Cassidy Stankowski (pictured in a Sept. 2011
match against Longmeadow) is the reigning
Gatorade state high school volleyball player
of the year. - (The Republican file photo by
Cassidy Stankowski has starred on
Frontier's varsity squad since 2007, as a
seventh-grader (pictured) - (The Republican
Before Cassidy Stankowski joined the
Frontier volleyball team, she was the team
manager as a sixth-grader in 2006. Cassidy
(on bench, middle, in gray shirt) watches as
older sister Alyssa celebrates a point in the
Red Hawks' 2006 state final win over North
Reading. - (The Republican file photo)
Frontier opens volleyball season with 3-0 win over Longmeadow
Jason Remillard, The Republican, September 05, 2012 9:31 p.m.
LONGMEADOW – It appears any questions about how the two defending Western Massachusetts high school girls volleyball champions would look in 2012 have been answered affirmatively.
Frontier Regional began its quest for an eighth consecutive Division III sectional title with the emergence of two new setters, a second formidable server and a solid third offensive option.
Longmeadow started its journey for six straight Division II crowns with the continued maturation of its returning star player and the growth of a role player into a key asset.
With all new pieces in place, Frontier proved just too much to handle, winning the sixth straight meeting between the “sister teams,” 25-19, 25-20, 25-23 Wednesday night.
“For the first match, not much to complain about,” Frontier coach Sean MacDonald said. “I thought Longmeadow played really well.”
Kate Harper and star-on-the-rise Sarah Woodward each had 12 kills for Frontier, while Cassidy Stankowski, the reigning Gatorade state player of the year, had nine, with eight digs.
Jen Hurwitz was all over the court for Longmeadow, posting 17 kills and 18 digs. Fellow senior outside hitter Amanda Tyler had a breakthrough performance with 12 kills.
No longer do teams facing the Red Hawks only have to worry about surviving one strong server, as Stankowski has been joined by Julia Wan as a force in the service game.
Wan opened the match with one of her seven aces, and helped Frontier pull away in the second set with a 3-0 run at the service line. Her biggest contribution, though, was three straight aces in the third set
to break a 12-12 tie and give the Red Hawks some breathing room.
“We started Julia in the back row just so she could serve,” MacDonald said. “Usually, you’d want her in the front row blocking and hitting.”
The Red Hawks’ victory was assured when Wan showed her force in the middle. She made a kill through a Longmeadow block and then a block of her own to set up match point at 24-20.
However, Longmeadow made it exciting late, closing to 24-23 before Harper’s tip along the left sideline fell in for the deciding kill.
That point prevented Longmeadow from winning only its third set in six matches against Frontier.
Frontier also appears to have decided on a setter strategy, going with senior Emma Contois and freshman Emily Woodward, who each had 12 assists. The duo helped the Red Hawks get into their offense,
thanks also to solid passing from Stankowski, libero Ali Durant and others.
“I don’t think you can ask any more of a freshman than we asked of Emily tonight,” MacDonald said. “Emma also set some good balls.”
Just as Hurwitz had her breakout match against Frontier last year, Amanda Tyler was similarly impressive Wednesday for the Lancers. The senior had several timely kills and played solid defense.
“She has definitely stepped up incredibly,” Longmeadow coach George Mulry said. “She’s a captain on the team and a leader on the court. It’s only going to go up from here.”
Observations from season-opening volleyball match between Frontier and Longmeadow
Jason Remillard, The Republican, September 05, 2012 9:59 p.m.
Frontier played very well Wednesday without needing Cassidy Stankowski's A-game
LONGMEADOW - On a sweltering night in the Longmeadow High School gymnasium, the Frontier Regional School volleyball team kept its cool.
The Red Hawks secured a 3-0 victory over host Longmeadow on Wednesday by not cracking under the pressure of the Lancers' late run in the third set.
Even with several young players on the court, the Red Hawks thrived in what was a tournament atmosphere in early September.
Longmeadow gave Frontier the stiffest challenge, especially in the third set, that I've seen in the previous meetings I've covered. The Lancers nearly forced a fourth set by getting within one point at 24-23.
Had Cassidy Stankowski not made several uncharacteristic errors in the hitting and service games, the Red Hawks likely would have run away with this match. However, the fact that they won without
Stankowski dominating bodes well for the future.
Frontier's league schedule does not pose many stern tests, so the younger players will get much needed match experience. When November comes, they'll be ready to contribute to what they hope is an
eighth straight Western Mass. Division III title.
Sarah Woodward had a breakout match at outside hitter, and the Red Hawks can only get better at setter once Tori Whitney returns from injury. Ali Durant could easily be an All-State libero.
As for Longmeadow, the Lancers are also set up well for another deep postseason run. Amanda Tyler is emerging as a tremendous second option on the outside along with Jen Hurwitz, and Rachel Kofman
registered 21 assists in her first match as the starting setter.
The Lancers, the five-time defending Division II sectional champs, play in a much tougher league and will earn plenty of battle scars along the way to the tournament.
Julie Yesu isn't your typical middle blocker; not tall and imposing like Frontier's Julia Wan. However, she controls the net very well for Longmeadow and will be a crucial component to the team's success.
Frontier volleyball star Cassidy Stankowski returns for her senior season and a chance at more accolades
Jason Remillard, The Republican, September 07, 2012 8:25 p.m.
SOUTH DEERFIELD – In a little more than two months, one of the greatest careers ever in Western Massachusetts high school girls volleyball will be ending.
That’s plenty of time for a great final chapter to be written.
Cassidy Stankowski enters her sixth season on the Frontier Regional School varsity, already with a list of accomplishments that rivals anyone in any other sport in the region.
Two-time All-America, four-time All-State, four-time The Republican All-Scholastic first team, 2011 Gatorade State Player of the Year, five-time Western Massachusetts Division III champion, two-time state
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Stankowski said. “It’s a great honor to be all those things, but to me, it’s more about my team and not just me.
“I want to work hard so that my team can win a state championship and so my team can come out with a winning record.”
Before Stankowski takes her talents to New Britain, Conn., where she will play Division I volleyball at Central Connecticut State University, she will try to increase all those accolades by one apiece.
As Stankowski prepares to pen that final chapter, let’s take a look at the others.
The little one: One might think that coach Sean MacDonald is the only constant about the Frontier program the last 10 years.
Over that same span, Cassidy Stankowski has grown up watching her older sister, Alyssa, lead the Red Hawks to two state titles while their father, Jack, served as MacDonald’s assistant.
Anyone who’s attended Frontier matches long enough remembers a little girl in pigtails digging serves on the sidelines while the Red Hawks warmed up.
That girl then moved up to serve as a team manager when Frontier won the 2006 state title.
“Cassidy has really been a part of the program, or a close bystander, for every minute I’ve been here,” said MacDonald, who entered the 2012 season needing only two wins to reach 200. “I guess it’s time,
but ... she’s been here a long time.”
In 2007, Stankowski made varsity as a seventh grader and quickly made an impact as the starting libero. A year later, she joined Alyssa along the front line to give the Red Hawks a strong hitting combination.
Before long, that girl who was barely five feet tall was 5-foot-8 and one of the state’s best players.
“It’s been an absolute treat,” said Longmeadow coach George Mulry, who also has coached Stankowski on the Junior Olympic level. “I remember when I first met her, it was in the offseason at the Western
Mass. Volleyball Club, and I just saw this little fourth-grade girl peppering the ball.
“She’s always been good, but she just works 10 times harder than everybody else.”
Out of the shadow: After Alyssa graduated, Cassidy quickly came into her own. Her impact as Frontier’s No. 1 option was immediate, and Alyssa soon became “Cassidy’s older sister” and not the other way
A disappointing end to her freshman season, in which the Red Hawks were ousted in the state semifinals for the second straight year, set the stage for the last two seasons of dominance.
The 2010 season ended with the Red Hawks hoisting their first state title since 2006, but it was the 2011 final that might be Stankowski’s – and her team’s – lasting legacy.
The comeback: Down 20-16 in the fourth set against Joseph Case High School, of Swansea, in last year’s state final at Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, things did not look good for the
“We looked pretty bad for about an hour and a half,” MacDonald admitted, although the teams were fairly even on the scoreboard through three sets.
That’s when Stankowski helped rally the troops for an amazing comeback.
Frontier rattled off 10 of the next 14 points to win the fourth set, 26-24, setting up the decisive fifth set. With momentum on their side, the Red Hawks pulled out the victory.
Stankowski’s line: 24 kills, 16 digs – many of those coming in those crucial final stages.
“I did a little math,” MacDonald said. “To get 10 out of 14 to come up heads, and not have them get two (points) in a row, was something like four out of 100 times.
“If you replay that from point 16, we win four, and they win 96.”
The legacy: Stankowski’s serves and spikes have a different sound than those of other players. The Frontier student section accompanies them with a resounding “BOOM!” of their own.
Those students are running out of chances to provide that soundtrack, but Stankowski is doing the work necessary to make sure the pop remains.
“She’s getting stronger. She’s hitting the weight room a little bit,” MacDonald said. “She’s jumping high and hitting hard.”
But, think back to her first season as a libero, and it’s easy to identify the underrated portions of Stankowski’s game – the things that will serve her best against bigger competition in college.
She plays defense as well as any specialist, and her passes off the serve receive are as crucial to Frontier’s offense as her spikes.
An opposing coach once told MacDonald, “She plays defense like a (bleeping) angel.”
All those factors made Stankowski a future Division I collegian, but before she gets there, she’d like to earn her third state title – one more than her sister.
“It’s been a long journey,” Stankowski said. “But it’s been the best experience of my life.”
As for the championships? Alyssa Stankowski has one thing to say to her sister.
“The battle’s on,” she laughed.
Five seniors highlight The Republican's girls volleyball Super 7
Jason Remillard, The Republican, September 07, 2012 8:50 p.m.
GIRLS VOLLEYBALL SUPER 7
ATHENA DONTA, Amherst: Senior outside hitter is an outstanding all-around player with great jumping ability, outstanding defense, consistent server; recorded 3.5 kills, seven digs and two aces per match
for Western Mass. Division II runners-up; six kills and 11 digs in quarterfinal win over Mount Greylock.
JEN HURWITZ, Longmeadow: Senior outside hitter had 18 kills in three sets as Lancers defeated Amherst in Western Mass. Division II final; had 10 kills in her first match as a starter, against eventual
Division III state champion Frontier.
