By BRIAN JENNINGS
The Lady Knights volleyball team (4-1) suffered their first loss of the season over the week, but managed to recover with a win and some fun at an invitational.
Southington’s win came at Hall (2-3) on Thursday night in a 3-0 shutout (25-18, 25-15, 25-18).
Sylwia Lewkowicz attacked the net with 10 kills on 19 attempts (.368 hitting percentage). Emily Mankus was 13-for-14 serving with four aces. Samantha Lohneiss was 15-for-19 serving, also with four aces. Lohneiss also dished out 13 assists on 28 attempts, while Stephanie Zera set up 10 assists on 37 attempts. Kelsea Allen was 10-for-10 serving, and was a force up front with four total blocks (two solo, two assisted). Morgan Raymond was 11-for-11 serving with 11 digs and eight serves received. Nicole Groll led the way with nine serves received.
A few days earlier on Monday night, the Knights fell to Glastonbury (4-1) at home, 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-17).
“This is a game of momentum,” said Southington coach Rich Heitz. “We were in a good spot in the first set, and we gave them some points late. Then we kind of lost the momentum.”
On 23 attacks, Lewkowicz led the Knights offensively with eight kills, and added two assisted blocks to her defensive category. Raymond was right behind with seven kills on 23 attacks. Raymond also had nine digs and received 16 serves. Zera was 7-for-10 serving with three aces, setting up 19 assists on 69 attempts. Lohneiss was 13-for-16 serving with three aces. Allen was 13-for-14 serving with two solo blocks. Groll was 6-for-8 serving and was a crucial part to the defense with 12 digs. Groll also received 32 serves.
“We came out in the second set and grabbed it right away, but we missed seven serves in the set,” said Heitz. “When you lose 25-23, that’s kind of backbreaking when you miss seven serves. Once we allowed them to come back in set two, we needed to try and come out hard in set three, but they battled us. Tonight, the team that played better won, but any other given night, that could be us.”
Although Glastonbury exposed certain weaknesses, Heitz said that there was still a lot that the Knights took away from the match as a learning experience.
“Glastonbury’s been the best team we’ve seen so far,” said Heitz. “Our setting is a little young at times, but as that develops and improves, we’re going to become better. We served aggressively and tried our hardest to take them out of their system. When we gave them an easy pass, it was tough to play defense. They’re tall and they hit hard. The scores from the first two sets were close. Deep down, we could do some things better to make up that difference and put us on the right side of that ledger.”
John Jay Invite
The Knights topped off the week with a trip to John Jay High School in Cross River, New York, where they competed in the John Jay Invitational and defeated Barlow to win the Silver Bracket.
The Knights are currently in second place in the Blue Division of the Central Region behind Glastonbury. The Knights will look to add some more wins to their tally with games this week against NW Catholic (3-4), Farmington (7-0), and Tolland (3-5).
To comment on this story or to contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.