in the playdate was a good way to focus the team as it prepares for the postseason.
"You have six different opponents trying to find ways to beat you," he said. "You get a whole bunch of different eyes looking at
your team. It's good for us. We get to work on everything."
He added that having the team deal with some relative struggles wasn't necessarily a bad thing, either.
"It definitely focuses us. The Barnstable loss shined a bright light on the things we had to work on," he said of the team's
regular season 3-2 loss to the defending state D-1 champs. "We've been working on those things since then. And we've been
working on things since Medfield."
Easthampton (14-6) earned the No. 7 seed and will host No. 10 Pioneer Christian (13-7) in the first round at a date to be
announced.
An Eagles win would send them to No. 2 Mahar (13-5) in the quarterfinals also on a date to be announced.
The Eagles finished second to Division 2 Ludlow (18-0) in the Central League.
Also in the Central, fourth-place finisher South Hadley (11-7) took the No. 12 seed and heads to No. 5 Lee (15-4) for a first round
match on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
The Tigers are back in the postseason after missing by one game last season. After never having played in the playoffs before
2007, the program has made it four of the last five years.
The Orioles couldn't crack the top eight - and the accompanying first round home game - despite winning the Southern League
this season.
Frontier sweeps way to state Division III girls volleyball final
Fran Sypek, November 15, 2011 9:22 p.m.
LEOMINSTER -

Another victory over a previously undefeated opponent.

Another trip to the state Division III girls volleyball final for Frontier Regional of South Deerfield.

How sweep it is.

Frontier, using the skill and determination that has made the Red Hawks one of the premier programs in the Commonwealth,
beat Lynnfield, 3-0  Tuesday. Frontier won 25-17, 25-19, 25-20.  

Now it's on to the final for the 22-1 Red Hawks. Frontier will play Case (21-1) and Millis (10-12) Saturday at Algonguin High School in Northborough. The Red Hawks, who have won seven consecutive Western Massachusetts titles,
will seek their fourth state crown.

Lynnfield came in with a spotless 23-0 and a North title to its credit. But that was not about to intimindate Froniter.

"For  us, records are just a number,'' said Cassidy Stankowski, who dominated the game with 13 kills, 13 assists and five aces. "We knew we had to bring our best game because they are such a great team.''

Each match was competitive. Lynnfield knew it ran into a buzzsaw and the Pioneers were never able to build more than a three-point advantage during the match.

Stankowski sparked several Froniter runs that enabled the Red Hawks to put some distance between them and the Pioneers.

"I got confidence back in my jump serve,''  she said. "To have that back in the tournament really helped me out.''

That powerful jump serve, along with some thundering kills, seemed to fluster Lynnfield. But the Pioneers went down fighting and each game was hotly contested.     "I thought Cassidy played great tonight,'' Frontier coach Sean
MacDonald said. "She's just so important to our team - her passing, hitting and blocker show why she's one of the best players in the state.''

She had help.

"We're not a one-person show,'' MacDonald said. "Kate Harper played great, made some smart players; Marie Wheeler did a nice job hitting at the net, blocking and serving. Julia Wan and ali Durant both had a niced run of serves.''

Durant, the smallest player on the team at 5-feet tall, closed out the match with one of her two aces.

Talk about flow. There were a number of  outstanding keep ins that kept play going.

It seemed nearly every point either team got was hard-earned.

"This was a team effort - we only ran seven people all game and I was very proud of them,'' MacDonald said.

Frontier's lone loss was to 13-time reigning Division I champion Barnstable and Lynnfield was the best team it played since then.

"This was one of the toughest matches we've had all year,'' MacDoinald said. "That was a very good team and they did a nice job.''

Wheeler finished with 11 assists and three kills. Courtney Parent added 12 assists, four kills and four aces.

Volleyball: Frontier 3, Lynnfield 0
November, 15, 2011
By Bruce Lerch - ESPN Boston

LEOMINSTER, Mass. -- Every time Cassidy Stankowski went up in the air to unleash one of her powerful serves or spikes, the collective student section from Frontier Regional emphasized the moment with a loud chant of "BOOM!"

The fact that you could still clearly hear the sound of her hand striking the ball was indicative of the strikes the Red Hawks junior was delivering.

Stankowski dominated both offensively and from behind the service stripe, collecting 17 kills and seven aces as Frontier bested previously unbeaten Lynnfield in three straight, winning 25-17, 25-18 and 25-20, in Tuesday's Division 3
state volleyball semifinal at Leominster High School.

The Red Hawks (22-1) will look to defend their state title on Saturday (12 p.m.) at Algonquin High School against the winner of Wednesday's semifinal matchup between Case and Millis.

Stankowski's impressive game will undoubtedly be drawing the attention of college recruiters from elite level programs in the coming months, if it hasn't already. Her devastating serve starts from a spot near the back wall of the
gymnasium, continues as she tosses the ball into the air with her right hand, then culminates after several steps as she unleashes her power through her strong right arm.

The key, she says, is in the toss.

"I just got my confidence back in my jump serve and to have that for the tournament really helps me out," Stankowski explained. "It's all in the toss. My toss before was everywhere all over the court, I finally got a pretty consistent
toss down so it really helps."

Not only was she able to get her points, but Stankowski strong hitting also prevented Lynnfield (23-1) from getting settled into its offense for a return.

"I think Cassidy was the big difference," admitted Lynnfield coach Michelle Perrone. "Her ability to put the ball down offensively, serving and hitting. I think that makes a huge difference. I think we played well against them but she
made the biggest difference.

A GAME OF RUNS
Despite the fact that Frontier swept the Pioneers, each of the three games was a match unto itself. In the opener, Stankowski served five straight points, including three consecutive aces, to kick off a 12-2 run that turned a 12-11
nailbiter into a comfortable 24-13 Frontier lead.

In the second, the Red Hawks took advantage of several Pioneers mistakes during a 7-0 spurt that again turned a one-point lead into a 15-7 margin from which Lynnfield was unable to recover.

Finally, while trailing, 11-10, in the final game, Stankowski had three kills during a game-changing 8-0 stretch. While the Pioneers certainly made the Red Hawks work for every point, those runs simply made Frontier too difficult to
catch in the end.

"I just think the nerves started to smooth out a little bit," said Frontier coach Sean MacDonald when asked to explain his team's ability to bunch points together. "It's just a numbers game and a chance game at some point. You’re
going to get some of those runs and you’re not going to get some of those runs. The first time you serve you might, and the next time you serve might not. Sometimes its just the luck of the draw, especially when you have a good
team over there making it hard for you every time."

A 'CLASS" CLASS OF SENIORS
While Frontier advanced to the state championship game for the fifth time in seven seasons, Lynnfield was making its second straight appearance in the semis. Perrone took over four years ago for previous coach Robert Clearly,
who left the job to become the school's principal.

This current group of seniors represents her first full class of graduates, a group that includes Cape Ann League/Northeast Conference MVP Julia Goldstein (team high nine kills) and fellow All-State performer Liz Vo.