PAULINA MODESTOW, Minnechaug: Sophomore outside hitter finished first high school season 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; has participated in camps at Springfield College and Stevens Institute of Technology.
ALYCIA RACKLIFFE, Agawam: Senior outside hitter captained Brownies to berth in Western Mass. tournament; led team defensively with 12 digs and 13 blocks in opening-round win over West Springfield;
16 digs in regular-season win over West Side.
CASSIDY STANKOWSKI, Frontier: Senior outside hitter named All-American, Gatorade State Player of the Year and The Republican player of the year last season; recorded 276 kills, 143
digs, 76 service aces and 20 blocks; had 24 kills and 16 digs in come-from-behind state final win over Case; four-time first-team All-Scholastic; verbally committed to Division I Central
TORI TREMBLAY, Minnechaug: Senior setter notched 207 assists and 51 aces last season; six aces and 12 assists in win over Chicopee Comp; plays for Pioneer Valley Juniors Elite team.
JULIA WAN, Frontier: Junior middle blocker played key role for Division III state champions, a title she secured by serving match point against Case; finished with 49 kills, 59 aces and 19
blocks; strong server, as shown by her five aces in win against Division II power Medfield.
Frontier volleyball defeats perennial Division II powerhouse Medfield 3-1 on the road
Jason Remillard, The Republican, September 13, 2012 9:31 p.m.
Instead of gradually preparing for an increased workload, Emily Woodward has been thrown right in the thick of things for the Frontier Regional School volleyball team.
The freshman setter played like anything but a first-year starter on Thursday, directing the Red Hawks' offense with 32 assists in a 3-1 road victory over Medfield - winners of five of
the last seven Division II state titles.
"Emily was the one we were going to groom for next year," said Frontier coach Sean MacDonald, noting an injury to Tori Whitney caused a change in plans. "She's been called upon
a lot sooner than we thought."
There's no bigger boost than helping your team - itself a two-time defending Division III state champion - to a win over an elite rival.
"This is a great confidence boost for her," MacDonald said. "She's playing well. She's not just playing well for a freshman."
Speaking of playing well, senior Cassidy Stankowski added another line to her player-of-the-year resume by tallying 27 kills and 14 digs. Emily's sister Sarah added nine kills and
Julia Wan and Kate Harper led Frontier's strong service game with three aces apiece.
Medfield won Division II state titles in 2005-06, and 2008-10. The Red Hawks defeated the Warriors handily last season in South Deerfield, but MacDonald was not expecting a
similar walkthrough on Thursday.
"They are a much better team than last year," MacDonald said. "They're definitely one of the best teams in Division II. If they're not now, they will be by November."
Cassidy Stankowski leads Frontier volleyball past Medfield in battle of perennial state powers
By THE DAILY HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE
Friday, September 14, 2012
Frontier Regional 3, Medfield 1 - Cassidy Stankowski converted 27 kills as the Red Hawks (4-0) won a road matchup between two of the best volleyball programs in the state.
Frontier took the game in four sets 25-21, 19-25, 26-24, 25-20.
Emily Woodward collected 32 assists, while her sister Sarah Woodward had nine kills for the Red Hawks.
|Frontier finishes 6th at Showcase of Champions
Playing without Cassidy Stankowski due to a sore knee, the Red Hawks showed they are
more than one player. The team finished 3rd out of 6 teams in pool play, qualifying for the
silver bracket. In the silver bracket playoff, the Hawks defeated New Hampshire power,
Merrimack in the semi. The Hawks lost 23-25, 24-26 to perennial DII State Champion
contender, Medfield, in the final. (Update: Frontier split with Newton North and lost 2 close sets to
Barnstable in pool play. Both teams were in the DI State Championship)
Girls volleyball notebook: Ludlow rides 29-match regular-season win streak; Frontier surviving without its
Jason Remillard, The Republican, October 03, 2012 5:51 p.m.
Who has the longest regular-season winning streak in Western Massachusetts high school volleyball?
The answer may surprise you. Here’s a hint: It’s not one of the “traditional” powerhouses.
Ludlow has not lost a regular-season match since Oct. 25, 2010 – a 3-1 defeat at Tantasqua Regional of Fiskdale.
Since then, the Lions have prevailed in their last 29 non-tournament outings. This season, a blend of youth and experience has come together nicely to spark a 10-0 start.
“We’re finding that we play in spurts,” eighth-year Ludlow coach Pat Annecchiarico said following Friday’s win over Wilbraham & Monson Academy. “We’re trying to incorporate some of the younger kids.
We do have five seniors, but we have three sophomores that play a lot.”
Senior middle blocker Ava Adamopoulos has been a force at the net all season, using her height to stifle opposing attacks. Also continuing to emerge is sophomore middle Alyssa Guyon.
The offense runs through senior setter Makayla Reynolds, while senior outside hitter Lauren Hodovanec is a reliable player.
“It’s still a work in progress,” Annecchiarico said.
DEPTH PERCEPTION: Only a team as talented as Frontier Regional can lose the best player in the state to injury and still dominate the opposition.
The Red Hawks have seen several young players step up in the absence of All-American Cassidy Stankowski, who is expected to be sidelined for at least another week with a leg
injury, and fellow senior Kate Harper.
Freshman Katherine Conlisk registered five kills and four aces Tuesday in a 3-0 win over Athol. Junior newcomer Alexis Foley is playing well, and setter Tori Whitney finally made her
season debut after her own injury.
“It’s really kind of showing the depth of the team that we’ve been able to play three games and not really skip a beat,” Frontier coach Sean MacDonald said. “They’ve all really
stepped up and kept us smooth.”
The first real challenge without Stankowski will come Saturday, as the seven-time-defending Western Mass. Division III champions host perennial power Notre Dame Academy in their
“Spike It For Life” charity match.
“It’s going to either be a tremendous win or our first loss on that floor since 2004,” MacDonald said. “After Notre Dame, win or lose, we’ll have a stretch of a couple weeks where we
can rest Cassidy if we want to.”
Stankowski has not been completely absent from the floor, as MacDonald inserts her to serve several times a match.
Notre Dame hands Frontier first loss in volleyball, 3-1
Fran Sypek, October 06, 2012 8:51 p.m.
Kate Harper and Sara Woodward each had eight kills for the Red Hawks.
Julia Wan had seven kills and three blocks, while Ali Durant added 18 digs.
Girls Volleyball (Hampshire Gazette)
Notre Dame Academy 3, Frontier Regional 1 — Kate Harper and Sarah Woodward each had eight kills, but the Red Hawks (10-1) suffered their first home loss since Oct. 2004 by scores of 24-26, 25-21,
25-15, 25-20 Saturday.
Julia Wan added seven kills, while Ali Durant had 18 digs.
Tori Whitney and Emily Woodward combined for 25 assists.
Frontier played without reigning state Gatorade Player of the Year Cassidy Stankowski, who is out with a leg injury.
Friday’s high schools: Belchertown girls soccer, Frontier girls volleyball clinch league titles
Friday, October 19, 2012
Frontier Regional 3, Mahar 1 — The Red Hawks cruised in Orange and clinched their ninth straight league championship in the process.
Cassidy Stankowski had 14 kills and six digs as Frontier (15-1, 7-0 Northern) won 25-14, 25-14, 15-25, 25-12.
Tori Whitney had 25 assists, Kate Harper added 10 kills and eight digs, and Sarah Woodward chipped in with eight kills and five digs.
Minnechaug 3, Amherst Regional 0 — The Hurricanes battled but fell 25-18, 25-15, 25-16 at home and needs to win one of its final two games to qualify for the postseason.
Haley Parker (ace) had six blocks, Cassie Long added 10 digs and Ali Ziomek had four aces and four kills for Amherst (8-7, 1-5 Eastern).
Frontier volleyball cruises as Cassidy Stankowski works her way back into top form
Frontier volleyball cruises as Cassidy Stankowski works her way back into
WILBRAHAM — Coming off a knee injury, Cassidy Stankowski says she feels 100 percent healthy.
The Frontier Regional volleyball senior standout certainly looks like the same dominant force that has led the Red Hawks to two straight state Division 3 titles and won the Massachusetts Gatorade Player
of the Year as a junior.
But after a 16-kill, 12-dig performance in Monday night’s 3-0 win over Minnechaug, Stankowski said she’s still knocking the rust off from missing extended time.
“I need a lot more work,” said Stankowski, whose team won 25-14, 25-18, 25-16 against the Falcons (14-1). “Being out for two-plus weeks really set me back. I’m frustrated. Timing, positioning, I just need
to keep working hard.”
Frontier coach Sean MacDonald downplayed his stars relative struggles since returning to the starting lineup.
“She’s going to be fine,” he said. “She’s just a little rusty. Her timing is a little off. She’s hitting the net on the way by on the ball, and that’s like a one-hundreth of a second difference on her swing. I’m not
worried about it.”
Stankowski, who is committed to play on scholarship at Division I Central Connecticut State last year, was hampered by tendinitis in both knees from overuse and was forced to first severely limit her
playing time and then sit out completely for two weeks in order to recover.
“I feel good now,” said Stankowski, who is also going to physical therapy to help the problem. “Every now and then I have a little soreness, but I just have to ice. I feel 100 percent out there. The
adrenaline is flowing and I don’t feel anything.”
Including in her games missed was Frontier’s 3-1 loss to Notre Dame Academy on Oct. 6. The loss snapped a 25-match winning streak and was the Red Hawks’ first home loss since Oct. 2004.
Stankowski either sat out entirely or only served in seven games beginning with a 3-0 win over Pioneer Regional on Sept. 24. She finally returned in full attack mode for the team’s match against Pioneer
— another 3-0 win — on Oct. 15.
While Stankowski was out, the team had to get production elsewhere and there were plenty of extra repetitions to go around.
Junior outside hitter Sarah Woodward, who had eight kills and six digs Monday, said the extra work has paid off.
“We learned a lot about ourselves having to play without one of the best players on our team,” she said. “It’s like a comfort having her on the court. Playing with more pressure on you really helps.”
MacDonald also liked what he saw.
“Sarah Woodward definitely stepped up during that time and took a bigger chunk of the offense,” he said. “She’s kind of the complementary player when Cassidy is on the floor, and she was kind of the
lead player when Cassidy wasn’t on the floor and she did a nice job. Even in the loss to Notre Dame, I thought she played well (eight kills, 12 digs). I think that’s going to help her going through the
playoffs this year and next year when she might be the stud.”
