High schools


EMass. girls’ volleyball: Players to watch

14schgvolley - Melrose coach Scott Celli addresses his team. Junior libero and captain Nicole Abbott is in the white jersey. (Steve Karampalas)
Steve Karampalas
Nicole Abbott (seen here in the white jersey) is coming off a dynamite junior year with Melrose.

Two of the state’s best, Barnstable’s Riley James (Bryant) and Newton North’s Ashley Wang (Harvard) have taken their games to the college court. But girls’ volleyball has never been better, and there will be plenty of talent on display this fall.

Nicole Abbott, Melrose — The senior libero registered 359 digs for the Red Raiders and served at 92.3 percent a year ago. She was named to the Massachusetts Girls’ Volleyball Coaches Association Division 2 All-State team.

Caroline Afonso, Ursuline — The senior outside hitter was named to the MGVCA Division 3 All-State team last season after tallying 174 kills, 77 aces, and 163 digs.

Breann Cleary, Boston Latin — The 6-foot-1-inch senior outside hitter is the Wolfpack’s team captain and the top player on the SMASH girls’ 17s team. She was a Dual County League All-Star last season.


Josie Deluga, Barnstable — The senior libero anchored the Red Raiders’ defense en route to the 2018 Division 1 state final. She was an MGVCA Division 1 All-State selection and is committed to Bryant University, where she will join 2018 Globe Player of the Year and former Barnstable teammate Riley James.

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Sophia Estok, Belmont — The senior libero had 381 digs for the Marauders last season, surpassing the 1,000-dig mark in her career. She also served at 94 percent with 42 aces and was a Middlesex League Liberty Division All-Star.

Kaleigh Fitzgerald, Reading — A returning Globe All-Scholastic selection, the senior had 113 kills, 320 assists, and 82 aces, and was named to the MGVCA Division 1 All-State team after the Rockets’ run to the D1 North final.

Tessa Lanfear, Newton North — The junior performed well as a secondary setter for the Tigers behind Ashley Wang last season. In just 14 sets played, she had 90 digs, 81 kills, and 50 aces for the Division 1 state champions.

Melissa Morelli, Lynnfield — The senior notched 288 kills to lead the Pioneers to a Division 2 North title. She was also a member of the MGVCA Division 2 All-State team and a Cape Ann League All-Star.


Dasha Smolina, Winchester — A well-rounded player, she tallied 76 aces, 24 total blocks, 123 kills, and 608 assists for the Sachems last season, earning Middlesex Liberty honors.

Cierra Yim, Dartmouth Yim was the primary setter on a Dartmouth team that reached the Division 1 South semifinals. She tallied 444 assists, 181 digs, and 41 aces and was an MGVCA Division 1 All-State selection.


Brandon Chase can be reached at brandon.chase@globe.com.