"They’ve come so far not only as players but as young women," said Perrone in praise of her seniors. "The things they do on the court are amazing but the things they do off the court are even more amazing. We raise money for
ovarian cancer and breast cancer every season, thousands of dollars. These seniors are leaders and they bring their team with them and their team responds. I’m so proud of them. I’m going to miss them."

Lynnfield volleyball bows to Frontier Regional
Originally Published on Wednesday, November 16, 2011
By Steve Krause / The Daily Item

LEOMINSTER - The Frontier Regional volleyball team has gone through the entire fall tournament without losing a set ... a trend that continued Tuesday at Leominster High when the Redhawks blanked Lynnfield, 3-0, in the Division 3
state semifinal.

The Redhawks, defending Division 3 state champions, will compete for their second straight title Saturday at Algonquin Regional against either Case -- the team it defeated to win the crown last year -- or Millis.

Tuesday, it was a tale of one team simply outdoing the other. Coach Michelle Perrone, whose team lost for the first time all season, said her girls didn't play badly, but that Frontier played just that much better.

"We knew we had a tough game on our hands," she said, "and we knew that to win, we'd have to have our 'A' game going. And we did. We played well. They just played better."

The X-factor for the Redhawks was co-captain Cassidy Stankowski, a lanky 5-8 junior whose serves handcuffed the Pioneers all night, and who -- when not serving -- stationed herself right in front of the net for some well-set-up
kills that repeatedly thwarted Lynnfield comeback attempts.

"She is definitely a standout," Perrone said. "She is one of the best players in the state, and she could even be the best player in the state.

"It all goes back to Cassidy," Perrone said. "She hits the ball hard, and she can put it where she wants to."

Each set was more or less a mirror of the other two. They'd start out close before Frontier would surge ahead by six or seven points. Then, Lynnfield would make a run to close it to three (in the final two sets, the Pioneers got it to 17-
20 both times) before the Redhawks would make their final push.

"There was no quit in us," said Perrone. "We never called it a day. That's one thing you can say about us."

Lynnfield's best chance to pull out a set came in the third, when the Pioneers, thanks to Amanda McQueen's serving, jumped out to a 6-3 lead. Frontier closed to 6-5 before the Pioneers put on another brief spurt, punctuated by
Caroline Shannon's ace that made it 8-5.

From there, it jockeyed back and forth until Frontier reeled off eight points in a row to go up 20-12.

Here, Lynnfield staged a rally, getting five straight points to close to within 20-17. Two double hits by Frontier gave Lynnfield two points, but then Abby Norwood had back-to-back kills and all of a sudden it was 20-16. When Liz Vo
won another point, the Pioneers were within three and the Riverhawks called a timeout.

That seemed to work, as Frontier got three straight points before Lynnfield, with Vo getting an ace, closed to within three again (23-20).

But Frontier got the final two points for the sweep.

"Everybody played well," Perrone said. "It's tough to single anyone out. The name of the game is playing together, and when we did that this year, we played our best."

Frontier Regional, Case meet again for state volleyball championship
By JIM PIGNATIELLO
Staff Writer

SOUTH DEERFIELD - First it was North Reading. Now it is Case.

The Frontier Regional volleyball team (22-1) is onto its second continued state tournament rivalry in recent years and squares off against the Cardinals (23-1) of Swansea for the third straight postseason Saturday at noon in the
state Division 3 championship at Algonquin Regional in Northborough.

"They've been doing the same thing for three years, so it's probably going to be the same type of stuff that we've talked about," senior middle Kelsey Abramson said. "We know that they can pass like anything. It's going to be some
long rallies and we'll be ready for that."

It will be a rubber match in the series, as Case ousted the Red Hawks from the 2009 state semifinals 3-1 and Frontier returned the favor 3-0 in last year's state championship. The state volleyball tournament rotates its state
semifinal opponents each season.

The Cardinals returned their entire squad from last year and the teams squared off in what MacDonald deemed a very competitive match late in the Medfield playdate. Frontier spent time this week looking at the film.

"They are very scrappy. They don't quit on anything. They do have the exact same team, but they are better than last year," said MacDonald, whose team has won seven straight WMass titles. "Rallies are going to be longer. They are
going to dig a lot of stuff. (Frontier standout junior) Cassidy (Stankowski) is going to get dug a lot; she's going to get blocked. We are going to be in for much longer rallies.

"Longer rallies are going to favor them because their passing is superb. We want to keep the points short, jump on them, attack the ball and go out quick."

As with last year, Case is a strong defensive team that will get to more kill attempts than nearly all of Frontier's prior opponents this season.

"We know they are going to dig a lot," senior Courtney Parent said. "We'll maybe have to switch it up, tip a little more, but just keep working hard."

The Cardinals are certainly fired up for another shot at the Red Hawks.

"All I've got to say is we're getting revenge on Frontier, plain and simple," senior setter Megan Armburg said to The Herald News this week. "This is our last year and I want revenge."

Senior libero Kaylee Leduc added, "I am so excited. Honestly, words can't describe it. I am so ready to face Frontier. I think it's going to be an amazing game. It's going to be the game to watch. But I am doing anything in my power to
take them down. Anything. I will sacrifice my entire body for that game."

Before the rivalry with the Cardinals, Frontier had a similar yearly meeting with North Reading. From 2005 to 2008, the squads met each year in the state tourney and split their four matches. The Red Hawks won the state semifinal in
2005 and the final in 2006. The Hornets took the state final in 2007 and the semifinal in 2008.

"We kept running into (North Reading) and now it's happening with Case," MacDonald said. "North Reading got moved to Division 2, Case got moved from Division 2 down to Division 3 and now we keep running into them."

This year's Red Hawks overcame the graduation of seven seniors, including three all-state players in Katy and Tori Daniels and Kendra Ouimette.

But Frontier still has junior standout Stankowski, arguably the best player in the state, and MacDonald has been thrilled with the entire team's growth since the beginning of the season.

Stankowski, who has already eclipsed the 1,000 kill mark, had 189 kills during the regular season to go with 93 digs and 36 aces. Courtney Parent (45 kills, 49 aces, 48 digs, 165 assists), Marie Wheeler (35 aces, 44 digs, 132
assists) and Abramson, the team's top blocker along with Stankowski, have all enjoyed strong senior seasons, while the emergence of juniors Kate Harper (58 kills, 57 digs) at outside hitter and Julia Wan (49 aces, 39 kills) at
middle, have been key to the team's continued success.

The key has been "constant improvement. I'm very proud of the girls to be back in the state finals after losing three all-state players," MacDonald said. "We graduated over half our starting lineup. It was not a given even to get out of
western Mass. at the beginning of the season. We're very happy about it. We changed some of the stuff we do in practice to get more reps and more practice in the two hours we have. It's been paying off."

Despite the turnover, Frontier cruised back to the state finals. The Red Hawks, who are eyeing their fourth state title under MacDonald, have lost just three games all season, all in a 3-2 loss at defending state Division 1 champion
Barnstable.

