Volleyball continues to surge since early season loss to RHAM

volleyball-shsBy BRIAN JENNINGS


Ever since the Lady Knight Volleyball team fell short to one of the top teams in the state, RHAM, the team has not dropped a match, and Southington coach Rich Heitz said that the loss gave the team a good blueprint of what they really needed to work on.

“We’re still running some different things, but it helped us to prepare for Farmington, Bristol Eastern, and some of these other matches that we knew about coming down the road,” the coach said. “We knew blocking was a weakness against RHAM, and we’ve worked on that.”

With every practice and match, Heitz said that the team is improving and feels that they’re playing more cohesively as a unit. It’s going to be a constant work in progress, he added, but the hope is for the team to be playing their best at the end of the season.

“Our ball control is pretty good, and we’re a better passing team than we were last year,” said Heitz. “We were actually able to start doing a few different things with that in practice. We also tried to speed up the offense, and they’re communicating better than they were in the beginning of the season.”

Win at South Windsor

SEPT. 26—Southington began the week at South Windsor where they shutout South Windsor, 3-0 (25-11, 25-18, 25-14).

Hannah Zelina (3 digs) powered the offense with 13 kills on 23 attacks and stood tall up front with three blocks. Stephanie Zera went 24-for-25 serving with seven aces and dished out 26 assists. Kelly Kritz (8 kills, 3 digs) was perfect from the service line after going 18-for-18 with three aces. Morgan Raymond (11 kills) anchored the defense with 13 digs. Sarah Myrick and Nolyn Allen finished with seven digs apiece, and Megan Mahon (2 blocks) contributed with seven kills.

Win at Simsbury

SEPT. 30—The Knights remained out on the road on Friday and earned their fifth win of the season with a 3-0 (25-8, 25-22, 25-16) sweep of Simsbury. The Knights have recorded shutouts in all five of their wins thus far.

“Their program’s improved over the last five years or so, but we jumped on them pretty good in set one,” said Heitz. “We actually had a big lead in set two as well. We tried a few different things once we had a good sense of where we were in the match. We hustled very well again too. It was very nice to see them come out and play hard.”

Kritz (6 digs) and Mahon shared the offensive workload with nine kills each. Zelina (5 kills) went 13-for-14 serving with six aces. Zelina also controlled the net with a pair of blocks. Erica Daigle (3 digs) served without a blemish from behind the line, going 18-for-18 with five aces. Raymond (6 kills) anchored the defense with 15 digs. Zera tallied a season high in the ball-handling department with 34 assists. Erica Bruno finished with seven kills, and Allen contributed with eight digs.

Southington is currently 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the CCC Central Blue. The Knights need just three more wins to qualify for the Class LL tournament, and they have a shot this week with home matches against Farmington (8-0), NFA (6-1), and EO Smith (6-3).

“This upcoming week is going to be really tough, but hopefully the stuff we did between the John Jay Invitational and the two matches we just played helped us to prepare us for the week ahead,” the coach said.

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

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