RhS sports Roundup
RHS girls tennis team starts with three wins
The Revere High girls tennis team has sprinted to a 3-0 record in the first week of the season.
Coach Carla Maniscalco’s Lady Patriots opened the 2017 campaign with a 3-2 victory over Peabody last Monday.
Senior Maria Hernandez won her contest at second singles in a pair of hard-fought sets, 7-5, 7-5. Sophomore Trang Nguyen handily defeated her Peabody counterpart at third singles, 6-0, 6-3.
The second doubles duo of senior Victoria Mom and sophomore Luisa Gil clinched the match in straight sets with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 triumph.
Revere’s top player, senior Hanadi Kobilic, dropped her match at first singles, 2-6, 1-6, and the first doubles tandem of senior Katherine Guzman and junior Christina Restrepo fell by a score of 2-6, 4-6.
The Lady Patriots next defeated Medford, a former rival from the Greater Boston League which is joining the Northeastern Conference beginning this spring. (Peabody also was a former GBL opponent of Revere, but came to the NEC shortly after Revere did in 2006.)
Kobilic won her match at first singles in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, as did Nguyen at third singles, 6-4, 6-4. The second doubles pairing of Mom & Gil once again provided the crucial third point, winning their first set in a tiebreaker, 7-6, and then taking the second set, 6-2.
Hernandez lost her match at second singles, taking the first set, 6-1, but then dropping the next two, 4-6, 0-6. The first doubles team of Guzman/Restrepo played well in both of their sets, but came up short, 4-6, 4-6.
Maniscalco’s crew made it three in a row by the same 3-2 score Monday over Somerville, another new-to-the-NEC school from the former GBL. The contest was a hard-fought battle, with all of Revere’s victories coming in three sets.
Hernandez, playing at third singles, triumphed 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. Guzman & Gil teamed up for a three-set victory, 6-3, 6-7, 6-4, at first doubles, as did the second doubles duo of Mom and new partner, junior Tam Minh Le, coming from behind after dropping the first set, 3-6, to take the next two, 6-4, 6-3.
At first singles, Kobilic battled well in a tight match, 4-6, 6-7, and Nguyen fell at second singles, 4-6, 1-6.
“The team has played very well in the first three matches,” said Maniscalco.
The Lady Patriots will take on another GBL-transferee, Everett, Friday. They will host Marblehead Monday and Lynn Classical next Wednesday.
RHS softball team sprints to 4-0 mark
Despite facing adverse circumstances from various directions this week, the Revere High softball team overcame whatever Dame Fortune threw their way to post victories over three opponents and raise their record to 4-0.
The chief adverse occurrence took place in the game last week with Malden in the form of a collision between starting shortstop (and back-up pitcher), freshman Eve Lescovitch, and starting centerfielder, Samantha Woodman, that knocked both girls out of the game with serious injuries.
Eve suffered a broken collarbone and Sam received a concussion. In addition to the loss of the two starters, a rain delay of 30 minutes in the middle of the game impacted Lady Patriot starting pitcher Olivia McManus. Olivia had been cruising with a shutout and a 2-0 lead to that point (thanks primarily to a run-producing double by Victoria Correia), but upon restarting the game, Olivia had tightened up. Malden posted four runs before Olivia regained her groove.
However, an up-and-coming star in the RHS lineup, sophomore catcher Jordan Sullivan, swatted a three-run homer to take back the advantage for Revere.
The Lady Patriots pushed across four more tallies before the end of the contest and McManus was in command the rest of the way for the 9-4 finale.
Three days later the Lady Patriots hosted New Bedford, a team that had handled Revere rather easily in their first encounter a week earlier, 9-2, in the rain in New Bedford. However, in the rematch at the St. Mary’s field, Revere turned the tables to post a 12-2 triumph.
After yielding two runs to the Lady Whalers in the opening frame, McManus settled down and pitched shutout ball the rest of the way. Her defense behind her was flawless, particularly in right field, where Tia Fichera made some superb catches that, together with a perfectly-executed squeeze bunt and a key base hit, earned Tia the game ball from RHS head coach Joe Ciccarello.
The Lady Patriot offense soon revved into high gear, led by the big hitting of Correia and Vanessa Puopolo.
(Ed. Note: The first New Bedford game was a so-called exclusion game for Revere, which means that it does not count on Revere’s record for state tourney qualification purposes. The Journal thus will exclude that game when referring to Revere’s season record.)
This past Monday the Lady Patriots hosted Somerville, one of the four schools (along with Malden, Everett, and Medford) that have come over to the Northeastern Conference from the now-defunct Greater Boston League (in which Revere played for almost 50 years before joining the NEC in 2006).