Now the seniors get a chance to end their careers the same way as last year's graduating class - with a state title win against Case.

"Being a senior definitely means a lot. You know you don't have another year to go after it," Parent said. "To be able to play for a state championship as a senior is a big deal. (Winning) it would mean the world. It would be the
greatest feeling ever."

Frontier and Case to meet for second straight year in Division III state volleyball final
Jason Remillard, November 18, 2011 8 p.m.

The same two teams from last year are back in the Division III state high school volleyball final, but the roles are reversed.

Defending champion Frontier Regional School of South Deerfield graduated four starters – including three All-State selections – from the squad that dominated Joseph Case High School of Swansea a year ago.

When the teams return to Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough for the rematch Saturday at noon, it will be Case boasting the experience edge. The Cardinals (22-1) did not lose a single player from the previous season,
and six of their seven starters are seniors.

And they’re very highly motivated.

“Case has been focused like a laser beam on getting back and beating Frontier,” Red Hawks coach Sean MacDonald said.

This won’t be like last year’s match, which Frontier (22-1) won 3-0 in a little under an hour. It won’t even be like the Red Hawks’ hard-fought 3-0 victory over Lynnfield in Tuesday’s state semifinal.

Folks who remember Frontier’s epic state tournament battles with North Reading from 2005-08 will probably have flashbacks when the Red Hawks and Cardinals – who downed Frontier in the 2009 state semifinals – serve it up
Saturday.

It’s that experience, along with the toughest schedule of any Division III team in the state, that could give Frontier a slight psychological advantage.

“We’re not going to see anything on Saturday that we haven’t seen before,” MacDonald said, referring to a 2011 slate that featured matches against the reigning Division I and Division II state champs, Barnstable and Medfield. “You
feel like, win or lose, you can compete with anything you’re going to see because we’ve seen the best in the state.”

While the bulk of Case’s attention will be rightfully devoted to Frontier phenom Cassidy Stankowski, the Cardinals did not see two of Frontier’s current standouts last season. Kate Harper and Julia Wan were primarily junior varsity
players a year ago, and both are now filling key roles.

“Kate’s really been progressing every day through the season,” MacDonald said. “Julia’s been doing a nice job for us at the net, and her serving’s really been key.”

As the Red Hawks prepare for their fifth state final in seven years, MacDonald feels a sense of accomplishment.

“The players are coming and going and graduating, and we’re still putting out a good product on the floor every year,” said MacDonald, who has won three state, seven Western Mass. and eight league titles in nine seasons at the
helm. “For a small school, we’re really proud of that.”
Frontier volleyball's 34-match win streak ends with 3-2 loss at Barnstable
Jason Remillard, September 30, 2011 8:39 p.m.

This was a volleyball match where experience mattered.

Frontier Regional School graduated three all-state players from last year's Division III state champions, while host Barnstable returned all but two from its Division I state titlist squad.

Barnstable used that experience, and a few big-match jitters from Frontier's new players, to snap the Red Hawks' 34-match win streak Friday with a 3-2 victory on Cape Cod.

"To go down there and get to a fifth game, we felt pretty good," Frontier coach Sean MacDonald said. "It's a learning experience. It's good for us to get into these situations against good teams."

Cassidy Stankowski, Frontier's fourth all-stater from last season, racked up 22 kills, 12 digs and three aces for the 8-1 Red Hawks. Courtney Parent had 20 assists and three kills, while Julia Wan served well.

Frontier defeated Barnstable (8-0) and eventual Division II state champion Medfield last season. The Red Hawks' last loss was to Joseph Case, of Swansea, in the 2009 state semifinal.
Frontier rolls to Division III Western Mass. Championship
Michael Johnson, November 12, 2011 2:40 p.m.

HOLYOKE – Frontier easily captured its 7th straight Western Massachusetts Division III Championship on Saturday afternoon, winning in straight sets 25-13, 25-7, 25-11.

Behind the strength of several lengthy service points, the Redhawks built up an early lead in each of the 3 sets, allowing them to cruise to the victory.

Julia Wan highlighted this effort, earning 18 service points, including 7 straight early in the 2nd set, and 8 straight to start the 3rd. Wan also had 4 aces and 3 kills at afternoon’s end.

“When she gets on a roll she has a really hard, flat, knuckleball type serve that is only crossing the net by about 6 inches. And it’s hit hard and is very hard to pass,” Frontier coach Sean MacDonald remarked.

Kate Harper also got it on the dominant service streak, earning 12 straight service points in the 1st set. Harper also had 7 aces and 4 kills throughout the contest.

Cassidy Stankowski, arguably the premiere player in the area, earned 12 kills and 4 aces, highlighting the Redhawks relentless attack at the net.  

Coach MacDonald gushed over his star junior’s talent level after the post-match ceremonies.

“She can do anything you need her to do. She’s one of the best passers on the team, the best hitter on the team. She’s a great blocker.  Just reads the ball and the game very well. And she’s had so much experience now
playing on the varsity team since 7th grade, it’s almost like having an assistant coach on the court.”

Marie Wheeler and Courtney Parent were also key contributors, setting up Stankowski on innumerable occasions. The two seniors notched 14 and 10 assists, respectively.

The Frontier program has been virtually unstoppable all season long, losing only 3 total sets in 2011 -- all in a loss to the defending Division I state champions, Barnstable High School.

“We’re really proud to be able to have a small school and train the girls in a way that we can compete with anybody,” MacDonald asserted.

The Redhawks will look to win their 2nd straight Division III state championship in the coming weeks, and 3rd since 2006.

Despite a dominant effort in Western Mass., however, coach MacDonald is by no means going to let his girls become complacent.

“We’re going to have to raise our game if we want to beat the team we beat in the state finals last year [Joseph Case of Swansea]. They have their whole team back--10 seniors --and a ton of experience. We have to step it up.
We’ve got to keep getting better, even in these last few days.”

No one is arguing against the fact that a lot of hard work will go into recapturing the Division III State Finals this time around.  But perhaps Frontier should take some time to enjoy their historic run – even if it’s just for a few
hours. They’ve sure earned it.

Longmeadow and Frontier prepare for state volleyball semifinals
Jason Remillard, November 14, 2011 8:03 p.m.

Both Frontier Regional and Longmeadow can seemingly get to the state high school volleyball semifinals with their eyes closed.

However, only Frontier has shown a knack for advancing to the final match of the season.

Frontier, which won its seventh consecutive Western Massachusetts Division III title on Saturday, and five-time Division II champion Longmeadow will again look to reach the championship in state semifinal action on Tuesday.

Longmeadow hopes to knock off Melrose in a Division II semi at 7 p.m. at Nashoba Regional in Bolton. The Lancers (19-1) have made their first state title their primary goal all season, but they first must advance past this stage.

On the flip side, Frontier (21-1) can attain its fifth berth in the Division III final in the past seven years with a victory over Lynnfield (22-0) in Tuesday’s 7 p.m. tilt at Leominster High School.

