Last Friday was Lily Welch’s mother’s birthday.
That wasn’t all she ended up celebrating.
The Whitman-Hanson Regional High girls’ volleyball senior captain registered 17 kills and eight total blocks to power the Panthers to a 3-1 upset win over Hingham.
“[She’s] unstoppable,” said W-H head coach Samantha Richner of Welch. “Her athleticism just drifts. She gets up so high, but she’s also a player that works hard. Lily wants to be the best and she does it 365 all year.”
“I literally just cried,” Welch said. “I’m so happy. We’ve never beaten Hingham. They’re an amazing team, they’ve been an amazing team. This just shows how talented we are.”
It sure does.
Welch and the Panthers got the home crowd into it early, setting the tone and taking the first set, 25-14.
However, the Harborwomen turned the tide in the second set, sinking W-H, 25-18, and opened the third set on a 7-1 run. But the Panthers battled back to take set, 25-22, and never looked back. W-H clinched the win with a 25-14 victory in the fourth set.
“When our girls are up and they play they’re game, they’re unstoppable,” Richner said. “We know the talent we have and I think they’re sick and tired of getting beat by these teams. They know what had to do and they did it.”
Fellow senior captain Abby Martin added eight kills, while classmate Riley Scott tallied 12 digs in the win, which secured W-H a spot in the Div. 2 state tournament.
The Panthers are back in action Friday, Oct. 22 when they host Duxbury at 5:30 p.m.
“We want to be the first team to win a state tournament game at Whitman-Hanson,” Welch said.