Road to State


Picture from Tim Cardew

Brad McGowan

Ipswich girl’s volleyball is on fire this year. They have the best record in Ipswich High School history 18-1. The team is a well oiled machine with very few weaknesses. They are led by Sr. captains Claire O’Flynn and Liz Linkletter. This team has been dominant on attack with many explosive spikes from Junior Grace Sorensen who transfered to Ipswich this year; she has been a great addition to the team. When asked about why this year’s team was so special, coach Sonke said. “Their willingness to put in the work as both an athlete and a teammate is impressive. It is difficult having such a large roster on a volleyball team, but all 16 varsity players have bought into their roles on the team. This team also loves the game of volleyball just as much as I do.”

I asked Sr. Captain Claire O’Flynn what her favorite part about this team was. She said, “The team works really well together and has a very close bond. We have strengths all around the court. Everyone does their job.” These strengths are the reason why the team is ranked 10th in the state and number 1 in division 4. The student section has enjoyed this dominance. The Tiger Den is always packed and the fans have travelled well to important away games. When asked about the student section coach Sonke said, “The student section has been amazing this year! Coming off the condensed season last year with minimal fans, our teams have missed the loud crowds in the gym. During some of our toughest matches during the year, the student section really turned around the environment and was that “7th player” on the court for us.” I know I have really enjoyed being part of the student section.

Ipswich volleyball came into the playoffs hot, winning 11 straight. They beat Marblehead and Beverly who are both in higher divisions. They also beat Lynnfield in a thrilling 3-2 match. When I asked Coach Sonke and Claire what their favorite moment was for the season so far they both said beating Lynnfield to win the CAL. This team has won the Cape Ann League but they want more. They are hungry to get a chance at the division 4 state title. When asked what the Goal was for the rest of the year coach Sonke said, “Obviously, our long-term goal would be making it to the State Finals and taking home the title. But in order to get to that point, our goal is to keep developing our fast offense and staying aggressive during each match we play.”

I don’t want to jinx anything but this team has all the makings to achieve their goal and win state. Their first Playoff game was against Bristol Plymouth at home who they dominated in a 3-0 win. Claire dominated the net with 9 kills. They then played Nantucket at home in the round of 16 and had another convincing win of 3-0. Sr. Meghan Wallace was the star of the game with 6 kills on 8 attempts, 2 digs and one ace. This team is very talented and they have a great chance of achieving their goals and winning it all.


Update: Ipswich Girls Volleyball won their division title!  Good Job Ladies!