While Lynnfield has the better record, Frontier is much more battle tested. The Red Hawks’ lone loss came to defending Division I state champion Barnstable (21-0), which plays its state semifinal Wednesday against Brookline.
MIAA DIII WEST TOURNAMENT BRACKET
MIAA DIII STATE TOURNAMENT BRACKET
Stankowski named Gatorade Player Of The Year

December, 14, 2011
By ESPNBoston.com

In its 27th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade in collaboration with ESPNHS, today announced Cassidy Stankowski of Frontier Regional as its 2011-12 Gatorade
Massachusetts Volleyball Player of the Year. Stankowski is the first Gatorade Massachusetts Volleyball Player of the Year to be chosen from Frontier Regional.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes
Stankowski as Massachusetts’ best high school volleyball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year award announced in December.

The 5-foot-8 junior outside hitter led the Red Hawks to a 23-1 record and the Division 3 state title this season. Stankowski recorded 276 kills, 143 digs, 76 service aces and 20 blocks while posting a
hitting percentage of .547. A three-time Division 3 first team All-State selection and a four-time Northern League All-Star, she recorded 87 kills, 50 digs and 29 service aces in five postseason matches
this fall, including 24 kills and 16 digs in a 3-0 win over Case for the state title.

















Scott Barboza/ESPNBoston.com

Frontier Regional's Cassidy Stankowski led the Red Hawks to another Division 3 state title this season.

Stankowski has maintained a 3.68 GPA in the classroom. She has volunteered locally at the Baystate Medical Center, on behalf of a literacy-outreach program and as part of multiple community
service initiatives in association with her church.

“Cassidy Stankowski is as dominant a player that I have ever seen at this level,” Melrose High head coach Scott Celli said. “She single-handedly beat Case for the state title.”

Stankowski joins recent Gatorade Massachusetts Volleyball Players of the Year Maura Manley (2010-11, New Bedford High School), Morgan Thatcher (2009-10, Brockton) and Caitlin Barrett (2008-
09, Medfield) among the state’s list of former award winners.

Here's a look at the other New England winners:

CONNECTICUT - KYLEY REED, ROCKY HILL
The 6-foot-1 senior outside hitter and opposite led the Terriers to an 18-4 record and the Class M state title this past season. Reed recorded 578 kills, 460 digs, 133 service aces and 31 blocks while
posting a hitting percentage of .598. A 2011 American Volleyball Coaches Association Under Armour First Team All-American selection, Reed was the Class M State Tournament MVP and a three-time
Class M First Team All-State selection. She concluded her prep volleyball career with 1,517 kills, 1,097 digs and 362 service aces.

Reed has maintained a 3.37 GPA in the classroom. She has volunteered locally as part of a fundraising campaign to benefit breast cancer research and on behalf of a park beautification project

“Kyley Reed is a kid that raises the level of play of those around her,” said Darien Head Coach Laurie LaRusso. “She is very talented yet doesn’t act better than anyone else. She’s a hard worker, a
team player and is coachable with tremendous skill.”

Reed has verbally committed to play volleyball on an athletic scholarship at Rice University beginning in the fall of 2012.

MAINE - BRITTANY BONA, SCARBOROUGH
The 6-foot-2 senior outside hitter recorded 224 kills, 119 digs and 69 service aces this past season while leading the Red Storm (14-3) to the Class A state final. Bona is a two-time First Team All-State
selection and was named The Forecaster Fall Athlete of the Year.

Bona has maintained an A average in the classroom. She has volunteered locally delivering food to the needy and assisting special education students at her school.

“She hits the ball well and she serves with power and accuracy,” said Ruth Shaw, head coach of rival Biddeford High. “She also blocks consistently well, and what is most amazing is that she can play
the back row like a libero.”

Bona remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.

NEW HAMPSHIRE - KELSEY BERRY, HOLLIS/BROOKLINE
The 5-foot-8 senior outside hitter led the Cavaliers to a 20-2 record and the Division I state title this past season. Berry recorded 224 kills, 220 digs, 73 service aces, 21 assists and four blocks while
posting a kill percentage of .382. Berry was nearly flawless in the postseason, committing just 13 total errors in the final three matches for a 95.2 percent success rate. A Division I First Team All-State
selection, she recorded 17 kills and 15 digs in Hollis Brookline’s 3-1 win over Merrimack in the state title match.

Berry has maintained a 3.91 GPA in the classroom. The president of the Hollis-Brookline High student body, she has volunteered locally as a peer tutor, a youth volleyball and basketball coach, and as
part of a fundraising campaign to benefit breast cancer research.

“Kelsey Berry’s a good player,” said Dan Young, head coach of Salem High. “She was their libero last year, their outside this year. She’s solid—a very good passer and a very strong hitter. She’s very
consistent, very solid and very tough.”

Berry remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.

RHODE ISLAND - KELSEY LACE, MOUNT ST. CHARLES
The 6-foot senior outside hitter recorded 281 kills, 116 digs, 80 service aces and 39 blocks this past season while posting a hitting percentage of .537 and leading the Mounties (17-1) to the Division I
state semifinals. The 2011 Rhode Island Volleyball Coaches Association Player of the Year, Lace recorded double-digit kills in 16 of 18 matches, including 21 kills in a 3-1 loss to Ponaganset in the
state semifinals.

Lace has maintained a 3.91 GPA in the classroom. She has volunteered locally as an elementary school aide, a peer Spanish tutor and as part of fundraising campaigns to benefit ovarian cancer and
autism research.

“Kelsey Lace has a good whip, a big block and can do pretty much everything—even take tickets at the match,” said Scott Reslow, head coach of Toll Gate High. “Kelsey always seemed to be the best
player in the gym night in and night out.”

Lace has verbally committed to play volleyball on an athletic scholarship at New York’s University of Saint Rose beginning in the fall of 2012.


Massachusetts Volleyball POY: Cassidy Stankowski
December, 14, 2011
By Ben Rohrbach

A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade State Volleyball Player of the Year selection process, resulting in this winner based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in
the 2011 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.

THE WINNER: Cassidy Stankowski

THE BASICS

School: Frontier Regional School (South Deerfield, Mass.)
Grade: Junior
Position: Outside hitter
Height: 5-foot-8

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Stankowski led the Red Hawks to a 23-1 record and the Division 3 state title this past season. She recorded 276 kills, 143 digs, 76 service aces and 20 blocks while posting a
hitting percentage of .547. A three-time Division 3 First Team All-State selection and a four-time Northern League All-Star, Stankowski recorded 87 kills, 50 digs and 29 service aces in five postseason
matches this fall, including 24 kills and 16 digs in a 3-0 win over Case (Swansea, Mass.) for the state title.

Academic excellence: Stankowski has maintained a 3.68 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: Stankowski has volunteered locally at the Baystate Medical Center, on behalf of a literacy-outreach program and as part of multiple community service initiatives in association
with her church.

THE PRAISE

“Cassidy Stankowski is as dominant a player that I have ever seen at this level,” said Scott Celli, head coach of Melrose (Mass.). “She single-handedly beat Case for the state title.”

