Soren Frantz / Photo Editor

The Keene State College volleyball team had its third and final Red vs. White Intrasquad Scrimmage on October 30 at 6 p.m. in the Spaulding Gymnasium.

The red squad was made up of first-years Reagan Fleming, Ainsley Hegg, Veronica Kroha, Kacie Blanchet, Kelsey Harper, Jillian Diamond, Cassidy Samuelson, sophomore Sydney Johnson and junior Emilyann Ashford.

The white squad was made up of first-years Sarah Murphy, Josephine Sarno, sophomore Courtney Chouinard, juniors Elizabeth Johnson, Brianna Azzinaro, Sarah Williams, captain Ali Mcloughlin and senior captain Megan Palmer.

The white squad took the lead in the beginning of the first set.

The red squad was able to keep up, keeping neck-and-neck with the white squad until the white squad started taking a major lead from 7-5 on. From there, the white squad stayed in the lead and won the set in just over 20 minutes at 25-17.

After the first set wrapped up, a few players on each squad had caught my eye. As a volleyball player myself, I noticed outside hitter sophomore Sydney Johnson, middle blocker junior Emilyann Ashford and middle blocker first-year Veronica Kroha on the red squad.

On the white squad, outside hitter and junior captain Ali Mcloughlin, middle blocker junior Elizabeth Johnson and outside hitter and senior captain Megan Palmer caught my attention.

For the red squad I chose #4 Sydney Johnson as the MVP. For the white squad I chose #21 Ali Mcloughlin as the MVP.

For the rest of the game, these two were very interesting to watch, as it seemed they were having their own face-off.

Johnson, in particular, has a very good serve and ability to spot (an important skill to have since it gives the server the ability to, essentially, ‘choose’ where to serve/hit the ball on the other side of the court).

Often, Johnson served to the corner of the court, or anywhere but where the other team’s libero (generally ‘the best’ passer on the team) was. Johnson showed amazing strength and consistency in her hitting and more. Overall, a very well-rounded player, I chose her as the MVP for the red squad.

Mcloughlin, also a very well-rounded player, showed her strengths especially in passing and hitting. A few times, she hit in front of the 10-foot line, an impressive feat which shows incredible strength. She is also very good at spotting, particularly when hitting. Her digs (when a player receives an attack, usually a spike, from the other team) and back row spikes(spikes from behind the 10-foot line) were especially impressive and consistent. These are just a few of the reasons as to why I chose Mcloughlin as the MVP for the white squad.

It was entertaining to watch Johnson and Mcloughlin interact, as their best plays were typically successfully received by one another. They often hit the ball in each other’s direction and it was interesting to see who would come out on top when they went toe-to-toe in some moments throughout the game

.White squad’s #5 Elizabeth Johnson started off the second set with a strong serve. Right off the bat, the red squad pulled ahead 4-0 until white squad started scoring. However, despite the white squad’s efforts, the red squad stayed in the lead and won the set 25-16.

A comedic highlight of the second set had to be when the red squad’s libero made a bad pass and the ball bounced up off another teammate’s butt unexpectedly, which technically made it the second of three allowed hits, and then a third player hit it over with one elbow. And guess what? They scored!

The third set entertained a few long rallys between the two squads. Similar to the second set, the red squad took the lead in the beginning of the set. However, the white squad caught up when Ali Mcloughlin (white squad MVP) went to serve, acing two serves in a row.

The white squad went on a streak, racking up the points from 3-6 to a 7-6 lead. The red squad countered when Sydney Johnson (red squad MVP) went on her own service streak, getting three aces in a row, putting them back in the lead 7-10. From there, the red squad stayed in the lead, winning 25-16.

Both squad’s brought their A-game for the fourth set, keeping neck-and-neck throughout the entire game. However, after the score was 16-16, the red squad pulled through and finished off the last set with a score of 25-22, ultimately winning the last Red vs. White Intrasquad Scrimmage: White 1, Red 3.


Rachel Thurston can be contacted at

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