PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Bishop Fenwick Junior
Talented, hardworking and possessing a great attitude.
Those are the three attributes Bishop Fenwick volleyball coach Adam DeBaggis uses to best describe Kate Lipka. The Salem News Player of the Year was the spark that led the Crusaders to a 9-1 mark in league play and 17-5 overall record this fall.
Known for playing her best in the Crusaders’ biggest games, Lipka came up big time and time again for her team. On 16 occasions, the Peabody native had double-digits kills in a match, including 17 against both Catholic Central and Cardinal Spellman, and averaged 3.7 kills per set.
A two-time Salem News all-star, the 5-foot-8 Lipka was ranked 10th in the state in all offensive categories this season. She finished with 254 attack kills, 73 total blocks (including a season-high 13 vs. league powerhouse Arlington Catholic) and 35 digs to go along with 16 service aces.
”She never had a bad game, ever,” DeBaggis said. “I’m just amazed at how consistent Kate was. She’s the kind of player who makes her teammates better and gives them confidence. She’s one of our best practice players, too.”
Owner of a 3.2 grade-point average, Lipka — who hopes to play basketball at Stonehill College — is forever thankful to her family for their constant support and motivation for helping her reach her full potential.
Big Blue captain finished with 82 kills and a kill percentage of 30 percent ... Northeastern Conference all-star ... The 5-foot-10 standout felt she played her best against the best teams Swampscott faced, such as Peabody, Beverly and Salem ... Weighted average in the classroom is around 100.1 ... Her father, who has coached Gina, has been her biggest influence ... Hopes to continue playing in college.