THE FUTURE

Stankowski will begin her senior year of high school next fall.


Cassidy Stankowski of Frontier named state Gatorade Volleyball Player of Year
By JIM PIGNATIELLO
Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cassidy Stankowski of state Division 3 champion Frontier Regional, right, was named the Gatorade Massachusetts Volleyball Player
of the Year on Wednesday.

The text messages started pouring into Frontier Regional junior Cassidy Stankowski’s phone soon after 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning.

They came from family, former teammates and friends all congratulating her for the latest - and biggest - honor she's received in her
illustrious volleyball career, being named the Gatorade Massachusetts Player of the Year.

"It means so much because in the past years I have been beaten out by other girls," said Stankowski, who has been nominated three
times and was the runner-up as a sophomore. "This year they chose me. It's a great feeling."

Stankowski actually found out Tuesday night at home, but had to keep it to herself and her family until it was officially released by ESPN
and Gatorade the following morning.

"I was at home with my mom and I was going absolutely crazy in my house," said Stankowski, who verbally committed recently to play on
scholarship at Division I Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Conn. "I was jumping up and down screaming."

At school the next morning, Stankowski kept her secret from her friends until the time finally came.

"It was really hard, but then I started getting text messages and I knew I could tell people," she said.

It was the perfect cap to a season filled with honors, milestones and championships.

As a junior, Stankowski led the team to its second straight state Division 3 championship. She became the first person in program history to break the 1,000 career kill mark, passed 100 career
victories and was named all-state for the third straight season.

"I think it's very deserved. I'm probably biased, but I definitely think she's the best player in the state," Frontier coach Sean MacDonald said. "The versatility, for me, is what makes her the best. She
obviously hits well, but for six rotations, front row, back row, passing, digging, serving, when you add up the whole package, that's what makes her the best player in the state."

Stankowski had 24 kills, 16 digs and five aces in an epic 23-25, 25-18, 17-25, 26-24, 15-11 victory in the state title match.

Frontier finished the season 23-1, with the lone loss coming in five sets at eventual state D-1 champion Barnstable.

Stankowski finished with 276 kills, 143 digs, 76 aces and 20 blocks to go with a .547 hitting percentage.

"Cassidy Stankowski is as dominant a player that I have ever seen at this level," Melrose coach Scott Celli said in the release from Gatorade. "She single-handedly beat Case for the state title."

Stankowski started for the powerhouse Frontier program in seventh grade as a libero and the team has gone 114-5 over that time while winning five straight WMass titles - the team has won seven
straight overall - and the last two state championships.

Stankowski is currently playing club volleyball for the Pioneer Valley Juniors, lifting and she'll begin her three-times-per-week plyometric program shortly.

She decided on CCSU because "it's small, and it's close to home. The coaches and girls there have a good bond. It was just perfect for me," she said.

The choice came down to Central Connecticut, the University of Connecticut and New Hampshire.

"It's so nice," said Stankowski, who is planning to study athletic training. "All the stress from all the college stuff is gone. It's awesome."

On Wednesday, the text messages, phone calls and Facebook well-wishing continued throughout the day.

"It was so nice to see everyone going on there to support me," Stankowski said. "It really means a lot to me."

She planned to celebrate with her family Wednesday night in fitting style.

"My mom bought some ice cream to celebrate," she said.

The flavor?

Champion Chocolate Chunk.

Jim Pignatiello can be reached at jpignatiello@gazettenet.com.

What a month for Frontier's Cassidy Stankowski - state title, Division I college
commitment, state volleyball player of the year
Jason Remillard, December 14, 2011 5:19 p.m.

In the span of a month, Frontier Regional School star Cassidy Stankowski earned her third straight selection
to the Division III All-State team, helped the Red Hawks repeat as Division III state champions, decided on a
college and won a very prestigious award.

Stankowski, a junior outside hitter, was named the Gatorade Massachusetts Volleyball Player of the Year
on Wednesday, beating out several noteworthy candidates from the eastern part of the state.

“It’s such an honor, and it’s probably the biggest honor I’ve ever gotten in my whole career,” said Stankowski,
who recently committed to play Division I volleyball at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain. “It was
a total surprise to me.”

It shouldn’t have been, especially after Stankowski posted 24 kills and 16 digs in Frontier’s come-from-behind,
five-set victory over Joseph Case High School of Swansea in last month’s state final. With the match on the line
late in the fourth set, Stankowski led the charge that pushed the Red Hawks to another championship.

The coach of one of the state’s top programs noticed Stankowski’s impact and gave her high praise.

“Cassidy Stankowski is as dominant a player that I have ever seen at this level,” Scott Celli, coach of Division II
state runner-up Melrose, said in a Gatorade press release. “She single-handedly beat Case for the state title.”

After Frontier lost three of its four All-State selections from 2010 to graduation, some felt 2011 could mark the
beginning of the end of the dynasty. Stankowski and her teammates were not among them, and their hard work
was rewarded with a championship.

“This year was, for some people, unexpected,” said Stankowski, who finished the season with 276 kills, 143 digs,
76 service aces and 20 blocks. “But I had faith in my team, all the way until the end.”

Two of the players most responsible for getting the ball in position for Stankowski to unload her booming spikes –
setters Marie Wheeler and Courtney Parent – joined her as All-State selections, and the Gatorade award is a reflection
of their respective skill sets, as well.

“I wouldn’t be where I am without them all,” Stankowski said. “You have to have a good team to get whatever honor you get.”

Next on Stankowski’s agenda is to continue to hone her skills to the level she will need to be as an eventual Division I player. Having the target on her back as the state player of the year is good
encouragement.

“I know in my mind there’s always something to work on, and you can always improve yourself,” Stankowski said. “I know I am totally motivated to make myself a better volleyball player.”
Cassidy Stankowski of Frontier Regional stands by a mural at the
school after she was named Gatorade Massachusetts Volleyball
Player of the Year on Wednesday.    

JERREY ROBERTS
Cassidy Stankowski (13) has had plenty of reasons to
celebrate lately. - (The Republican file photo by Dave
Roback)The present and future are looking extremely bright for
one of the top female high school athletes in Western
Massachusetts.
Cassidy Stankowski of Frontier named Gazette Volleyball Player of the Year
By jimpignatiello

Cassidy Stankowski's high school career places her among the most successful, most dominating athletes in Western Massachusetts sports history.

And she's only just finished her junior year.

The Frontier Regional superstar has accomplished so much and reached such a level of excellence that the adjectives commonly used to explain local standouts simply don't do her justice.

This season, already her fifth on the Red Hawks' varsity squad, Stankowski broke the 1,000 career kill mark, the 1,000 career dig mark, won her 100th career match, led the program to its seventh
straight Western Massachusetts Division 3 title and its second straight state championship.

She was also named the Gatorade Player of the Year for Massachusetts, the Daily Hampshire Gazette's Player of the Year and verbally committed to play on scholarship at Division I Central
Connecticut State in the fall of 2012.