The contest featured the first starting varsity appearance by pitcher Danielle Dion, who was called up from the junior varsity to give McManus a break.
After some first-inning jitters, Danielle settled down nicely and went the rest of the way en route to posting her first varsity victory, 17-5.
The Sullivan sisters, twins Jordan and Taylor, proved a double-trouble, one-family wrecking crew for Somerville pitching, as both lined fence-clearing round-trippers.
Correia once again continued to tear the leather off the ball, accounting for six RBI, including an in-the-park, grand-slam homer when her line shot to center scooted past the Lady Highlander outfielder.
“Victoria has been on fire at the plate,” noted Ciccarello. “She’s been a true force swinging the bat.”
Ciccarello and his squad have a busy stretch of games for the next few weeks. They play at Saugus today (Wednesday); host Everett Friday; trek to Marblehead Monday; and journey to Lynn Classical next Wednesday.
RHS girls lacrosse defeats Saugus, 16-4
The Revere High girls lacrosse team earned its first victory of the season with a 16-4 conquest of Saugus last Wednesday.
Leading the way in the goal-scorering department for Revere were sophomores Lily Delloiacono with three goals and two assists; Jannel Mercado with two goals off the crease; Jenna Wells with a goal and an assist; Jessica Haggerty with four goals and one assist; and Emily DiGiulio with three goals and one assist.
Two juniors also figured in the goal-scoring mix. Taylor Guiffre-Catalano had two goals and one assist, while Allegra Penn added a tally.
Senior captain Cindy Murphy contributed an assist and freshman Crystal Valente added two assists.
A major factor in the triumph was Revere’s success in draw control. Sophomore captain Wells accounted for seven draw controls, Mercado had two, and Rim Bensadok had one.
“We are hoping that draw control will continue to help us as we progress throughout the season,” said RHS head coach Karen Atkinson.
Captain and goalie Shateya Travis recorded six saves in the victory.
“This was a true team effort,” said Atkinson. “Our mentality since the start of the season has been that we will not succeed unless everyone works together, including those on and off the field during games, and at our practices.”
Three days later the Lady Patriots dropped a hard-fought battle with non-league rival Wilmington,13-11.
Napolitano paced the Revere offense with five goals and added an assist. DiGiulio reached the back of the Wilmington net three times and assisted on three other goals.
Wells contributed two goals and two assists and Mercado added a goal and an assist. Sophomore Lily DelloIacono notched one assist and Murphy assisted on two goals.
Wells and Napolitano, who have been working hard on draw control, won 11 draws between them (six by Jenna, five by Kiana). Marina Robinson, a defender, also controlled a draw.
“Offensively we played well,” said Atkinson. “I am very impressed with the girls and the improvements they have made over the past few years. Our 11 goals were assisted nine times, as opposed to the past, where they were primarily isolation plays. We are working as a team offensively, but struggling to do so as a team unit defensively. Transition off the draw and from our defensive zone has been beautiful — we just need to make sure we capitalize more so than not.”
The Lady Patriots were set to host Winthrop yesterday (Tuesday) and will trek to Woburn tomorrow (Thursday). They will play at Malden Friday and then entertain Gloucester next Tuesday.
Former basketball star returns as coach and teacher
By Cary Shuman
Revere High girls basketball assistant coach Melissa Moore-Randall has a firsthand perspective on the success and unlimited potential of the current RHS girls varsity basketball team heading in to next season.
In the late 1980s the then-Melissa Moore was an All-Star player during Revere High girls basketball’s sensational streak of three consecutive Greater Boston League championships. A versatile forward who could do it all on the court, Moore-Randall helped coach Ed Leyden’s contingent win 44 out of 45 games during the height of the dynasty.
After excelling in youth basketball for Lance Kelley and Bob Misiano’s Revere travel team – the Kelley Girls – and at the Immaculate Conception School where she became the first girl to score more than 100 points in a season, Moore-Randall became a four-year starter at RHS, starring alongside such terrific players as Kim Kelley, Diana Odoardi, Patrice Misiano, Joanna Leone, Robyn Vincent, and Jen Wells.
The Lady Patriots were an exciting, high-scoring team that drew large crowds and the games against Jane Heil’s Peabody teams were epic showdowns with the GBL title on the line.
“We beat Peabody for the first time and it was amazing,” recalled Moore-Randall.
Revere rolled past its GBL opponents for the most part, with many games locked up by the end of the third quarter. If it weren’t the dynamic duo of Kelley and Odoardi scoring and distributing the ball in the backcourt, it was the M and M towers, the 6-foot Misiano and the 5-foot-11-inch Moore, cleaning up on the backboards and hitting mid-to-long range jumpers.
