By Tom O'Brien
The Haverhill Gazette
---- — Sean Bellemore shocked the field last Thursday at the Merrimack Valley Conference Golf Championship.
The sophomore fired a 74 to win the event at Vesper Country Club in Tynsgsboro. Ryan Cronin also had a good outing for the Hillies, shooting a 78 to finish tied for third.
Runner comes out on top
Riley Gilmore also earned an impressive individual title over the weekend.
The senior finished first at the 2013 Catholic Memorial Invitational. She ran the Franklin Park Course in 19:32 to finish atop the field of 92 runners. Both Hillie cross country teams will compete in the 2013 MVC Championship on Saturday in Tewksbury.
Girls volleyball and soccer teams excel
Two more banners will be updated in the Mansfield Gymnasium.
Both the girls volleyball and girls soccer teams defended their MVC titles this fall with outstanding seasons.
The volleyball team won eight of its last nine matches to improve to 12-3 on the season. The Hillies had a big 3-0 win over Central Catholic last Wednesday to clinch their second straight league championship. They close out the regular season on Friday, when they host Lawrence at 5:30 p.m.
The girls soccer team has won five straight league contests to also claim an MVC crown.
The Hillies are now 9-1-4 on the year, with their only loss coming to the state’s No. 1 team. They finish up the regular season at Methuen on Thursday.
Boys soccer team faces North Andover in season closer
The boys soccer team has been playing well as of late.
The squad had back-to-back wins over Central Catholic and Lowell before playing to a 2-2 tie with Dracut. The Hillies finish the season on Thursday at home against North Andover.
Homecoming game Friday at Trinity Stadium
The homecoming football game will be Friday night at Trinity Stadium when the Hillies host North Andover at 7 p.m.
Haverhill fell to Tewksbury last week in what was essentially the 2013 MVC title game. The Hillies are now 4-2 on the season. Under the new MIAA playoff system, this will be the final week of the regular season. The Hillies are in an excellent position to qualify for the playoffs.
Girls swim, dive teams improve record
The girls swim and dive team defeated Lowell 100-78 on Friday to up its record to 7-2.
The Hillies have a three-meet win streak heading into their final meet vs. Central Catholic on Friday. Several individuals have already qualified for MIAA sectional and state meets. Sophomore Michaela Sliney has shattered every school diving record this year.
Hillie schedules available
For all MIAA playoff schedules and information on Hillie Athletics, please visit www.hillies.org and click on “Athletics.’’
Tom O’Brien is athletic director at Haverhill High School.
He contributes this regular column.