"It's been a ridiculous year," Stankowski said. "This year was a different team, but we all worked together so well. The season was great from beginning to end. Back to back (state championships)
doesn't happen very often, so it was very special."

It might seem like Stankowski doesn't have much left to play for in her senior year, but coach Sean MacDonald isn't worried about his star player's level of intensity heading into her final season.

"As far as milestones, there might not be any more to go for," he said. "What she's going to focus on from (this point) forward is to try to prepare, get herself better physically, volleyball-wise and
stronger for her senior year and for college. She has a college commitment now. She's going to just try to keep getting better."

Stankowski, who had 276 kills, 143 digs, 76 aces and 20 blocks this season, said her mindset certainly won't be any different.

"There's always things to work on. Although these are great honors, I know there's a lot of volleyball left in the coming years for me," she said. "I just need to keep working hard and hopefully that will
lead me in the right direction."

The highlight of the season came in the state championship, when the junior posted 24 kills, 16 digs and five aces in an epic 23-25, 25-18, 17-25, 26-24, 15-11 victory over Case in the state final.

Stankowski showed herself as the best player in the state during a key run that turned a game-four deficit into that 26-24 victory and then establishing momentum in the deciding game.

The five-year starter and three-year captain is joined on the Gazette's first team by Frontier seniors Courtney Parent and Marie Wheeler and junior Julia Wan.

The squad will have to replace another strong group of graduating seniors, but with Stankowski back, there's no reason not to have high hopes for another banner year in South Deerfield.

Stankowski "is really good about focusing on getting better," MacDonald said. "She thinks like 'I might need one or two more points to win a match, how am I going to be ready to get it?' She's never sat
back and thought that she doesn't need to work hard anymore. I just don't think that's how she is. She's going to keep working hard and trying to get better."

That's a scary thought for volleyball players throughout the state.

Jim Pignatiello can be reached at jpignatiello@gazettenet.com.

Daily Hampshire Gazette © 2011 All rights reserved


Daily Hampshire Gazette Girls Volleyball All-Stars
By THE DAILY HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE
Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 28, 2011

First team

Emily Boysen, senior, Easthampton

Alissa Burian, senior, Belchertown

Athena Donta, junior, Amherst Regional

Jamie Hoyle, senior, Amherst Regional

Sarah Krasnik, senior, Amherst Regional

Courtney Parent, senior, Frontier Regional

Cassidy Stankowski, junior, Frontier Regional

Julia Wan, junior, Frontier Regional

Elizabeth Whitney, junior, Easthampton

Marie Wheeler, senior, Frontier Regional

Honorable mention

Kelsey Abramson, senior, Frontier Regional

Laura Dore, senior, Belchertown

Kim Drawec, junior, Belchertown

Kate Harper, junior, Frontier Regional

Kayla McFarland, junior, Easthampton

Shannon Napier, junior, Amherst Regional

Moneerachena Nhem, junior, Easthampton

Haley Nicol, senior, Easthampton

Haley Parker, junior, Amherst Regional

Amy Rumanowski, senior, Belchertown


The Republican's Top 10 High School Sports Stories of 2011
Tuesday, December 27, 2011 12:52 PM
By The Republican Sports Desk The Republican
Emily Boysen, senior, Easthampton
Jamie Hoyle, senior, Amherst Regional
Cassidy Stankowski, junior, Frontier Regional
Courtney Parent, senior, Frontier Regional
Julia Wan, junior, Frontier Regional
Marie Wheeler, senior, Frontier Regional
#8. Net gains: The Frontier Regional girls volleyball team won its second
consecutive Division III state title in November and fourth in seven years.
The Red Hawks, under coach Sean MacDonald, have won seven straight
Western Mass. titles. And their All-American standout Cassidy Stankowski
is only a junior.
#9. Thirst for success: Two local high school athletes were honored as Massachusetts
Gatorade Players of the Year. Amherst's Emma Mendoker, a fire-balling softball pitcher with
1,000-career strikeouts, and Frontier Regional's Cassidy Stankowski, already with 1,000-plus
career kills, were honored by the sport-drink giant as the best players in the state.
2011 Year in Review: Champions and news makers
By THE DAILY HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE
Staff Writer

Frontier

Alli Carnall - Finished senior tennis season undefeated at 17-0.

Ralph Loos - Coached girls basketball team to Franklin South championship and top seed in WMass Division 2 Tournament.

Sean MacDonald - Coached girls volleyball team to its seventh straight WMass Division 3 championship and second straight state title.

Missy Mahar - Coached field hockey team to its first WMass Division 2 championship since 2005.

Natalie Mako - Overcame an injury to place second at WMass Division 2 girls cross country championship.

Kacey Roberts - Field hockey standout scored game winner in 1-0 double overtime win over Smith Academy in WMass Division 3 title game.

Cassidy Stankowski - Junior was named state Gatorade Player of the Year after leading volleyball team to seventh straight WMass Division 3 title and second straight state title. Also
recorded 1,000th career kill and 100th career win.

Mel Stier - Recorded her 100th career softball hit as a senior.

Tilly Taylor - WMass javelin champ in outdoor track.

2011 Year in Review: Team championships and milestone
By THE DAILY HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE
Staff Writer

Frontier Regional

Field hockey - Won its first WMass Division 2 championship since 2005.

Boys outdoor track - Intercounty League champs.

Girls basketball - Won the Franklin South championship and earned the No. 1 seed in WMass Division 2 Tournament.

Girls volleyball - Won its seventh straight WMass Division 3 championship and second straight state title.

Girls outdoor track - Suburban League champs have won 99 consecutive dual meets.


Western Mass. champions Frontier and Longmeadow each place six players on All-Scholastic volleyball team
Jason Remillard, January 15, 2012 6 a.m.

Here's a look at who spiked, served, set and dug their way onto The Republican's All-Scholastic volelyball first team for the fall 2011 season.

Division II

AMANDA BROCK, Longmeadow: Senior outside hitter totaled 101 kills, 109 service points and 82 digs as Longmeadow won its fifth straight Western Mass. Division II title; had strong performance in
victory over Amherst in sectional final; teaches volleyball clinic; plays for Pioneer Valley Juniors; volunteers in local community; third honors; plans to study child development and psychology in college.

KAITLIN CORBETT, Longmeadow: Senior rightside and opposite hitter captained the Lancers to their fifth Western Mass. title in a row; excellent server who finished year with 190 service points and 83
aces; also had 69 kills; served game-winning ace in WMass final against Amherst; volunteers in local community; teaches volleyball clinic; plays for Pioneer Valley Juniors; second honors; hopes to study
nursing in college.

CADY DEARY, Longmeadow: Senior libero was one of the best defensive players in Western Massachusetts, as the Lancers won another sectional title; 26 digs in sectional semifinal victory over
Minnechaug; 25 digs in regular-season win over Amherst; first-team selection in softball last season; second honors; member of Best Buddies; community service learning.

