One year after making its first-ever appearance in the MIAA postseason state tournament, the Stoughton High volleyball team is set to host a postseason match for the first time.
The MIAA released its state tournament volleyball brackets Thursday. After a 13-5 regular season, the best mark in the program's brief five year history, Stoughton High is seeded #7 in the 11-team MIAA Division 1 South Sectional bracket.
Stoughton will host #10 Braintree (12-8) Saturday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. at the SHS gym.
"I am totally thrilled for Stoughton High School and our volleyball players. They have worked extremely hard throughout the year and now will enjoy a first round match in their home gym," coach Ken Gay wrote in an email.
Stoughton is a Division 2 team, but like last season is moved up to the Division 1 tournament because SHS has a male player (fall is for girls' volleyball and spring is for boys' volleyball, but Stoughton does not have a boys' team so males are allowed to play on the female team). Gay was hoping to stay in Division 2 this postseason.
"Unfortunately it is what it is. I feel we are doing the proper and correct thing in Stoughton by running an open and totally accepting program for all eligible players no matter whether they are female or male," coach Gay wrote in an email. "Unfortunately, The MIAA does not see or want to accept how their rules may be unfair and unjust to the students and/or schools they serve. So unless I change my approach we will forever be moved to a higher division fair or not."
Both teams are making return trips to the postseason after each school was knocked out in the first round a season ago. Stoughton was the #10 seed, losing to #7 Notre Dame Academy (Hingham), while #6 Braintree was upset by #11 Mansfield.
The winner of the Stoughton/Braintree matchup faces a tough test in next round, the quarterfinals, going up against 16-1 Barnstable, the #2 seed.
This year's Stoughton team gets contributions from its whole roster, led by Emma Zuk, who runs the offense at setter, and Nicole Daniels at middle hitter/blocker, as well as Kayla Motley, Gabby Medina, Jalen Joseph, Lauren Carmichael, Kadijah Dansby, Ashley Medeiros, Meaghan Hill, Payton Pizzano, Emily Cramer, and Sam Malley, the team's only freshman.
Braintree is an unknown for Stoughton.
"As far as Braintree, don't know much, but know they always have a good team and we will need to play our game to win," coach Gay wrote. "All I can say is Saturday should be a lot of fun at SHS."