Stankowski, meanwhile, has been stellar in the four matches since returning, posting a total of 52 kills and 24 digs, including a strong performance Monday against the Falcons, who are a true WMass
Division 2 title contender.
Still, there is work to do for the Red Hawks, whose goal is to win a third straight state title.
“She’s struggling a little bit in her own head,” MacDonald said. “It doesn’t look that bad to me or to anyone else, but it’s not up to what she can do. That’s what bothers her.
“It doesn’t really bother me that much. Her at 80 percent is better than almost everyone in the state. I know it is going to smooth out. Whether she’s at 50 percent, 80 percent or 100 percent, if it is 24-24
in the state finals, I want us setting the ball to her.”
The team has two regular season matches — Thursday at Greenfield and Monday’s senior night at home against Division 2 champion Longmeadow — to prepare for the postseason.
“I think we are getting there. I still feel like I’m a week or two behind because we had a couple injuries with Cassidy out for a while and Kate Harper (ankle) out for a while,” MacDonald said. “So, at this
point, we’ve usually been running what I would call plan A for a month or so, and we haven’t really been using plan A because we haven’t had everybody available.
“It’s coming, but usually we’ve smoothed out more stuff by now. But I feel OK. I feel like we are getting there and we are getting better in practice every day.”
Jim Pignatiello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Girls’ volleyball (The Recorder)
Frontier 3, Minnechaug 0 — Cassidy Stankowski had a .737 hitting percentage and Frontier knocked off Minnechaug Regional High School, 25-14, 25-18, 25-16 in an independent girls’ volleyball match
Monday in Wilbraham.
Stankowski finished with 16 kills against just three errors for the absurdly high .737 in the win. Sarah Woodward added eight kills for the Red Hawks (16-1). Kate Harper registered six. Setters Tori
Whitney and Emma Contois combined for 29 assists. Ali Durant recorded 15 digs.
Frontier volleyball defeats Minnechaug 3-0
Jason Remillard, The Republican, October 22, 2012 8:23 p.m.
Cassidy Stankowski put down 15 kills and made 12 digs as visiting Frontier - the seven-time defending Western Mass. Division III champs - turned away one of the top teams in Division II.
Sarah Woodward added eight kills and six digs for the Red Hawks, while Tori Whitney handed out 16 assists.
Paulina Modestow paced Minnechaug with 12 digs and four kills. Erika Sawicki notched six kills, and Michelle Williams had eight digs.
Frontier girls volleyball spikes Longmeadow to close regular season
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
(Published in print: Thursday, November 1, 2012)
In a game between defending western Massachusetts champions, the Frontier Regional girls volleyball team wrapped up its regular season with a 3-0 win over Longmeadow at home.
Cassidy Stankowski led the way with 10 kills and 18 digs for the two-time defending state Division 3 champion Red Hawks (18-1), while Kate Harper added eight kills and 13 digs.
Tori Whitney finished with 20 assists for Frontier, which won 25-18, 25-17, 25-22.
Volleyball seeds will be announced today. The Lancers are the five-time defending D-2 champs.
In her final home match, Cassidy Stankowski leads Frontier volleyball to 3-0 win over Longmeadow
Jason Remillard, The Republican, October 31, 2012 6:40 p.m.
Frontier's Cassidy Stankowski had plenty to cheer about on Senior Night
as the Red Hawks beat Longmeadow. - (Republican file photo.)
SOUTH DEERFIELD - Cassidy Stankowski will have at least one more opportunity to play in front of her home fans at Frontier Regional School next week in the Western Massachusetts Division III girls
However, nothing leaves a lasting impression more than Senior Night. Not being Gatorade State Player of the Year. Not committing to play at Central Connecticut State.
From the emotional pre-match introduction by her father to the conclusion of Wednesday's match against "sister team" Longmeadow, it was a memorable night for one of the area's most dominant
In a matchup of the two defending sectional champions, Frontier defeated Longmeadow in straight sets (25-18, 25-17, 25-22), the same result as when these teams opened the season.
"At first I walked into the gym at 4:30 and saw all the decorations, and I wanted to cry, but I didn't," said Stankowski, who had 10 kills and 18 digs. "I knew emotionally I had to get ready for the game. I
wouldn't say I was nervous, but I was excited."
After losing the first two sets, the Lancers came out re-energized for the third and took an 11-6 lead. Frontier coach Sean MacDonald called timeout to settle his team, and the results were evident.
The Red Hawks (18-1) tied the set at 12-12 and finally took the lead for good at 18-17. Kate Harper (eight kills, 13 digs) finished the match with a spike off two Longmeadow blockers.
"I said to my team, 'They're coming here to beat you because they haven't done it and they want to,'" MacDonald said. "They're a good team."
Jen Hurwitz paced Longmeadow (15-3) with 12 kills and 14 digs. Amanda Tyler added nine kills, and Rachel Kofman had 20 assists. Frontier setter Tori Whitney also had 20 assists.
When Frontier assistant coach Jack Stankowski handled his usual duty of announcing the starting lineups, he choked up when introducing his daughter. Aside from that, in Frontier's typical team-first
fashion, Stankowski's Senior Night recognition earned no special treatment.
She was the second of six seniors - along with Ali Durant, Julia Wan, Kate Harper, Emma Contois and Tori Whitney - to be honored with a speech by an underclassman, and she received the same
flowers and gifts as everyone else.
"It's a special night," MacDonald said. "It's been a long time coming for her, six seasons on the varsity. It's time for her to move on. She's played a lot of high school volleyball."
Minnechaug (Division II) and Frontier (Division III) earn top seeds in Western Massachusetts girls volleyball
Jason Remillard, The Republican, November 01, 2012 6:27 p.m.
With the introduction of a modified version of the Walker system used to determine seeds, coaches did not quite know what to expect from Thursday’s Western Massachusetts high school girls volleyball
tournament seeding meeting.
“We have this new system with standard deviation, and no one knows how it works,” Longmeadow coach George Mulry said following his team’s regular-season finale Wednesday.
However, the results, in both Division II and Division III, seemed to be pretty fair and accurate – a better assessment of a team’s performance this season.
It was a foregone conclusion that Frontier Regional would garner its ninth consecutive No. 1 seed in Division III, as the Red Hawks vie for their eighth straight title. In Division II, a late-season victory over
six-time defending champion Longmeadow helped Minnechaug Regional secure the top spot.
“It just means you’ve got to be at your best,” Minnechaug coach Mark Taylor said. “The bull’s eye is on you. You’ve got to stay focused.”
Mulry said Wednesday that he expected the Lancers to be ranked No. 2, and the 3-0 defeat to Minnechaug on Oct. 24 was a big reason why.
“It just reminds you how quickly everything can be taken away,” Mulry said. “We went in there and just put way too much pressure on ourselves to play the match. It was a good wake-up call for sure.”
Minnechaug (16-2) tops the field of nine teams in Division II, while Frontier (18-1) is first among 13 squads in Division III. Opening-round games in both brackets are Saturday.
The championship matches will be held Nov. 10 at Holyoke Community College.
Like a swimmer who tapers for the big meets, Frontier spends its entire season honing its skills for November. The two-time defending state champions looked flat in Wednesday’s 3-0 win over
Longmeadow, but coach Sean MacDonald has faith in his tourney-tested crew.
“We’re still smoothing out some kinks, but we have everybody back now,” said MacDonald, who was without injured starters Cassidy Stankowski and Tori Whitney for stretches of time earlier this season.
“We’re healthy. We’re playing all right.”
Mahar Regional (14-5) picked up the No. 2 seed in Division III – perhaps the best case of the new Walker system succeeding. In past years, Lee would have been second based solely on its 19-0 record.
However, Mahar plays a tougher schedule, which was taken into account.
Where the system hurt a team most was No. 9 Sabis, which went 17-3 and won the Metro Division title. Strength of schedule, though, appeared to work against the Bulldogs.
Those looking for a darkhorse can point to the Colts of Chicopee Comp, the No. 4 seed in Division II. While Minnechaug beat Comp twice this season, Taylor is aware of the potential pitfalls.
“If their setting is on, Starr Ripley can get on a roll all by herself,” Taylor said of his team’s possible quarterfinal opponent. “We know what they have, but it’s hard to beat a team three times.”
Frontier girls volleyball advances to finals with
dominant win over Lenox, 3-0
Jake Brewer, The Republican, November 08, 2012 8:58 p.m.
Top-seeded Frontier girls volleyball sent a clear message to their next opponent, they are ready.
Frontier won in sets of 25-5, 25-16, 26-7, to dispose of fourth-seeded Lenox handily.
Cassidy Stankowski continued her strong season tallying 10 kills, seven aces, and three digs.
Frontier's Ali Durant helped out wioth six aces, and Kate Harper added nine kills.
Frontier will face second-seeded Mahar Saturday at Holyoke High at 4 for the Western Mass
Division III title.
Frontier girls volleyball sweeps Mahar, wins 8th straight Western Mass. Division III title
Russ Held, November 10, 2012 5:58 p.m.
HOLYOKE - Cassidy Stankowski won't have Western Massachusetts to kick around anymore.
The senior All-American at Frontier Regional made her last high school girls volleyball match against local competition a memorable
one, leading the Red Hawks to their eighth straight Western Massachusetts Division III championship.
Frontier posted a 3-0 sweep of Mahar Regional in the final Saturday afternoon at Holyoke Community College. Set scores went
25-20, 25-7 and 25-8 during a match that lasted an hour.
"This one feels great and it feels a lot different,'' Stankowski said. "It's my last time here, so it's bittersweet knowing I won't be back
here again with all my teammates.''
No. 1 Frontier (21-1) advances to face south sectional champion Archbishop Williams (16-6) of Braintree Wednesday night. Start time
at Hudson High School is 7 p.m.
"Our ultimate goal is still ahead of us,'' Stankowski said of a state title. "We work so hard, every day, for this."
No. 2 Mahar (16-6) sought its first sectional title since 1997, when it won the second of back-to-back Division II titles.
"It is what it is . . . and we have nothing to be ashamed of,'' Mahar coach Sarah Woodward said of playing Frontier.
"I am so proud of these girls.''
Stankowski, a six-year varsity veteran, will play on scholarship at Division I Central Connecticut State College. The 5-foot-8 reigning Gatorade State Player of the Year finished
with 12 kills and nine digs.
