In his first season at the helm of the Chelmsford High boys’ volleyball program, and coaching against former high school teammate Hector Sanchez, and his alma mater, Edgar Valdez directed eighth-seeded Chelmsford to a 25-19, 25-22, 26-24 win over Lawrence Wednesday night for the North title at Tewksbury High.
“You’ve got to go for it, go out on your terms and that’s kind of what they did, just kept fighting,” said Valdez. “That’s kind of what this team’s mentality has been this whole year . . . These kids are phenomenal. They’re hard workers. Everybody has been telling them from the beginning that this is going to be a down year, that they’re not going to do anything, and they’ve persevered for that whole time.”
Setter Chris McCarthy led the way with 24 assists, 7 digs, and 3 kills for the Lions (19-5). Aaron Schaefer (14 digs), Levi Cass (7 kills, 3 blocks), and Luke Briand (5 kills, 5 blocks) also were instrumental as Chelmsford played strong net-front defense against the Lancers (20-4).
The Lions will face defending state champion Westfield in the state semifinals on Monday at Concord-Carlisle.
Natick 3, Lincoln-Sudbury 0 —
Composure, according to Natick coach Peter Suxho, was the key. “We were always able to stay ahead,” he said. ‘That’s what we wanted to do, and that is exactly what we did.”
The Redhawks will play the Needham/Taunton winner in a state semifinal Monday at Concord-Carlisle.Globe correspondent Joe Rice reported from Milford.