Roaring end to the sports season


Sacred Heart varsity volleyball team after their loss in the FAA finals. Courtesy of Tasha Adison

From the turf to the volleyball court, Convent of the Sacred Heart’s varsity teams hustled this November as they concluded the 2016 fall season and competed in the Fairchester Athletic Association (FAA) championship tournaments.

At the start of the tournament, Sacred Heart varsity soccer was ranked sixth out of eight teams in the FAA standings. Senior captains Charlie Clark and Emily Cleary spearheaded the team in its quarterfinals game against Hopkins School November 7. After a double overtime, Sacred Heart lost in penalty kicks with a score of three to four. 

“This year’s team had a very good mix of younger players supplementing the returning upperclassmen, and the experience they all gained in such a competitive and hard fought playoff game will be invaluable for them,” Emily said. “To come within 48 seconds of advancing to the semifinals is surely frustrating and very disappointing, and the emotions were indeed very raw after the game, but in the end we knew as a group we left it all on the field. The returning players coming back next year are well positioned and more than capable of accomplishing the same success.” 

Head coach Mr. Stuart Smith, with the help of senior advisor Mr. Silvio Ferraro and goalie specialist Ms. Allyson White, coached the team to six wins, eight losses, and five ties.

On the running course, varsity cross country raced in the FAA tournament at Waveny Park in New Canaan, Connecticut October 31. The team placed second out of eight teams with a total score of 70 points, followed by Greenwich Academy (GA) with 72 points.  Throughout the season, the team earned 20 wins and seven losses. 

Senior captain Mackenzie Jordan won the girl’s individual title for the second season in a row, running 3.1 miles in 19 minutes and 37.3 seconds.

“The team had really good chemistry this year, shown especially in the finals. We all worked hard over the summer, especially during preseason,” Mackenzie said. “I think the addition of two new coaches brought a renewal of passion and energy to the team. Every girl stepped up her effort and it showed in the many personal records and the amount of history this team made this season. I’m so proud of all the girls.”  

Sacred Heart varsity volleyball team after their loss in the FAA finals. Courtesy of Tasha Adison
Sacred Heart varsity volleyball team and fans after their loss in the FAA finals.
Courtesy of Tasha Adison ’17

For the first round of the FAA tournament, varsity volleyball received a bye, a special privilege that exempts the team from needing to qualify due to their high rank.  Out of six teams, Sacred Heart ranked number two with 15 wins and three losses throughout the regular season.  
Sacred Heart competed November 9 in the semifinals against School of the Holy Child, winning each set 25 to 23, 25 to 22, and 25 to 13. Senior co-captain and outside hitter Jenna Whelan led the team with eight kills, 23 digs, and three aces.

With a nine-game winning streak, Sacred Heart competed November 11 against the King School in the FAA finals. King was ranked number one with 16 wins and no losses. After an hour and a half of gameplay, King defended its 2015 FAA title, beating Sacred Heart three to zero. King had also won against Sacred Heart in last year’s championship game.

“In the third set, we were down quite a bit. I believe it was 20 to 13. We called a timeout and reminded the girls that we were capable of pulling it off. We really put our hearts into it and wound up catching up to King. Although we lost the set in the end, it was a great demonstration of how we can make a great comeback when we use our team chemistry,” senior co-captain Katie Kablack said. 

On the Magnetti Turf Field, varsity field hockey played Hopkins November 8 in the semifinals. Senior captains Shannon Pyne and Lizzie Kupersmith led the Sacred Heart team to a win of seven to zero.  The team won 15 out of their 20 games during their regular season, ultimately ranking second in the FAA league. The team traveled to GA to compete in the FAA finals November 10. 

Captains Lizzie Kupersmith and Shannon Pyne holding the second place trophy at the FAA finals. Courtesy of

Sophomore forward Ellie Manriquez scored the first goal of the game, with the help of an assist from eighth grader Beth Yeager, with 27 minutes and 36 seconds left in the first half. At halftime, Sacred Heart was winning one to zero.  During the second half, GA scored four goals, ending the game. 

“Even though we lost against GA, our team met and surpassed our season goals. We promised one another that we would play every second of every game with full intensity and heart and that is exactly what we were able to do in our last game. No matter the outcome, this team has truly shown what greatness can result from hard work and determination,” Lizzie said.

Despite their losses in the FAA finals, varsity volleyball and field hockey will advance to the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) quarterfinals. Volleyball will play in Class A against Choate Rosemary Hall November 16. Field hockey will play GA again in the Class A tournament November 16.

Seven cross country runners also qualified for the New England Division II Championships at Tabor Academy November 12. Mackenzie finished fourth and set a new school record of 19 minutes and 19 seconds. Overall, the team finished in tenth out of 16 teams. 
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