JORDYN DESMOND, Westfield: Senior capped four-year varsity career by helping the Bombers to a postseason berth; had 18 kills and 18 digs in match against Amherst; team captain; second-team
selection last season; two-year varsity softball player; National Honor Society and student council member; Renaissance Award; hopes to attend Westfield State to major in secondary education and
minor in Spanish.

MACKENZIE DITOMASSI, Longmeadow: Senior setter and outside hitter co-captained Lancers to Western Mass. title; finished season with 115 service points, 31 aces, 385 assists, 64 kills and 79
digs; had 34 assists in win over Division I Reading; 21 assists in WMass final win over Amherst; second honors; peer leadership; youth volleyball counselor; photography; theater; plans to major in
special education.

ATHENA DONTA, Amherst: Junior outside hitter is an outstanding all-around player with great jumping ability; plays outstanding defense and is a consistent server; recorded 3.5 kills, 7 digs and 2 aces
per match for the Western Mass. Division II runners-up; six kills and 11 digs in semifinal win over Mount Greylock; reliable and committed teammate.

MEGAN HOUFF, Longmeadow: Senior middle blocker is the first Lancer ever named to the Division II coaches All-State first team; co-captain racked up 227 kills, 27 blocks, 69 aces and 186 service
points for five-time Western Mass. champions; holds school record with 17 aces in one match; had 19 kills in state semifinal loss to Melrose; member of Pioneer Valley Juniors Elite 18 team that won
NERVA gold medal; first honors student.

JAMIE HOYLE, Amherst: Senior middle blocker was co-captain of Western Mass. Division II runner-up Hurricanes; led squad with 12.2 kills, 12.5 digs and 4.2 blocks per match; had 24 kills, 17 digs and
four blocks in semifinal win over Mount Greylock; 27 kills, 25 digs and five blocks against Westfield; powerful hitter who also plays great back-row defense; two-time first-team choice; MVP of Pioneer
Valley Juniors Under-17 Elite team.

JEN HURWITZ, Longmeadow: Junior outside hitter had a breakout first season as a starter for the five-time Western Mass. champions; totaled 18 kills in only three sets as Lancers defeated Amherst in
Western Mass. final; had 10 kills in her first match as a starter, against eventual Division III state champion Frontier; All-Scholastic first-teamer in basketball last season; second honors; DJST community
service group.

SARAH KRASNIK, Amherst: Senior setter was a vocal and energetic on-court leader for the Hurricanes; led team with 21.3 assists and 2.5 aces per match; 33 assists in semifinal win over Mount
Greylock; consistent server and excellent ball distributor; three-year varsity tennis player; NHS member earned Excellence in Math and Science Award from Society of Women Engineers; played piano
since age 5; top college choices are Tufts, Penn and Northwestern.

EMILY LIPINSKI, Minnechaug: Senior middle hitter was an integral part of Minnechaug’s tremendous season under first-year coach Mark Taylor; delivered match-clinching block to end Ludlow’s
undefeated season in Western Mass. Division II quarterfinals; finished with 67 kills out of 158 attempts (.420 percentage); 37 aces and 42 blocks; nine kills in 13 attempts in Sept. 26 win over East
Longmeadow.

PAULINA MODESTOW, Minnechaug: Freshman outside hitter was one of the breakout stars for Minnechaug; put down 18 kills in early-season win over Mahar; finished with 77 kills, 98 digs/saves, 13
blocks, 14 assists and five aces; played on Open 18’s teams for Pioneer Valley and Western Mass. Juniors; participated in camps at Springfield College and Stevens Institute of Technology; Key Club;
plays french horn and piano in school band.

ALYCIA RACKLIFFE, Agawam: Junior outside hitter captained Brownies to berth in Western Mass. tournament; led team defensively with 12 digs and 13 blocks in opening-round tournament win over
West Springfield; 16 digs in regular-season win over West Side; second-team choice last year in volleyball and lacrosse; honor student with 4.12 GPA; counselor at Agawam youth volleyball camp.

STARR RIPLEY, Chicopee Comp: Junior outside hitter helped Colts to outstanding season and berth in Western Mass. Division II tourney; eight kills and eight digs in quarterfinal loss to eventual
champion Longmeadow; posted 14 kills and three aces in 3-2 late-season win over semifinalist Minnechaug; part of a talented group that will return for Comp next season.

SHANNON ROBITAILLE, Ludlow: Senior played pretty much everywhere she was needed as the Lions roared to an undefeated regular season; two-time first-team selection; totaled seven kills, seven
aces, 11 assists, three digs and two blocks in win over league rival Easthampton; plays for Pioneer Valley Juniors Open 18’s team; member of Westover Young Marines; NHS; French Club; hopes to
attend Springfield College.

ERIKA SAWICKI, Minnechaug: Junior opposite/middle hitter is one of the hardest hitters in Western Massachusetts; led Falcons with 81 kills (.430 percentage); also added 25 blocks and nine aces;
had seven kills, five aces and four blocks in win against Mahar; plays for Pioneer Valley Juniors Elite team; National Honor Society; Key Club; Venture Crew; 4.0 GPA; Mathletes team; Ultimate Frisbee
Club.

DANA THEOBALD, West Springfield: Senior was named team MVP after leading the Terriers in kills, aces and digs; posted 19 digs and 10 kills in loss to Agawam in Western Mass. tournament opening
round; two-time Western Mass. finalist; team won bronze medal at Spalding Showcase of Champions; one of the top female basketball players in Western Mass.; 1,000-point scorer will play basketball at
Boston University.

TORY TROMBLEY, Minnechaug: Junior setter was a key cog in a strong offense for the Western Mass. semifinalist Falcons; notched 207 assists and 51 aces for the season; six aces and 12 assists in
win against Chicopee Comp; plays for Pioneer Valley Juniors Elite team; avid horseback rider; National Honor Society member with 4.0 GPA; high honor roll; head news editor of school newspaper;
biology club; National Merit Scholar.

MILEYDIZ VAZQUEZ, Putnam: Senior was a consistent all-around contributor in helping the Beavers to a Western Mass. Division II tournament berth; eight kills, five blocks and five digs in tourney loss
to Chicopee Comp; 12 kills, five blocks and six digs in win over Commerce that clinched postseason bid.

HEATHER WHITE, Westfield: Senior earned her second straight selection to the first team; tremendous defensive player; 18 digs, seven kills and two aces in Western Mass. quarterfinal loss to
Amherst; 14 digs and six kills in opening-round win over Chicopee; 10 kills, 11 digs and seven aces in regular-season win over West Springfield.

Division III

KELSEY ABRAMSON, Frontier: Senior middle blocker is a repeat first-team selection, despite missing the early part of the season due to injury; the 6-footer was a formidable force at the net as the
Red Hawks repeated as Division III state champions; also a strong server who had six aces in win over Greenfield.

EMILY BOYSEN, Easthampton: Senior middle hitter voted team MVP and best teammate for Eagles; had 12 kills in five-set win over South Hadley; helped guide her team to a postseason berth; co-
organized Easthampton’s “Dig Pink” fundraiser match; second-team choice last season; captain of softball and swim teams; NHS member; band and choir; plans to study nursing at New Hampshire.