"I am not sure any other athlete in Western Massachusetts has won six championships like Cassidy has,'' Frontier coach Sean MacDonald said.
In six varsity seasons, Stankowski's teams never lost to a Western Massachusetts opponent and her teams have gone 135-6.
"It's seems like yesterday that I was out here as a seventh-grader,'' Stankowski said. "I does not seem like six years ago.''
Frontier defeated Mahar for the third time this season, also matching the 3-0 final from the 2011 title match.
"It was so good that we made it this far,'' Mahar's Sabrina Silva said. "I just wish we could have played better.''
Frontier junior Sarah Woodward added 14 kills, Emma Contois celebrated her birthday with seven assists and six digs and Emil Woodward added 12 assists.
"We have all bonded, knowing we only have a week left as teammates,'' Contois said.
Frontier has also won 25 straight matches in the Western Mass. tournament. The Red Hawks haven't lost a set - a run of 37 straight - at sectionals since they posted a 3-1
quarterfinal win over Mahar in 2009.
Frontier has won the last two state titles, and MacDonald has won four during his 10 seasons there.
"Each year, the girls know the tradition with our success,'' MacDonald said. "No one wants to be the one (team) to take it down. We don't ever talk about that and I think it makes
us work harder and with more focus. We know it's not going to last forever and hopefully it doesn't end next week.''
Sabrina Silva (17) can't spike past Frontier
Regional's Sarah Conlik (7) or Cassidy Stankowski
during Frontier's 3-0 win in the Western Mass.
Division III final Saturday . - (The Republican photo
by Dave Molnar)
Frontier's Cassidy Stankowski, Julia Wan and Ali Durant and Longmeadow's Jen Hurwitz named
to All-State volleyball team
Jason Remillard, The Republican, November 14, 2012 6:57 p.m.
View full size
Frontier volleyball standout Cassidy Stankowski signs her letter of intent to attend Central Connecticut State. - (Stankowski family photo)
Four Western Massachusetts players have been recognized as All-State by the Massachusetts Girls Volleyball Coaches Association.
One is a no-brainer. Frontier Regional senior outside hitter Cassidy Stankowski added another Division III All-State selection to her endless resume of honors.
On Wednesday, Stankowski officially put pen to paper, as she signed her National Letter of Intent to play Division I volleyball at Central Connecticut State
University in New Britain.
Two of Stankowski's Red Hawks teammates - senior middle blocker Julia Wan and senior libero Ali Durant - picked up their first All-State selections. The Red
Hawks faced Archbishop Williams on Wednesday in a Division III state semifinal at Hudson High School.
Last year, Stankowski was named an All-American and Gatorade's state player of the year.
In Division II, Longmeadow senior outside hitter Jen Hurwitz was named All-State for the first time. Hurwitz had 18 kills and 25 digs in Tuesday's state semifinal
win over Fairhaven. She and the Lancers (19-3) will take on Melrose (25-1) in Saturday's state final at Algonquin Regional High School.
The winner of the Frontier/Archbishop Williams match advances to the Division III state final to face Lynnfield on Saturday at Algonquin. Lynnfield (21-3) topped
Millbury 3-1 in Tuesday's semifinal.
|GIRLS VOLLEYBALL: Archbishop Williams has
tough assignment in Division 3 state semifinals
Williams excited in role of David
By Michael Flanagan
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Nov 13, 2012 @ 02:50 AM
Last update Nov 13, 2012 @ 02:59 AM
The Archbishop Williams High girls volleyball team has been the best kept secret of Division
3 South all season, and now the Bishops have the hardware to prove it.
With Saturday’s 3-1 upset of No. 4 Holbrook (16-4), the young No. 7 Williams (12-6) squad
earned the D3 South Sectional title after a three-year hiatus from the postseason.
Now the Bishops are preparing to face the consummate Goliath in Wednesday’s state
semifinal (7 p.m at Hudson High): two-time defending state champion Frontier Regional (18-
1), which shut out all three of its opponents as the top seed in the West bracket.
But the Bishops, helmed by a first-year coach and comprised of 14 players with no prior
playoff experience, are not intimidated – they love playing David.
“It definitely adds pressure, but I think it’s more excitement,” said senior co-captain Christine
Chase of Cohasset, who had 20 assists and 20 service points, including five aces, in
Saturday’s South final victory. “We take it more as a challenge than fear. It’s nicer when you
win as an underdog rather than when it’s expected.”
The team is more than accustomed to the underdog role, playing in the Div. 2 Catholic
Central League during the regular season. The Bishops finished third in the league, trailing
only Bishop Fenwick (17-5, 11-1) and league champ Arlington Catholic (19-3, 11-1), which
lost as the No. 2 seed in the Div. 2 North final to No. 1 Melrose, (21-1), 3-0.
“They’ve seen the best in Div. 2,” said coach Tricia Morgan, who coached much of this year’
s roster as the junior varsity coach last season. “I don’t even mind losing to (Bishop Fenwick
and Arlington Catholic in the regular season) because they’re so good and I love that they
play games like that. I don’t think that Frontier Regional is going to be any better than them.”
Still, the Bishops refuse to slack in their preparation for the powerhouse Frontier team.
“We’re practicing really hard, watching videos of them, seeing where our weaknesses might
be with them, where their strengths are, and kind of working those together to see where we
can improve the most,” said senior co-captain Monica Nowak of Braintree, who recorded 11
kills against Holbrook.
Before that game, the team compulsively worked on its defense against the jump-serve by
having freshman star Katryna Veasey of Quincy administer the aggressive serves to her
In turn, her veteran teammates, like captains Chase and Nowak, have been showing the
young phenom how to play at the high school level, even if they can lean on no more
postseason experience than Veasey already has. “They teach me a lot, the leaders of our
team,” said Veasey, who topped the team with 16 kills in the South final. “We all work as a
team. That’s our strongest part.”
The South trophy says the extra defensive work paid off, which may have surprised some in
the Div. 3 South volleyball loop, but not Lewis, who said she has fielded praise from
opposing coaches on her team’s defense all season.
“These girls are out there reading articles about how (Frontier) dominates volleyball. But
you know what? They haven’t seen us,” Lewis said. “I knew in my heart, as confident as
Holbrook was, that we were going to come out and play our A game. I know how these girls
can play. I know what they’re capable of, so I knew we were going to go out and dominate.
“And I really think we’re going to come out and, maybe not dominate against Frontier, but I
think we’re going to show them a good game and I think we’re going to come out on top.”
Michael Flanagan may be reached at email@example.com.
GIRLS VOLLEYBALL: Archbishop Williams
swept out of Div. 3 state semis
By Mike Flanagan
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Nov 15, 2012 @ 12:58 AM
The Archbishop Williams High girls volleyball team surprised everyone by winning the
Division 3 South Sectional crown in its first postseason venture in three years.
A state semifinal victory over two-time defending state champion Frontier Regional, which
has yet to surrender a set this postseason, would have been downright earth-shattering.
But the thing that made the Bishops a compelling story in the South tournament – their
inexperience – made them vulnerable to the Red Hawks’ powerful attack in the 3-0 loss at
Hudson High on Wednesday.
Julia Wan and star middle hitter Cassidy Stankowski lifted Frontier (22-1) to a decisive 6-0
run to put away Game 1, 25-14.
Stankowski and the Red Hawks carried the momentum into the second set, where an
opening 9-1 run compounded quickly to a commanding 18-4 lead and, ultimately, a 25-8 set
win for Frontier.
“Our girls definitely were nervous after the first game,” said first-year Archbishop Williams
coach Tricia Lewis. “They kind of let up a little bit (in the second game).”
In the third game, like the first, the Bishops (16-7) came out aggressive, compiling an
encouraging 4-0 lead. But just as quickly as the Bishops could get a grip on the game’s
momentum, the Red Hawks engineered a 9-1 rally to get back on top.
Archbishop Williams’ signature defense was as sharp as ever in the third set, thanks to
great communication on the court and two consecutive clutch blocks by freshman star
Katryna Veasey of Quincy that cut the Frontier lead down to 16-2.
But the Bishops’ defensive effort was still no match for Stankowski, who concluded the third
set (25-13) and the match with an emphatic ace.
“She pretty much dominated the game with her hits,” said Lewis. “I mean, without her hits, I
feel like we could’ve done well against them. We haven’t seen anyone like her in our
Three integral Bishops played their final game on Wednesday: Victoria Carroll (Randolph)
and captains Christine Chase (Cohasset) and Monica Nowak (Braintree).
But with a non-senior core stronger than most – led by freshman phenom Veasey – the
Bishops expect to contend once again for the title next year and for years to come. And this
time, they’ll have plenty of experience to build on.
“I think (the experience of playing in the state tournament) is really important because next
year they’ll have something to look forward to and know what to work on,” said Lewis. “I think
next year we’ll come back strong. They want it. It was a tough loss.
Mike Flanagan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One act remains for Frontier's
November, 14, 2012
By Bruce Lerch | ESPNBoston.com
HUDSON, Mass. -- When his youngest daughter Cassidy was in the fourth grade, Jack
Stankowski took her over to Amherst College for a college volleyball tri-match. Father and
daughter hit back and forth for a while until Dad said, “Hey Cassidy, why don’t you go over
and try some serves?”
Recalling the scene, Jack Stankowski remembered thinking to himself that Cassidy had a
better jump serve -- as a fourth grader -- than most of the college kids that took the floor
“I started coaching so I had access to the gym and every Saturday morning it was, ‘Hey Dad,
can we go to the gym? Can we work on this, work on that?” remembered an emotional Jack
Stankowski, now in his eighth-year as an assistant coach with the Red Hawks. “Baskets and
baskets of balls ... serving, passing, you name it, she wanted to do it.”
Nowadays, a Cassidy Stankowski jump-serve is usually followed by a chorus of “BOOM!”
chants from the Frontier Regional High School fan section, as are each of the thousands of
devastating spikes she has slammed down over her stellar career.
After spending six years as a starter with the Red Hawks varsity squad, Stankowski’s high
school resume is one game away from being complete as the senior capped an emotional
Wednesday with 16 kills and seven digs to lead Frontier in a 3-0 sweep of Archbishop
Williams in the Division 3 state semifinals at Hudson High School.
