By Tom O'Brien
For the second time this year, a Haverhill High team is ranked No. 1 in the state. The boys volleyball team is ranked as the top team in Massachusetts after cruising through the first half of the season with a 10-0 record. In the fall, our girls cross country team also achieved a No. 1 ranking during the season ... quite an accomplishment for both programs.
The volleyball squad passed two important tests with flying colors over the past week. The Hillies downed Central Catholic and Andover by scores of 3-0 to keep their unblemished record intact. They travel to Lawrence Friday night for another tough match. The Lancers are the only team to have taken a game from the Hillies this year, with Haverhill winning 3-1 in the first meeting between the two schools.
The boys lacrosse team continued to roll as well, taking an important 5-2 win over Central Catholic last week. With the win, the Hillies are 7-1 overall and a perfect 3-0 in Merrimack Valley Conference play. They have two key games against Andover and Billerica this week. The girls lacrosse team returned to action last week with a 13-10 win over Methuen before falling to Central Catholic. The squad will travel to Billerica Friday afternoon.
The Hillie girls tennis team has reeled off five straight victories. The team defeated Central Catholic, Chelmsford and Billerica over the past week to improve to 5-1. The boys' tennis team has won two straight, defeating Lowell Catholic and Billerica to even its record at 4-4. Both squads face Andover and Amesbury this week.
The softball team battled back against Lowell but came up just short. Trailing 5-0, the Hillies rallied to tie the game at 5-5. They then fell behind 12-5 but put together another rally to pull within one at 12-11 — but Lowell held on for the win. Haverhill's record now stands at 4-7 heading into games with Methuen and Lawrence this week.
The baseball team won two out of three league games last week. The Hillies defeated Dracut on Friday afternoon by a score of 5-2 for the program's first win over the Middies since 2009. The Hillies are now 4-5 and host Lawrence at Trinity Stadium on Friday afternoon.
For all of the current spring schedules and information on Haverhill Athletics, please visit www.hillies.org and click on Athletics.
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Tom O'Brien is the athletic director at Haverhill High School. He contributes this regular column.