SAM CAOUETTE, Turners Falls: Senior outside hitter played a vital role in getting the Indians to the Western Mass. Division III tournament; her last high school match was a strong one, as she put down
17 kills in a 3-2upset loss to St. Joseph-Central; also plays varsity softball; aspires to study either animal care or psychology.

JENNA COSTA, Turners Falls: Senior setter earned a first-team nod on thestrength of her chemistry with top hitter Sam Caouette; had 26 assists in a 3-2 upset loss toSt. Joseph-Central in tournament
opener; distributed 24 assists, along with six digs and two kills, in midseason win over Athol; also plays varsity basketball.

REBECCA GODBOUT, Sabis: Sophomore outside hitter came into her own this season for the Metro Division champion Bulldogs; ended season with six kills and five aces in 3-2 tournament loss to Lee;
opened postseason with six aces and five kills in win over Athol; very solid server and improving hitter; varsity since seventh grade; plays for Pioneer Valley Juniors.

KATE HARPER, Frontier: Junior outside hitter had a breakout season in her first season as a starter; finished with 81 kills, 25 aces and 85 digs for the Division III state champions; had five kills on six
swings in Western Mass. semifinal win over Lee; seven aces and four kills in title win over Mahar; member of “Reading with Red Hawks”service group.

MONEERACHENA NHEM, Easthampton: Junior setter came on strong this season as a varsity starter for the Eagles; had 21 assists in five-set win over South Hadley; strong server and passer;
followed in the footsteps of her father, who also plays volleyball; after high school, hopes to study pharmacy.

CHELSEA OREFICE, Sabis: Senior earned second straight selection to first team by continuing to be one of the most versatile players inDivision III; has played libero, setter and hitter over her career at
Sabis; very sound passer and server; had 26 assists and 16 aces in 3-0 win over Commerce; 32 assists and five aces in her final high school match, a 3-2 tournament loss to Lee; National Honor Society.

COURTNEY PARENT, Frontier: Senior setter and opposite hitter named to Division III coaches All-State team; finished with 247 assists, 56 aces and 63 kills; posted 24 assists, nine kills and two acesin
Division III state final win against Case; repeat first-team selection ;second team as sophomore; member of Pioneer Valley Juniors; won state title with Mass Frenzy AAU basketball; high honors student.

SAM PARKER, Mahar: Senior setter capped her high school career by helping Senators reach Western Mass. Division III final; repeat first-team selection along with her favorite target, middle blocker
Sabrina Silva; setter with the rare ability to post a lot of kills; had 18 assists and six kills in semifinal win over St. Joseph-Central; 17 assists and six kills in toppling Easthampton in quarterfinals.

KAYLIE ROBIDOUX, Ware: Senior outside hitter quietly among top contributors in Southern Division; racked up 16 kills, two aces and three blocks in a valiant effort against perennial powerhouse
Agawam; 12 kills and two aces in win over Franklin Tech; 20 kills in loss to Turners Falls; second-teamer last season; also plays varsity basketball and softball.

SABRINA SILVA, Mahar: Junior middle blocker earned her second straight first-team selection; helped Senators to Western Mass. Division III final; put down 17 kills in semifinal victory over St. Joseph-
Central; formed tremendous tandem with fellow first-teamer Sam Parker; 14 kills and six aces in late-season win over rival Athol; will lead a young group next year that only graduated two seniors.

CASSIDY STANKOWSKI, Frontier: Junior outside hitter named an All-American and Gatorade State Player of the Year; recorded 276 kills, 143 digs, 76 service aces and 20 blocks, while posting a .547
hitting percentage for Red Hawks; had 24 kills and 16 digs in come-from-behind state final win over Case; three-time All-State selection; four-time first-team All-Scholastic; verbally committed to Division I
Central Connecticut State.

CASIE THURBER, Sabis: Sophomore middle hitter was a force at net for Metro Division champion Bulldogs; posted 11 kills in 3-2 loss to Lee in Western Mass. Division III quarterfinals; named her team’s
most improved player; attends Dearing Volleyball Camp at Springfield College; varsity basketball player; also plays AAU hoops for Mass Frenzy; member of church and school choir; MassMutual
Academic Achievers.

JULIA WAN, Frontier: Junior middle blocker played key role for Division III state champions, a title she secured by scoring match point against Case; finished with 49 kills, 59 aces and 19 blocks; a
strong server, as shown by her five aces in win against Division II power Medfield; member of “Reading with Red Hawks” service group; EVAS youth program and Friends of Rachel club.

MARIE WHEELER, Frontier: Senior setter and opposite hitter was a Division III All-State selection; totaled 186 assists, 51 aces, 59 digs and 16 kills for the repeat state champions; second-team
selection last season; had stellar match in state championship victory over Case; 14 assists in Western Mass. final win over Mahar; member of “Reading with Red Hawks” service group and Friends of
Rachel club.

ELIZABETH WHITNEY,Easthampton: Senior outside hitter led the Eagles in kills as they secured a postseason berth; team captain had seven kills, four digs and two blocks in opening-round
tournament victory over Pioneer Valley Christian; six kills and six aces in 3-2 win over South Hadley; first-team choice in basketball last season; solid A/B student.


Frontier's Cassidy Stankowski named The Republican's volleyball player of the year
Jason Remillard, January 14, 2012 6 a.m.

CASSIDY STANKOWSKI, Frontier

Class: Junior
Position: Outside hitter

Accomplishments: It’s nearly impossible not to choose a player who led her team to its second straight Division III state title, was named All-State for a third year in a row, earned All-America honors and
was named Gatorade’s state player of the year. Stankowski recorded 276 kills, 143 digs, 76 service aces and 20 blocks, while posting a .547 hitting percentage for the Red Hawks – who have won seven
consecutive Western Mass. titles. She had 24 kills and 16 digs in a phenomenal performance leading Frontier back from behind in the state final against Case.

INTERESTS, FAVORITES
Food: French fries
Athletes: Misty May, Kerri Walsh
Music: Country
TV Show: “Bones”
Movie: “Remember the Titans”

Of note: In November, Stankowski gave a verbal commitment to play Division I college volleyball at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain. She plays in the offseason for the Pioneer Valley
Juniors club team. Her older sister, Alyssa, is a former Frontier star who is now an assistant coach at Wilbraham & Monson Academy.

IMMEDIATE REACTION
On using her recent accolades as motivation: “The last couple months have been really overwhelming, but I think they all make me want to work harder to become a better volleyball player, a student and
a human being.” 

Summing up her fantastic season: “At the end of the season, to me, stats are just numbers other people use to judge how good your season was. I know I’m going to have to work so much harder in
the future, and I’m willing to do that.”

Coach Sean MacDonald on Stankowski’s impact on the team: “She is a special player, and she works hard for what she’s got, but I think she excels with the players around her and she makes the
players around her better.”