The two-time defending state champion Red Hawks (22-1) will try to make it a three-peat on
Saturday when they face Lynnfield for the title at Algonquin High School (nLyoon).
A two-time All-American and reigning Gatorade Player of the Year, Stankowski’s day began
with a special ceremony at the school where she signed her National Letter of Intent to
continue her volleyball career at the Division 1 level with Central Connecticut State. It was an
emotional afternoon with her parents and school officials and coaches.
"When I signed my National Letter of Intent, my mom started crying, so that made me cry,"
Stankowski admitted. "But then, I knew what I had to focus on, and that was this big game. I
knew I had to get prepared for that -- stop all the crying, stop all the emotions - and just get
focused for the game."
Added Jack Stankowski, “That kid has worked so hard. It was nice to see her finally get
rewarded for all the work she’s put into it. It was kind of a culmination of all her years of hard
work. She’s been on the varsity for six years and its just been a great ride. A lot of times kids
don’t want their parents to be involved.”
Stankowski paused for a moment to choke back the tears welling up in his throat before
continuing, “And I was just lucky enough she let me be a part of it."
While the 5-foot-8 Stankowski routinely makes the headlines for the tremendous offensive
numbers she puts up, it’s her play in the defensive end that makes her even more valuable
to the Red Hawks. Against Archbishop Williams, Stankowski spent a large chunk of her time
in the back row, collecting the Bishops serves and delivering perfect passes to setter
Victoria Whitney (to work the ball around to Frontier’s other dynamic hitters).
“Her defense, I think, is one of the things I think people miss,” agreed Frontier coach Sean
MacDonald. “She is just as good at that as she is at hitting the ball in the front row. The front
row looks flashy and sometimes the defense is just keeping the ball off the floor.”
“I always say how we were down in the state finals last year and we caught up with her in the
back row,” MacDonald continued. “She was keeping balls off the floor, making perfect
passes to our setters so we could run the offense with our other hitters. She does a lot of
good stuff to help us, not just getting kills.”
Win or lose on Saturday, Stankowski leaves behind a resume matched by few athletes in
any sport. In six years with Stankowski on the varsity, Frontier has compiled a record of 137-
6 and has not lost a match against any team from Western Massachusetts. Her older sister
Alyssa won a pair of state titles with the Red Hawks, a number Cassidy has a chance to
surpass on Saturday.
“It’s going to be the best finish to my senior year if we can have a three-peat,” Stankowski
stated. “That would just make my career so much better. I love this team and that makes it
so much better for me.”
|D3 volleyball: Frontier 3, Lynnfield 0
November, 17, 2012
By Scott Barboza | ESPNBoston.com
NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. -- You can make a strong case that Cassidy Stankowski is Frontier Regional volleyball.
You’d be hard pressed to find a student-athlete that’s been with a program for 10 years, but it’s been a family affair for the
Stankowski clan. Cassidy’s been around the program since long before high school, tagging along with her father Jack to
her older sister Alyssa’s games. In sixth grade, Stankowski graduated to statistician for Sean MacDonald’s team. In her
seventh grade year, she started playing with the Red Hawks as a libero on the varsity team.
But now, many years and three state championships later, the road has come to an end for the reigning Gatorade
Massachusetts Volleyball Player of the Year. With a 3-0 sweep of Eastern Massachusetts champion Lynnfield Saturday at
Algonquin Regional, the Red Hawks claimed their third straight MIAA Division 3 volleyball title, the fifth for the Red Hawks.
“I’ve been putting this jersey on for six years and, now that it’s come to an end, I don’t even have any words to describe
what I feel,” Stankowski said.
The Red Hawks carried the games 25-19, 25-16 and 25-21, but they hit bumps along the way.
It wasn’t the idyllic ending MacDonald was looking for – after all, the bar’s been placed so high with the Red Hawks dropping
just one match in their two previous championship seasons.
“We weren’t very smooth, but we did things well enough to win,” MacDonald said.
He continued, “Lynnfield’s a good team and I think they forced us into some things that were taking us out of our game.”
Frontier was still able to rely on Stankowski, who led the Red Hawks with 17 kills in addition to 14 digs. While Frontier’s
setting game was shaky at times, particularly during the second game, senior Tori Whitney tallied 24 assists and 12 digs on
the back line. Junior Sarah Woodward added 12 kills for the Red Hawks.
“Sarah’s been playing strong for us, she’s really come on down the stretch,” MacDonald said of Woodward.
Yet, it always goes back to the Red Hawks’ senior captian.
“When we’re not passing well, that’s kind of where we have to go,” MacDonald said of Stankowski. “If we get a good set, we
can hit her; if we don’t get a good set, she can get it, too. Cassidy is Cassidy. She’s just so solid, that if you we get a good
set, there’s a good chance that it’s going to be a point.”
A SPECIAL TALENT
MacDonald, who’s coached plenty of fine players in his tenure at Frontier, was asked exactly what mad Stankowski so
special. A versatile player who MacDonald plugged into many positions, he remarked that her instincts on the court are
what set Stankowski, who signed her National Letter of Intent to Central Connecticut State this, apart.
“Sometimes she’ll know where the ball is going before anyone else, and she’ll fly to the ball and cut in front of someone to
get there,” MacDonald said. “Sometimes I just want them to read it, too, but she’s so fast and instinctive, she gets there
As for Stankowski, who’s been a part of three championship teams now, she was pressed who the Red Hawks title-winning
teams have differed from each other. While acknowledging all teams are different, she reflected on one key element that all
those squads shared.
“I think that every time I’ve ever played on is completely different, each team has its own character,” Stankowski said. “We
definitely all get along. This team, we definintely, with it being our senior year, we wanted to make the best of it. All of us, all
the time, we just have fun. We haven’t butted heads at all, and if we’ve had problems, we’ve figured it out. We were one,
big, happy family.”
Barnstable turns tables on Newton North in volleyball final
Stankowski rises, Frontier raises its third straight Division 3 crown
By Liz Torres
Globe Correspondent / November 17, 2012
NORTHBOROUGH — The Barnstable girls’ squad could not have asked for more motivation than rival Newton North, the only team in two years to take a game away from the Red Raiders.
Barnstable’s 3-1 victory could have not been sweeter, earning the Red Raiders their 15th Division 1 state championship in coach Tom Turco’s 25th season.
When asked if winning the title ever gets old, Turco said, “Never, but you know I was dying to get into the 20s here, I don’t know how many of these I can take.”
After graduating six seniors last year and all of his offense, the spotlight was on the senior duo of Kayla Crook and Regan Bristol, and they came shining through.
“I don’t regret anything, said Crook, who finished her career with 2,023 assists. “I wish everyone could go through [winning a state championship]. Coach has led us through the whole way, he’s only done
everything for the benefit of us.”
Bristol, who started with Crook as freshmen, had 14 kills for 635 in her career.
Barnstable finished 21-1.
“I’m so proud of this team,” said Turco, whose squad won, 13-25, 25-16, 25-23, 25-17. “They have this incredible belief they can win and be successful.”
After dropping the first set — Keane Brazda, a Bucknell commit, Hannah Andres, Alana King and Deanna Cortina led the way for Newton North — the Red Raiders needed to regroup.
“I was hoping for five [sets] after we got blown away the first game,’’ said Turco. “I was thinking this was going to be a long night here. The Red Raiders had won 15 straight set games this season.
And after 10 ties, senior Colleen Koen (11 kills) made six decisive plays that paced Barnstable, 25-16, in the second set.
The third set was swarmed with errors, but Barnstable stepped up its game when Newton North took a 19-17 lead. A double block by Koen and Crook and a kill by Bristol helped earn Barnstable a 25-23
set win and a 2-1 lead in games.
Division 2 — At the end of it all, Melrose coach Scott Celli was telling his girls, “It’s like the Olympics,” as they lined up to receive their medals.
Celli’s front row of seniors, Sarah McGowan, Jennifer Cain and Rachel Johnson, had a combined 33 kills and Melrose won the state championship over Longmeadow, 3-1 (25-17, 24-26, 25-19, 25-10).
“This was our one dream and one goal that we had to accomplish because we’ve been to this game. We’ve won the Middlesex League, we’ve won Division 2 North, and this was the one thing we couldn’t
do,” said McGowan, who had 10 kills, ending her career with 749.
The victory did not come without a challenge. The Red Raiders’ biggest hurdles were Longmeadow’s Amanda Tyler and Jennifer Hurwitz.
Cain (11 kills) propelled the offense in the fourth set. , including the final touches with a tip for the final score.
The Red Raiders started in the first set with a double block by seniors Brooke Bell and McGowan. McGowan’s pair of hits and Longmeadow errors settled the set, 25-17.
The second set was a turnaround.
Hurwitz displayed the power behind her swing that ranked her sixth in the state and relied on Tyler to control volleys for a 5-0 lead in the second set and an 18-10 lead.
Johnson (12 kills), Cain and McGowan led a comeback as Bell (26 assists and 1,853 career assists) added the finishing touches with an ace to tie, 24-24. Hurwitz closed the set with a tip and a hit through
a double block, 26-24.
Division 3 — For Alyssa Stankowski, a Frontier volleyball alum, watching her little sister Cassidy receive a standing ovation for the last serve of her high school career was one she’ll
Cassidy has been the sensation behind the Frontier volleyball program since seventh grade and her 17 kills and 14 digs lifted the Red Hawks to a three-peat as Division 3 state
champions over Lynnfield in straight sets Saturday (25-17, 25-19, 25-20).
“A three-peat is so unpredictable and so rare and its unbelievable it’s happened,” said teary-eyed Cassidy.
The sisters won a state title together. “Now I’m sitting on the sideline watching her. I remember when she was little passing the ball. She beat me. She has three state titles, I have
two,” said Alyssa.
Cassidy, who has played with the Red Hawks (23-1) since seventh grade, recently committed to Central Connecticut State, ending her high school career with 1,467 kills, 1000+ digs and
a 137-6 record, according to Red Hawks coach Sean MacDonald.
To leave the Red Hawks is a bittersweet moment for the senior.
“Signing my national letter of intent was surreal, I’m finally moving on and I’m just speechless. It’s been a big honor and I know people across the state know who I am and that’s just a
big deal to me and I’ve worked so hard for this,” said Cassidy.
“It’s kind of the end of an era right. Now she’s a nationally respected player. It’s been an amazing ride to watch it. She’s a gifted natural athlete but she mixes that with thousands of
hours of hard work and it’s been a joy to coach her,” said MacDonald.