Moore-Randall has fond memories of Revere being a GBL superpower and sharing basketball royalty with her teammates and friends.
“I loved every minute of it,” said Moore-Randall. “The best memories I have of high school are playing basketball. I’m still very close with my teammates.”
She also remembers her parents, Roger and Mary Ann Moore, being at every one of her games.
“My parents never missed a game. They traveled near and far. We had a wonderful group of parents supporting our team.”
Moore-Randall said she learned a lot from Ed Leyden, who now coaches women’s basketball at Suffolk University.
“He was a great coach. He was competitive and he expected a lot from us and we expected a lot from ourselves.”
Just like her more celebrated teammates, the ever-consistent and fundamentally sound Moore-Randall took her game to the next level, playing four years of college basketball and scoring 1,127 career points for Pine Manor in Chestnut Hill. She studied Communications and received her Bachelor’s degree in English.
“I wanted to be a sports reporter and work at ESPN,” said Moore-Randall.
She entered the teaching profession in 1998 and is currently a third grade teacher at the Whelan School.
Moore-Randall returned to the RHS girls basketball program this season as an assistant on first-year head coach Lianne O’Hara staff. Wearing her traditional red pants as part of her coaching attire for each game, Moore-Randall led the JV team to a 9-6 record while the varsity became the No. 1-ranked team in the state, winning its first 18 games and sweeping the NEC with a 16-0 mark.
Revere’s 6-foot-2-inch junior center Valentina Pepic earned Globe and Herald All-Scholastic honors, an impressive feat that came as no surprise to Moore-Randall.
“It was a very well-deserved award. Valentina is an excellent all-around player. I’ve played basketball against her in practice a few times and I got knocked around a bit.”
But did the Revere players know how elite a performer Melissa Moore was in high school and college basketball?
“I show them the [GBL] championship banner on the wall,” reported Moore-Randall.
She feels that the 2016-17 RHS team “really jelled”
under Lianne O’Hara’s leadership.
“Now that they have had their first year under Lianne and she did such a great job coaching them coming from Fenwick where she won a state championship, I can see the team going further next year. She really cares a lot about the girls and has a vested interest in each player. She incorporates our observations in to her coaching at games. We have some excellent returning players [starters Valentina Pepic, Pamela Gonzalez, Tatiana Iacoviello, and Emily DiGiulio, along with freshman reserve Erika Cheever] and we have some good JV players like Gabriella Rotondo, Eve Lescovitz, and Chloe Giordano, in the mix.”
Moore-Randall said she tried to instill in her players the philosophy that you play basketball because you love the game.
“I told the girls on the first day of tryouts that you have to be here because you love the game, for no other reason than you love it and you want to play. It can’t be about individuals – it’s about you wanting your team to win.”
One of the joys for Moore-Randall was her 9-year-old daughter, Danni Hope Randall, being a part of the memorable journey that ended in the Division 1 North semifinals.
“Her [Danni Hope’s] title was assistant to the assistant. She was formerly known as ‘The Super Fan’ because we’ve been following the girls basketball team since she was about two years old.”
Danni Hope may be a future Lady Patriot. “This is her first year playing in an organized league,” says her proud mother. “And I’m encouraging my daughter to continue with basketball.”
Looking back at her first season of coaching in Revere, Moore-Randall said, “I really enjoyed coaching. It was nice being back in the fieldhouse and on the court. It was a great experience for my daughter and me. The JV and varsity girls are wonderful role models for Danni Hope. It was a great year and I hope to have an even better second year.”
Revere great Kim Kelley has praise for her teammate Melissa Moore
By Cary Shuman
Kim Kelley Penney remembers well her years of Revere High girls basketball with teammate Melissa Moore. Together, with the help of other notable players, they elevated Revere to powerhouse status and dethroned Peabody as the perennial Greater Boston League champion.
A graduate of Tufts University and former state championship girls basketball coach at Reading High School, Penney is now an independent educational consultant for One-on-One College Consulting, guiding students through the college application process and helping them realize their dreams of attending their desired choice for college.
Here’s what the former RHS great said about Melissa Moore the player:
“Melissa was always an excellent shooter, especially from the baseline. She had a great release, a nice high arc on the ball. She could rebound with the best of them and block shots, too. A true competitor, she was a matchup nightmare for our opponents…she could play both inside and out (on the post and/or on the perimeter). And she was fast! She could run the lanes on a fast break and finish. Our team benefited greatly on many occasions due to the mismatches she created. Many times Melissa was the difference maker in a game. Opponents often focused on Patrice down low and Diana on the perimeter, but time and again Melissa’s offensive capabilities would demand their attention as well. Melissa Moore gave our team balance on both ends of the floor and she certainly was a big cog in our team’s wheel of success.”