By BRIAN JENNINGS
The Blue Knights (11-1) extended their winning streak to seven games this past week, dropping just one game in their last three series. Southington coach Lou Gianacopolos said his team is still heading in the right direction.
“We’re trying to stay healthy,” he said. “We’re not super deep, but we have players that can play the positions. At this point, I think we have a great team. I think that these guys play for each other and not themselves, which is cool. And that was something we tried to obtain earlier in the season.”
Spiking the Spartans
Southington surrendered its only game of the week in Meriden on Monday, May 2, but still won the best-of-five series with Maloney, 3-1. The Knights won the first two sets, 25-13, 25-10, but the Spartans took the third game, 23-25.
Southington answered with a 25-17 win in game four to clinch the match.
Mike Aberizk (11 digs, 2 blocks) attacked the net with 13 kills and went 16-for-20 serving with eight aces. Louis Gianacopolos Jr. (13 digs, 8 kills) went 21-for-22 behind the line with four aces, and Brian Durocher (18-for-18 serving) anchored the defense with 19 digs.
Jack Dietz (4 kills, 3 aces), Devin Prive (8 kills, 3 blocks), and Jordan Meier (36 assists) contributed.
Southington returned home a couple days later to sweep Glastonbury, 3-0. Southington won, 25-20, 25-11, and 25-19.
Durocher (6 digs) anchored the Knights with nine kills, 18-for-19 serving, and three aces. Aberizk (9 digs, 6 kills) went 10-for-14 behind the line with three aces.
Gianacopolos (6 digs, 4 kills), Meier (22 assists), and Tim Cocozza (13 digs) contributed.
Shutting out Simsbury
Southington capped off the week with a second-straight sweep, 3-0, over Simsbury at home on Thursday. The Knights won easily, 25-16, 25-12, 25-11.
Aberizk paced the offense with nine kills. Gianacopolos (5 digs, 3 kills) went 24-for-25 serving with an ace. Meier (16 assists, 6 digs), Dietz (7 digs, 4 kills), Prive (5 kills, 1 block), and Cocozza (7 digs) contributed.
“I see more calmness amongst the boys. I see unity,” said Gianacopolos. “Communication was an issue coming into the season, but I haven’t had to talk about communication in a few matches. They’ve created their own identity.”
With the wins, Southington qualified for the Class L tournament, but Gianacopolos said that the mindset hasn’t changed.
“We’ve got to look ahead to next week, and that’s our major focus,” he said. “Now that we’ve made the tournament, we have to see where we sit and where we’re going to be placed in the rankings. That’s the only thing we can do.”
The Knights will travel to Newington (11-3) and South Windsor (11-2) this week. Southington is currently third in Class L behind East Hartford (11-0) and Darien (14-1).
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