Cassidy worked with junior Sarah Woodward (12 kills, 12 digs) in the third set as the go-to offensive duo. Leading 24-18 and with Cassidy ready to serve, fans on the Algonquin
bleachers stood to applaud Cassidy. Although she did not grab game point, Woodward managed a hit past a double block to end the game, 25-18.
Woodward battled most of the second set and Cassidy Ciesluk tipped for gamepoint and a 25-19 win. Senior Victoria Whitney had 24 assists and senior Alexandra Durant chipped in 13
Woodward had a stellar performance in the first set, snapping a 5-5 tie on the way to a 17-14 lead. Cassidy picked it up toward the end of the game, netting six points including
gamepoint with a hit slipping through a double block for a 25-19 final.
Frontier wins third straight
By Kat Hasenauer Cornetta / Div. 3 Volleyball (Boston Herald)
Sunday, November 18, 2012
NORTHBORO — Cassidy Stankowski made the most of her last volleyball game in a Frontier Regional High School jersey.
The Central Connecticut-bound senior led the Red Hawks to a 25-20, 25-16, 25-21 win over Lynnfield in the Division 3 state final at Algonquin Regional, giving Frontier (23-1-0) its third straight state
championship in girls volleyball.
“It wasn’t an easy game,” said Stankowski, who finished with 17 kills and 14 digs. “Lynnfield is a great team.”
Lynnfield (21-3) kept it competitive, taking early leads in each of the three games. Though Frontier’s Stankowski and Sarah Woodward used quick reflexes to combine for early points, Lynnfield’s defense
forced the Red Hawks to get flustered and give up several points on errors. Three of those errors allowed the Pioneers to bring the first game within two points.
“Our defense was special today,” said Lynnfield coach Michelle Perrone. “We studied where (Frontier) serves and were prepared.”
But Stankowski took the reins, scoring six of Frontier’s next seven points as the Red Hawks won the first game, 25-20.
Lynnfield jumped ahead in the second game, but Stankowski and Julia Wan combined for a block to turn the momentum in the Red Hawks’ favor. Late in the game, Woodward took a hard shot to the nose,
which kept her out of the rest of the second. Frontier continued to roll without her, and despite hustle by Lynnfield, won the game, 25-16.
Lynnfield jumped out to another lead to start the third set thanks to Amanda McQueen and Caroline Shannon. From there, Stankowski took over, making saves while sliding out of bounds and spectacular
digs to bring Frontier back into the lead.
“We were saying in practice yesterday that this is the state final, we have to put everything on the line,” said Stankowski about her flashy plays. “We just have to go after it.”
With Frontier up 24-18 and the state title just a point away, Lynnfield rallied behind Hannah Shaievitz, Malia Roberto and Kelly Corcoran. But Woodward, who came back into the game at the start of the
third, scored the final point to give Frontier the win.
Moments after getting his hands on another championship trophy, Frontier coach Sean MacDonald was looking forward to next year.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if these two teams meet again next year,” he said. “Those who think Cassidy’s graduation means we’re done will be wrong. We have some great girls coming up.”
Cassidy Stankowski closes career in style as Frontier wins third straight Division III state
girls volleyball title
Jason Remillard, The Republican, November 17, 2012 2:17 p.m.
NORTHBOROUGH - Big-time college and professional athletes sometimes don't even face the postgame media crush that surrounded Cassidy Stankowski on Saturday.
As reporters from all over the state gathered around Stankowski following the final match of her stellar career on the Frontier Regional School volleyball team, she was quick - as always - to deflect praise
toward her teammates.
After all, the Red Hawks' 25-20, 25-16-25-21 victory over Lynnfield in the Division III state final was a true team win, one in which they still won despite not bringing their "A" game.
Stankowski closed her six-year career at Frontier (23-1) with 17 kills and 14 digs, as the Red Hawks left Algonquin Regional High School with their third straight state title and fifth since 2005. Unsung
heroes like Sarah Woodward and Tori Whitney stepped up in big moments to help the cause.
"We really pulled together as a team today," Stankowski said. "We knew what we wanted, the state championship."
Whitney, who missed the early part of the season due to injury, has sparked the team during this postseason run with her solid setting and serving. She contributed 24 assists, 12 digs and a pair of aces.
Woodward continued her maturation into a player to watch, as she racked up 12 kills and 12 digs. The junior also displayed toughness by returning for the third set after striking her head against the net
post while chasing down a loose ball.
"We weren't quite as smooth as I would have liked, but we did things well enough to win," Frontier coach Sean MacDonald said. "We said 'Let's keep the ball in play and go back to the things we know will
What has worked more often than not over the last six seasons is Stankowski, who will play Division I volleyball next season at Central Connecticut State University. In the second set, she scored five of the
final six points to give Frontier its most comfortable win of the match.
Earlier in that set, Stankowski displayed her incredible versatiliy on three successive points. A free-ball shot of hers fell in for a point. She kept the next point alive with a great defensive save, and then
secured the third point on a kill from the back row after serving.
"Cassidy is Cassidy. She's just so solid," MacDonald said. "If you get her a good set, there's a pretty good chance it's going down."
While MacDonald is understandably sad to see his star player go, he's appreciative to have been part of the ride.
"It's been an amazing sight to watch her," he said. "She's been an amazing natural athlete."
Woodward bumped her head, Stankowski tweaked her knee - all part of Frontier's approach to leave it all on the floor in search of the three-peat.
"We said at practice, 'It's the state final, we don't care,'" Stankowski said. "To get the three-peat, it's absolutely amazing."
Prior to the match, Lenox Memorial High School received the Division III MIAA Team Sportsmanship Award.
|Frontier volleyball cruises to 3-0 victory over Archbishop
Williams in Division III state semifinal
Jason Remillard, The Republican, November 14, 2012 8:36 p.m.
HUDSON - A memorable day came to a tremendous conclusion for Cassidy Stankowski.
About six hours after signing a National Letter of Intent to play Division I college volleyball at Central Connecticut
State University, the Frontier Regional School standout capped it off by clinching her fourth trip to the Division III
state final in her stellar six-year career.
Stankowski registered 16 kills and seven digs Wednesday as Frontier dominated Archbishop Williams 25-14,
25-9, 25-14 in a state semifinal at Hudson High School.
"When I signed my National Letter of Intent, my mom (Sue) started crying, so that made me cry," Stankowski said.
"But then, I knew what I had to focus on, and that was this big game. I knew I had to get prepared for that - stop all
the crying, stop all the emotions - and just get focused for the game."
The entire Red Hawks team showed tunnel vision as they cruised to victory against an overmatched opponent,
which was making its first state semifinal appearance.
Next on the agenda for Frontier (22-1) is a matchup with Lynnfield (21-3) in Saturday's state final at 3 p.m. at
Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough. A victory would be Frontier's third straight and fifth since 2005.
"It's going to be the best finish to my senior year if we can have a three-peat," Stankowski said.
The Red Hawks fell behind 3-0 early in the first set, but in no time it was 8-3. A tremendous shot by Stankowski, in
which she jumped with her back to the net and spun toward the net in the air, put Frontier up 10-4, and they were
hardly challenged again.
A big key to Frontier's dominance was its floor defense. In the first set, only two of Archbishop Williams' points
came on its own kills. The rest were Frontier errors or violations.
"We just wanted to make sure nothing hit the floor and make sure we'd still play it back over," said senior middle
blocker Julia Wan, who had eight kills and three blocks.
The second set was as convincing a performance as Frontier has ever put up in a state tournament game, and
that's saying something. The Red Hawks bolted to a 9-1 lead, sparked by junior Sarah Woodward (five kills) and
senior Tori Whitney (24 assists, five aces).
Red Hawks coach Sean MacDonald was especially impressed with Woodward, who built on her breakout
performance in last Saturday's Western Mass. final.
"Her stock's been going up and up and up," MacDonald said. "It's really good to see. She's been playing solid for
|Longmeadow (Division II) and Frontier (Division III) pumped up for state volleyball finals
Jason Remillard, The Republican, November 16, 2012 7:52 p.m.
For the first time since 2002, a Western Massachusetts team has qualified for the Division II girls volleyball state final.
In its sixth attempt in as many years, Longmeadow High School earned the right to play for the championship by defeating Fairhaven in Tuesday’s state semifinal.
In Division III, however, it’s a different story – one of success. Frontier Regional School is looking for the three-peat to improve its record in state finals to 5-1 since 2005.
The two powerhouses – close enough off the court to call themselves “sister teams” – will be cheering each other on Saturday at Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough.
Frontier (22-1) takes on Lynnfield (21-3) in the Division III final at noon, followed at 3 p.m. by Longmeadow’s Division II match against Melrose.
“It’s just so exciting that we can finally do this for our coach (George Mulry), who’s been going at it for six years,” said Jen Hurwitz, Longmeadow’s All-State outside hitter. “It’s just awesome that we can do
it for him and for ourselves.”
Longmeadow (19-3) faces a daunting task against Melrose (21-1), a perennial Division II powerhouse in Eastern Massachusetts. It’s only natural to speculate as to what the Lancers’ mindset will be in
their first appearance in the season’s final contest.
However, if Longmeadow displays the character it showed in battling back from a 2-1 deficit against Fairhaven, anything is possible – including the first state title in program history.
“The girls bounced back well,” said Mulry, who has taken Longmeadow to the Western Mass. title each of his six seasons. “Anytime there was a timeout, the only thing we talked about was having fun.
That’s just it.”
Win or lose, Saturday will mark the end of one of the greatest careers in Western Massachusetts high school sports history, as Cassidy Stankowski takes the court for the final time in a Frontier uniform.
Since cracking the Red Hawks’ lineup as a seventh-grader in 2007, Stankowski has won six Western Mass. titles, two state titles, been named an All-American twice and was last year’s Gatorade State
Player of the year.
Following Wednesday’s dominating 3-0 semifinal win over Archbishop Williams, Stankowski expressed confidence that the team is playing well enough to help her write a happy ending to this amazing
“Right now, we’re pretty confident with our offense,” Stankowski said. “We really need to work on keeping the ball in play. The longer we make the rallies, the more tired the other team will be. We work
hard in the offseason and in the season to build up our stamina so we can build up those long rallies.”
That energy will be needed against a Lynnfield team looking for revenge from last year’s state semifinal loss to Frontier. Pioneers coach Michelle Perrone was scouting Frontier on Wednesday, and
MacDonald knows to expect a tight match.
