Repeat denied: Winniquam volleyball falls to Nute in championship

PLYMOUTH — Winnisquam Regional High School's volleyball team entered the night looking to win their third state title in the last four years. Nute, who fell victim to the Bears last season, had other ideas. The Nute Rams rolled over Winnisquam 3-0 in the NHIAA Division III state finals, held Friday night at Plymouth State University. Winnisquam could not slow down the relentless attack that the undefeated (20-0) Rams unleashed. Nute won all three sets easily, 25- 18, 25-17, 25-19.

"We lost to a team that outplayed us," said Mike Livernois. "They were relentless on their attack." The Bears offense did not string together more than five points in a row all night. "They (Nute) got us out of our rhythm. We made some unforced errors and they didn't. When a team is not making errors you have to play almost perfect," Livernois added. "It is very hard to play from behind. Once you are four or five points behind late in the game, you can not afford to make any more mistakes."

Winnisquam played from behind beginning with the first set. The Bears tied up the first set at nine, but the Rams attackers took over, scoring nine of the next 11 points, rolling to 25-18 victory. The Rams middle hitter, Heidi Cloutier, took over and had five kills and three blocks in the first set. The senior totaled eight kills, six blocks and two aces.

The Bears led the second set 12-10 and sat tied at 16 when Nute took control and went on a 9-1 run to complete the second set 25-17.

The third set went back and forth until Nute went on a nine point run to take a 22-13 lead. Winnisquam attempted a late comeback only to fall short 25-19.

"Our four seniors, Hannah Chapin, Carissa Archbald, Dallis Austin, and Bailey Long have definitely left their mark. Those four girls went 69-10 with two state titles, a runner up and a semi-finals appearance over the four years. That's an impressive mark and they have set the bar for future teams," Livernois said.