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MHS Volleyball’s run ends in state semifinals Scarlet Hawks will return full roster from final four squad

Milford volleyball celebrates after advancing to the state semifinals for the second year in a row. Courtesy photo

By Chris Villani
Sports Writer
The Milford High School boys’ volleyball team featured a brand-new roster this year, but the result was the same. The Scarlet Hawks marched all the way to the final four and once again were among the top teams in the state.
MHS crushed Lowell Catholic and Wayland in the first two rounds before knocking off West Springfield in the round of eight. Along the way, the Scarlet Hawks benefited from a strong regular season performance that earned them the number four seed in the state in Division II and three home matches.
The run came to an end in the semifinals against Westfield, but the results left head coach Andrew Mainini excited to bring his entire team back next spring.
“I told them that we can’t come back the same, we have to come back stronger,” Mainini said. 
Milford also has a major shakeup in store for 2024. The Scarlet Hawks will be moving up to Division I after playing at the D2 level this year.
“We think we are ready,” Mainini said. “We want to be in D1, because we think we can compete with everyone there.”
Junior outside hitter Alex Guerra racked up a whopping 500 kills this spring and fellow captain Arthur Gomes played particularly well during the tournament. 
“We won a few close matches and he was playing out of position,” Mainini said. “He really played well in some of our most important games.”
Ryan Franklin, a junior middle hitter, also showed strong improvement through the spring.
“At the beginning of the season, he could only tip the ball because he didn’t have his timing down,” Mainini said. “At the end of the season, he was really impressive at the net.”
Joey Newman had one of the best blocking matches of the season in the Westfield match, the coach added, and Milford would not have been able to go that far in the tournament without setter Owen Callahan. 
“He made a ton of progress early on,” Mainini said. “He went from JV to being an experienced varsity setter, which was huge for us.”
Mainini said he is looking forward to the step to the top division in the state next year.
“We have a lot of young players who are developing and we need some of them to continue to come a little further along,” he said. “And we have one exciting challenge ahead of us.”