“I think our experience helps,” said MacDonald, who has guided the Red Hawks to eight straight Western Mass. titles in his 10 seasons at the helm. “Lynnfield’s certainly pumped up, looking for a
Frontier's (13) Cassidy Stankowski with another amazing point on their way to their third
consecutive Division III State Championship as they beat the Lynnfield Pioneers Saturday
at Algonquin Regional High School. - (The Republican staff photo by Michael Beswick)
The Frontier Red Hawks pose with their third consecutive
Division III State Championship as they beat the Lynnfield
Pioneers Saturday at Algonquin Regional High School. -
(The Republican staff photo by Michael Beswick)
|Photos from the Republican and Recorder. No Copyright infringment intended
Lynnfield volleyballers fall at the final Frontier
Originally Published on Monday, November 19, 2012
By Steve Krause / The Daily Item
NORTHBOROUGH — As long as the Frontier Regional volleyball team had Cassidy Stankowski, there was no way the Red Hawks were going to lose the Division 3 state volleyball final to anyone.
And of course, they didn't. No matter what Lynnfield did, and how effectively the Pioneers did it, Stankowski had the answer. A devastating kill? Check. An impossible dig? Check again. A block? No problem.
The Central Connecticut State-bound Stankowski had 17 kills and 14 digs and led the Red Hawks to a 3-0 victory and a state championship over the Pioneers.
Lynnfield hung tough with the Red Hawks, matching them play for play. Neither team was perfect. They both drove serves into the net and had their share of unforced errors. But in the end, it was Stankowski to the
rescue time and time again for the Red Hawks.
"She's fantastic," said Lynnfield coach Michelle Perrone. "I know she's beaten us three years in a row, but I'm still proud of her. It's really nice to see someone from our state reach such a high level in volleyball."
What Stankowski wasn't doing for Frontier, Sarah Woodward picked up the slack. Between the two of them, balls going over the net were a challenge all day long.
But Lynnfield had its stars too. Amanda McQueen had nine assists and six digs; Hannah Shaievitz six kills and three blocks; Caroline Shannon five kills and five digs; and libero Ashley McRae a whopping 24 digs.
"I love these girls," said Perrone. "They certainly didn't quit. They kept playing, and I'm proud of them."
Lynnfield jumped to a 4-0 lead out of the gate before Frontier caught up and passed the Pioneers. The Hawks won the first set, 25-20, but had to really sweat to do it.
The second set came much easier. The score was 25-16 and Lynnfield was never in it. The deciding set was much more competitive. The Pioneers broke out to a 4-1 lead, but Frontier's tactic of its two inside players
setting up the outsiders for a kill was working perfectly.
Stankowski dominated the first set, but the Hawks won the second without too much involvement from her. She reasserted herself in the third set, but Lynnfield did too. And with the score 24-19 at match point, Perrone
"I just wanted to tell them this was it," she said. "I wanted to tell them to give it everything they had."
That's exactly what the Pioneers did. They won the next two points and provided the good crowd at Algonquin Regional with a couple of the longest points of the afternoon.
But the end was inevitable, and -- fittingly -- it was Stankowski who was responsible for the match point. (actually it was Sarah Woodward that got the last kill)
"I wish her well," said Perrone.
Steve Krause can be reached at email@example.com.
FRONTIER REGIONAL SCHOOL STANDOUT NAMED
GATORADE® MASSACHUSETTS VOLLEYBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
CHICAGO (December 12, 2012) — In its 28th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade
Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Cassidy Stankowski of Frontier
Regional School as its 2012-13 Gatorade Massachusetts Volleyball Player of the Year. Stankowski is the first Gatorade
Massachusetts Volleyball Player of the Year to be chosen from Frontier Regional School.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic
achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Stankowski as Massachusetts’
best high school volleyball player. Stankowski joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12
sports, including USA Volleyball players Kim Glass (2001-02, Horseshoe HS, Penn.), Kim Willoughby (1998-99, 1999-
00, Assumption HS, La.) and Ogonna Nnamani (1999-00, University HS, Ill).
The state’s returning Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year, the 5-foot-8 senior outside hitter led the Red Hawks to a 23-
1 record and a third straight Division 3 state title this past season. Stankowski recorded 185 kills, 127 digs, 21 service
aces and 13 blocks while posting a hitting percentage of .469. A four-time Division 3 First Team All-State selection and
a 2012 American Volleyball Coaches Association Under Armour Honorable Mention All-American, Stankowski
recorded 17 kills and 14 digs in a state final win over Lynnfield High. She concluded her six-year prep volleyball career
with 1,483 kills, 1,151 digs and 364 service aces.
Stankowski has maintained a 3.66 GPA in the classroom. She has volunteered locally at a homeless shelter and food
bank, as a peer mentor and as part of multiple community service initiatives in association with her church.
“Cassidy can do it all: pass, dig, hit, block, serve, and her coach has even had her set to rest her at times and she is well
capable,” said Roger Anderson, head coach at Westborough High. “Her speed, ball control and intangibles make her
the top in my book.
Stankowski has signed a National Letter of Intent to play volleyball on an athletic scholarship at Central Connecticut
State University beginning next fall.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the
50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys
and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each
sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with
USA TODAY High School Sports, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of
accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Stankowski joins Gatorade Massachusetts Volleyball Players of the Year Maura Manley (2010-11, New Bedford High
School), Morgan Thatcher (2009-10, Brockton), Caitlin Barrett (2008-09, Brockton) and Mina Baban (2007-08,
Westborough) among the state’s list of former award winners.
To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow us
on Twitter. For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of
past winners and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com.
Cassidy Stankowski wins second Gatorade honor
GAZETTE FILE PHOTO Cassidy Stankowski, center, of Frontier Regional, was named the Massachusetts Gatorade Girls Volleyball Player of the Year Wednesday for the second straight season.
By MICHAEL WILKINSON Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
(Published in print: Thursday, December 13, 2012)
Frontier Regional volleyball star Cassidy Stankowski said she was shocked upon hearing the news Wednesday morning from Red Hawks coach Sean MacDonald.
Despite missing significant time due to injury this season, Stankowski earned one final award to cap an exceptional high school career. The senior was named the Gatorade Massachusetts Player of the
Year for the second consecutive season after helping drive the Red Hawks to their third consecutive Division 3 state championship in November.
“I did not expect this with the time I missed this season,” said Stankowski. “When Sean told me I won I was completely speechless. It’s a great honor, especially after feeling I wouldn’t win it. And to win it
twice is unbelievable, I don’t have the words for it.”
MacDonald said, “I’m not really surprised, but I didn’t think it was in the bag with Cassidy’s stats being down because of the missed time. I think it’s the right decision for sure. The fact that she won this
last year helped, and winning the state title certainly helps. It’s very well-deserved. She’s done so many things to help our team win.”
Stankowski finished the 2012 season with 185 kills, 127 digs, 21 aces and 13 blocks. Frontier went 23-1 in claiming another state crown.
Winning the Player of the Year again “was definitely a goal of mine coming into the season,” she said. “I always want to be the best I can be, and to receive this honor is amazing. I’m very thankful to the
committee of people that chose me.”
The four-time Division 3 all-state selection and 2012 American Volleyball Coaches Association Under Armour Honorable Mention All-American had 17 kills and 14 digs in Frontier’s state final victory over
But her final high school season wasn’t without some adversity, as Stankowski sat out nearly three full weeks early on with a knee injury.
“It wasn’t a major setback, it was more frustrating than anything,” said Stankowski. “When the doctor told me to take those weeks off, I had a tough time handling it. Not only because I couldn’t play or
practice, but because I’m always active. So that was a difficult period, but I got through it.”
Over a six-year high school career, she amassed 1,483 kills, 1,151 digs and 364 aces, displaying an all-around game unmatched in recent years.
“Cassidy can do it all — pass, dig, hit, block, serve — and her coach has even had her set to let her rest at times, and she is well capable,” said Westborough coach and Gatorade selection committee
member Roger Anderson, in Wednesday’s press release announcing the award. “Her speed, ball control and intangibles make her the top in my book.”
But as is the case with most great athletes, the pure numbers tell only a part of the story.
“The stats show that my hitting is pretty good, but I really like to play defense,” she said. “I would always bug Sean in practice about doing more on the defensive side and keeping balls off the floor. I just
wanted to help the team in any way possible. We had a lot of versatility as a team, so I could move around the floor and do different things and not take away from the team’s ability to win.”
Truly the most important statistic to Stankowski is her team’s six-year record, which wrapped up at 137-6 overall and a perfect 122-0 against competition from western Massachusetts.
“I’m very proud of the two Gatorade titles, but I’m most proud of our team’s three-peat,” she said. “I wouldn’t be the player of the year without my teammates and coaches. They’ve made me look good my
whole career. It’s definitely that much more special to win individual awards when the team is so successful.”
MacDonald and the program will have a tough time replacing Stankowski.
“Her contribution to Frontier has been extraordinary, we can’t ask any more of her,” said MacDonald. “So it’s time for her to take the next step in her career. I’m sad it’s over, but it’s like seeing your kids
grow up. She helped build the program to the point where we compete with the best in the state. I feel we’ll continue to do that even though Cassidy won’t be with us anymore.”
Next fall Stankowski will play for Central Connecticut State, marking the first time since 2006 she won’t be wearing a Red Hawks jersey.
“It’s a surreal feeling, because playing for Frontier volleyball has been a huge part of my life for the past six years,” she said. “So for it to be over suddenly is unbelievable. It’s been a great career, and I’
ve had great teammates around me. But it’s time for that next chapter, and I’m really excited about that.”
Michael Wilkinson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frontier star Cassidy Stankowski repeats as Gatorade State Volleyball Player of the Year
Jason Remillard, The Republican, December 12, 2012 5:24 p.m.
It’s time for some more concrete to be drilled out of the wall of the Frontier Regional School gymnasium in South Deerfield.
Frontier girls volleyball superstar Cassidy Stankowski was named Gatorade State Player of the Year for the second straight season on Wednesday.
With that honor comes a commemorative banner that will hang from the wall of Goodnow Gymnasium, right next to the one honoring Stankowski’s 2011 achievement.
“It’s really special,” Stankowski said. “Our athletic director (Marty Sanderson) told me he has to drill two new holes in the wall and get this banner up hopefully sooner than the last one.”
