By BRIAN JENNINGS
The girls volleyball team (10-1, 4-1 in division) made the most of their road trip, dominating a trio of opponents, and not dropping a single game in three matches. However, the highlight of the week for the Lady Knights wouldn’t be their flawlessness. Instead, it was a chance to avenge their only loss this season.
Back in September, the Knights hosted Glastonbury (9-2) and suffered a 3-0 defeat, but the Knights would be back to have another go at it again on Wednesday, Oct. 7, this time in Glastonbury. The Knights not only defeated the Tomahawks, but they returned the favor of a 3-0 decision (25-15, 25-11, 25-18). The victory handed Glastonbury their second loss on the year.
Kelsea Allen was 8-for-12 serving with 10 kills on 13 attacks and three blocks. Morgan Raymond was 14-for-15 serving with two aces, 10 digs, and 10 serves received. Stephanie Zera was 8-for-10 serving with two aces, 24 assists, and eight digs.
Nicole Groll was 13-for-15 serving with 14 digs and 15 serves received. Emily Mankus was 11-for-11 serving with three aces and seven digs. Samantha Lohneiss was 9-for-11 serving with two aces. Sylwia Lewkowicz had eight kills on 15 attacks and three blocks. Michelle Stublarec had six kills on 25 attacks.
“The kids executed the game plan exceptionally well,” said Southington coach Rich Heitz. “The game plan was to take them out of system and force them to not get the easy passes to their setters so that they could run their offense. We did a really good job, especially from the service line, of disrupting their flow, which allowed us to get easier balls from them. It allowed us to run our offense. We served with pinpoint accuracy, in terms of hitting our spots. We passed well and played very good defense as well.”
Heitz said that the biggest part of the Knights’ game that impacted the results of the match was the Knights’ side-out percentage.
“Our side-out percentage was extremely high, which means that every time they won a point and got to serve, they served once, and then gave us the ball back,” said Heitz. “The percentage was in the in the high 70s for the night. Even though we missed some serves and they aced us a few times, the fact that we were limiting them to one serve had a huge impact on the match.”
The Knights never really trailed in the match, and it was early in the second set when they took a 5-2 lead over Glastonbury that Heitz said he felt was the point when his girls had the momentum and complete control of the match.
A couple days earlier on Monday, the Knights started the week off with a 3-0 win (25-13, 27-25, 26-24) at Bristol Central (9-4).
Groll was 14-for-15 serving with three aces, 14 digs, and 32 serves received. Raymond was 8-for-8 serving with two aces, seven kills on 24 attacks, 10 digs, and 10 serves received. Mankus was 16-for-17 serving with 12 digs and six serves received. Zera was 7-for-10 serving with 29 assists and three blocks. Allen was 11-for-13 serving with eight kills on 14 attacks. Lohneiss was 6-for-8 serving with nine assists. Lewkowicz had 16 kills on 32 attacks and four blocks. Michelle Stublarec had seven kills on 20 attacks and two blocks.
On Friday, the Knights topped off the week by hosting Hall (5-6) with a 3-0 shutout (25-12, 25-12, 25-19).
Zera was 10-for-11 serving with 27 assists and four digs. Raymond was 8-for-8 serving with seven kills on 16 attacks, two blocks, and seven digs. Groll was 8-for-10 serving with two aces, seven digs, and 17 serves received. Allen was 9-for-10 serving with three aces and eight kills on 10 attacks. Mankus was 14-for-14 serving with three aces and nine digs. Lohneiss was 8-for-11 serving with five assists. Lewkowicz had 10 kills on 20 attacks. Stublarec had five kills on 14 attacks.
With seven straight wins since the Glastonbury loss, the Knights currently sit atop the Blue Division of the Central Region and will look to stay strong this week when they host Simsbury (8-4) on Wednesday, Oct. 14.