Volleyball is back on track after tough week

Tim Cocozza returns an attack during Southington’s win over Maloney.

Tim Cocozza returns an attack during Southington’s win over Maloney.

By BRIAN JENNINGS
STAFF WRITER

The Blue Knights volleyball team swept last week with three-straight wins, dropping just one game overall in a trio of best-of-seven series. But three victories don’t explain the current state the team was in after suffering a pair of losses the week before to Newington and South Windsor.

Southington coach Lou Gianacopolos said that the team’s main focus was to reset their minds when asked what they had to do, in order to snap out of the funk they were in.

“It might be cliché, but you have to go through adversity before you can accomplish success,” the coach said. “That was this team’s adversity, going through some losses and learning how to lose. It was a tool for me to learn how these guys react when they’re not doing well. It allows me to coach them at different angles.”

Combating the co-op

The Knights opened up the week with a 3-0 sweep over Bulkeley-HMTCA on Monday, May 16.

Mike Aberizk and Devin Prive led the offensive attack with seven kills apiece.

Brian Durocher (5 digs, 4 kills) went 14-for-17 serving with four aces. Tim Cocozza went 7-for-8 with four aces. Jordan Meier (23 assists, 5 digs) went 6-for-9 serving with a pair of aces. Louis Gianacopolos Jr. (7 digs, 3 kills) went 7-for-10. Jack Dietz (4 kills) went 6-for-7.

Stopping the Spartans

Jordan Meier and Devin Prive block a Maloney hitter.

Jordan Meier and Devin Prive block a Maloney hitter.

Southington spiked the Spartans, 3-0, a couple days later at home in their eighth shutout of the year.

Aberizk paced the Knights with 11 kills. Durocher (13 digs, 5 kills) went 16-for-18 behind the line with four aces. Dietz (5 kills, 5 blocks) went 7-for-10. Cocozza (6 digs) went 11-for-11. Meier (26 assists, 3 kills) went 8-for-11. Gianacopolos (7 kills, 4 digs) went 7-for-9.

Rallying at Glastonbury

After dropping the first set to the Tomahawks on Friday, the Knights rallied back to take the next three in a 3-1 triumph at Glastonbury.

Aberizk (13 digs) marshaled the Knights with 14 kills and went 7-for-11 serving. Gianacopolos Jr. (9 digs, 6 kills) and Prive (6 kills, 4 digs) anchored the defense with a combined 12 blocks. Gianacopolos also went 23-for-25.

Durocher (16 digs, 7 kills) went 15-for-17. Meier (39 assists, 9 digs) went 19-for-20. Dietz contributed with 7 kills and 3 blocks. Cocozza finished with a team-high of 18 digs.

“Our senior leaders have taken this team to have small meetings off to the side to regroup these past couple of matches,” said Gianacopolos. “That was very helpful, and it had quite a bit to do with how we’re regrouping.”

The Knights (14-3) will put a lid on their regular season with a road match at Farmington (9-8) on Monday, May 23, but going forward, Gianacopolos said that the team has to believe in itself and execute.

“We have this term called no bubbles,” the coach said. “When you’re up and you have a lead, which we do quite often, you continue to push and don’t let up. If this team continues with that philosophy, I don’t think there’s a team that can really affect us in a way where we can’t rebound.”

Southington clinched the CCC South title with a 7-1 record and is fourth in Class L and the CCC.

To comment on this story or to contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at bjennings@southingtonobserver.com.

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