Lady Astro Spikers Have Skilled Duo Named All-Staters

There was a whole lot of talent in New Hampshire Division I girls’ volleyball this fall, and the consistent intensity of play and the tightness of the standings all season long bore out that fact.

Hence, when it came to naming all-state teams at the end of the 2014 campaign recently, the state volleyball coaches had their hands full.

Pinkerton Academy’s Lady Astros, who posted a superb 16-2 regular season record and made it all the way to the D-I title match looking like a potential champion before falling to undefeated Merrimack, only had two of their standouts named all-staters.

Coach Todd Royce’s talented team could have easily had four or five all-staters, but space is limited and junior Olivia Mathieu and sophomore Lexie Verreault were the only Pinkerton spikers who garnered the honors.

Five-foot-eleven standout Mathieu was named a First-Team All-Stater following her excellent 11th grade campaign.

She paced her team in kills with 268 and was second on the squad – behind only Verreault – with 238 digs. She also contributed 131 service points with a serve percentage of 88.8.

Libero Verreault was given Second-Team All-State honors following her fine, energy-packed season. She led her team – by a huge margin – with 495 digs. The athletic sophomore also notched 140 service points.

“Our two all-state players are terrific,” said Royce. “Olivia called for the ball on every big point and seemed to always get the important points. She had good power and great vision of the court. Lexie led a strong defense and put serve receives where they needed to be to keep our offense running.”

And while he was proud of and pleased for Mathieu and Verreault, Royce knows that anyone who got a good look at his Lady Astros this fall can attest to the fact that players like senior Elizabeth Hicks and junior Alexis Bowers could have easily been all-staters as well.

“We had a very deep team and we had a team full of all stars,” said Royce. “It didn’t matter the situation in the game, we had trust in everybody on our team in the big points.”

The Lady Astros won their first 15 matches of the 2014 regular season but then dropped two of their final three in winding up the second seed in the D-I tourney.

The team then disposed of 15th-seeded Bishop Guertin Lady Cardinals of Nashua in round one of the tourney, then 10th-ranked Bedford in the quarterfinals, and finally third-seeded Nashua North in the semis before being shut out by unbeaten Merrimack in the title round.