Stankowski, who committed last month to Central Connecticut State University, also won the award last season. A few weeks ago, Stankowski was named an American Volleyball Coaches Association
Under Armour All-America honorable mention.
In leading Frontier to its third consecutive Division III state title, Stankowski notched 185 kills, 127 digs and 21 aces. Those statistics are down from previous years due to missing several matches with a
“Being out for two or three weeks was definitely not in the plan,” Stankowski said. “I think it’s great that people can look past that and look at the whole career.”
The Red Hawks defeated Mahar Regional of Orange for their eighth straight Western Massachusetts title and topped Lynnfield in the state final. It’s that team success that has helped Stankowski
garner such positive attention.
“Frontier volleyball has definitely made me look good,“ Stankowski said. “I wouldn’t have done it without my team.”
Opposing coaches, even those from other parts of the state, took quick notice of Stankowski’s versatile skill set.
“Cassidy can do it all – pass, dig, hit, block, serve – and her coach (Sean MacDonald) has even had her set to let her rest at times, and she is well capable,” said Westborough High School coach Roger
Anderson, one of the Gatorade selection committee members. “Her speed, ball control and intangibles make her the top in my book.”
Over her six seasons at Frontier, Stankowski was named first-team All-Scholastic by The Republican five times. Four times she was a Division III All-State selection by the Massachusetts Girls Volleyball
Coaches Association. In 2010 and 2011, she earned honorable mention All-America honors from PrepVolleyball.com.
The Gatorade honor, however, is the last one Stankowski was waiting to hear from – capping a career in which she tallied 1,483 kills, 1,151 digs and 384 service aces while compiling a 137-6 record
(122-0 vs. Western Mass. teams).
“I now know that nothing else can be done with volleyball,“ said Stankowski, who will play softball in the spring for Frontier. “It’s definitely over. It was a great career.”
Stankowski repeats as
Mass. Player of Year
|Frontier's Cassidy Stankowski repeats as
The Republican's Girls Volleyball Player of the Year
Jason Remillard, The Republican, December 23, 2012 10:36 p.m.
THE REPUBLICAN 2012 GIRLS VOLLEYBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
CASSIDY STANKOWSKI, Frontier
Position: Outside hitter
Impact: To say Cassidy Stankowski had one of the greatest careers of any Western
Massachusetts female volleyball player is an understatement. In terms of team success, hers
measures up with any athlete – male or female – in any sport. Six years on varsity is rare. Six years
of being a major contributor is close to unheard of.
Significant stats: 1,483 kills; 1,151 digs; 364 aces
Overall team record: 137-6
Vs. WMass teams: 122-0
Western Mass. Division III finals: 6-0
State Division III finals: 3-1
Division III All-State selections: Four (2009-12)
The Republican All-Scholastic first team: Five (2008-12)
Major awards: Gatorade State Player of the Year (2011, 2012); Prepvolleyball.com All-America
(2010, 2011); Under Armour All-America (honorable mention 2012); The Republican Player of the
Year (2011, 2012)
What’s next?: On Nov. 14, Stankowski signed a National Letter of Intent to play Division I volleyball
at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, where she hopes to start at outside hitter
What she has to say
On her amazing journey: “It’s been a great career, and it’s finally come to an end, and I don’t
want it to end any other way than it did. But it’s also kind of time to take another step in my life and
push myself a little harder than I have been. I think it’s a really good end to a career that I wouldn’t
want to change.”
On her bond with older sister, Alyssa: “Watching her develop into the player and the woman
that she became really made me think about what I wanted to do with my life and how I wanted to
make myself known and how I wanted to make myself the best player I could. Every time somebody
asks me, ‘Oh, you played with your sister?,’ I tell them it’s the best thing that ever happened to me
my whole entire life. I would do anything to go back to those two years (2007-08) and play with her
On winning three state titles to Alyssa’s two: “We talk about that a lot, about how that year
(2008, lost in state semis) we had two or three All-State players and we were predicted to win but it
just didn’t happen. She won two without me, I won three without her, but we never won one
together. It was just not what we expected at all.”
Stankowski Named Gatorade State Player of the Year for 2nd Straight Year
December 12th, 2012 (WGGB ABC 40)
South Deerfield, MA (WGGB) — Clear out a little more room in the rafters of Goodnow Gymnasium. Frontier Regional High School senior volleyball player Cassidy
Stankowski has been named the Gatorade State Player of Year for the second consecutive year.
The best player in the state of Massachusetts as a junior, Stankowski repeated the feat as a senior, while leading the Red Hawks to a third consecutive State
Championship at the Division III level.
Her sophomore year (in which the Red Hawks won the first of their three straight state titles), Frontier was the best team in the entire state, beating both the
Division I and Division II State Champions during the regular season, before sweeping their way through the Division III bracket.
Stankowski has committed to Central Connecticut State University, where she will play Division I volleyball.
Stankowski was an honorable mention Under Armour All-American last year, and she repeated that accomplishment this year.
A four-time All-State honoree, and a six-year Varsity player, Stankowski had the most decorated high school career in the history of Western Mass volleyball.
team to a third straight Division 3 state title.
career win and coached the girls volleyball
Sean MacDonald - Recorded 200th
Minnechaug's Mark Taylor (Division II) and Frontier's Sean MacDonald (Division III) named
The Republican's girls volleyball coaches of the year
Jason Remillard, The Republican, January 06, 2013 8 a.m.
Minnechaug's Mark Taylor has been named The Republican's Frontier's Sean MacDonald has been named The Republican's
Division II girls volleyball coach of the year - (Dave Roback, The Republican) Division III girls volleyball coach of the year - (Dave Roback, The Republican)
THE REPUBLICAN'S 2012 GIRLS VOLLEYBALL COACHES OF THE YEAR
Mark Taylor, Minnechaug: The second-year coach turned in a 16-2 regular season record, including a late-season upset of eventual champion Longmeadow, as the Falcons earned the top seed in
the Western Massachusetts tournament; helped by four All-Scholastic first-team selections.
Sean MacDonald, Frontier: Eight straight Western Massachusetts titles; a three-peat as state champions (five since 2005); more than 200 victories in just 10 seasons; architect of a dynasty; three All-
State selections and six All-Scholastic first-teamers this season; is there anything MacDonald hasn’t accomplished?
By JIM PIGNATIELLO Staff Writer
Sunday, January 27, 2013
(Published in print: Monday, January 28, 2013)
It wasn’t a perfect final season, but it did feature a perfect ending.
In November, Frontier Regional girls volleyball star Cassidy Stankowski wrapped up a career for the ages by
lifting a state Division 3 championship trophy for the third straight year.
“Very few athletes in any sport get to end their high school career with a win,” coach Sean MacDonald said.
“She ended it with a win in the state championship and that was the third in a row for her. That’s pretty
special. To win six western Mass. titles in a row, every year she was on the team, was pretty special.”
Stankowski, meanwhile, still looks at her career as having stepped in for older sister Alyssa when she
graduated after the 2007-08 season. Alyssa Stankowski graduated as a two-time state champion and three-
time WMass winner. Both Stankowskis were starters on the 2007 team — Alyssa as a senior, Cassidy as a
seventh-grader — that reached the state finals.
“I always think about my sister,” Cassidy Stankowski said. “I think about what she did for the program and
how I would like to think that I filled in her shoes when she left and took over the role that she played on the
Cassidy Stankowski won two straight Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year honors. She was a four-
time all-state selection and will likely earn her third straight Prepvolleyball.com All American honor when the
list is released next month. She was recognized as a AVCA/Under Armor All-American honorable mention this
The four-year team captain and five-time league all-star finished her career with 1,483 kills, 1,151 digs, 364
aces and a 122-0 record against teams from WMass. Overall, her teams went 137-6 (.958) in six seasons.
“I think a lot of us knew way back that she had the potential to be very, very good,” MacDonald said. Alyssa
“told us when Cassidy was in eighth grade that her sister was going to end up being better than she was.
“For (Cassidy) to be one of the best players in the area wasn’t a surprise. To be picked as the best player in
the state two years in a row was less foreseeable and national recognition is always hard to know.”
There were some bumpy times this year for the outside hitter with the thunderous kills. Knee tendinitis
midway through the season kept her out for two weeks, including the team’s lone loss of the season — a 3-1
defeat to Notre Dame Academy.
“It was stressful at times. It was more frustrating than anything,” she said. “Being out with an injury for multiple
weeks was not easy, especially when this is your last season. It prevented me from helping my team.”
Stankowski came back in time to find her groove for the postseason and hurt her knee midway through the
“I probably wasn’t all the way back to 100 percent until the state finals, and then I reinjured it during the
second or third game,” she said.
Stankowski battled through the pain, finishing with 17 kills and 14 digs in the 3-0 victory over Lynnfield.
With that final title won, Stankowski moves on to Division I Central Connecticut State in the fall. She’s already
completely healed from the re-injury and working hard in the weight room to prepare for a new set of
“I’m pretty sure I’m going to have a sport starting as an outside hitter,” Stankowski said of her expectations
for her freshman year. “But I just have to keep working hard to earn that. ... I know it’s not going to be easy,
so I have to keep pushing myself to make is easier as the times comes.”
Jim Pignatiello can be reached at email@example.com.
Athena Donta, senior, Amherst Regional
Haley Parker, senior, Amherst Regional
Cassie Long, junior, Amherst Regional
Kim Drawec, senior, Belchertown
Elizabeth Whitney, senior, Easthampton
Rechena Nhem, senior, Easthampton
Cassidy Stankowski, senior, Frontier Regional
Ali Durant, senior, Frontier Regional
Julia Wan, senior, Frontier Regional
Sarah Woodward, junior, Frontier Regional
Maddie Kelleher, junior, South Hadley
Greta Devoney, senior, Amherst Regional
Shannon Napier, senior, Amherst
Kayla MacFarland, senior, Easthampton
Kelly Avard, senior, Easthampton
Mary Gyeidu, senior, Easthampton
Tori Whitney, senior, Frontier Regional
Kate Harper, senior, Frontier Regional
Emily Woodward, freshman, Frontier Regional
Sarah LaRochelle, junior, South Hadley
Shanel De Los Santos, senior, South Hadley
Girls volleyball player of the year: Cassidy Stankowski
Going out in Style
6 WMass titles, 3 state crowns for Stankowski