, Salem, MA


November 11, 2013

Landmark Day: Fenwick wears first-ever North volleyball crown

LAWRENCE – There’s always an extraordinary sense of accomplishment when a team reaches unprecedented heights in any sport.

However, what makes the Bishop Fenwick volleyball team’s story so compelling is that the Crusaders still feel like they’re galloping towards the finish line. And they won’t be content until they cross it.

In what was a historic day for the Peabody parochial school’s volleyball program, the Crusaders polished off an outstanding Melrose team, 3-0 (27-25, 25-12, 25-18) to capture their first-ever Division 2 North championship before a lively crowd Saturday.

Bishop Fenwick improved to 22-2, and to do it against a Melrose team that had stopped the Crusaders in the North final in both 2010 and 2011 made it even sweeter. Yet the celebration was somewhat muted.

“It’s a big step for us,” said Jen Crovo, who piled up 27 digs to go with seven kills in a stellar performance for Bishop Fenwick. “It’s nice for tonight, but tomorrow it doesn’t mean anything.”

Crovo isn’t jaded, just determined. So are her teammates.

As a whole, Bishop Fenwick might be coming off its best game of the season when it heads into the state semifinals Wednesday against Notre Dame Academy at Tewksbury High (7 p.m.).

“We’re not stopping until we finish (the job),” said Kate Lipka, who was the bane of Melrose’s existence with 22 kills. “The way we look at it, we have two more games to go (to win the state title).”

Bishop Fenwick displayed its calmness in the clutch and its experience when it was on the verge of losing Game 1, rallying from a 24-22 deficit to win 27-25. After that the Crusaders simply owned the match, blowing out to a 19-9 lead en route to a 25-12 runaway in Game 2. Nor would they let Melrose hang around in Game 3, going on a 7-1 run early on (for an 8-5 lead) and cruised from there.

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