By BRIAN JENNINGS
Three wins this past week has the Blue Knight volleyball team off and running to a perfect start to the season. But with three victories also came three sweeps, as the Knights have yet to drop a single set.
Although the Knights are flawless through their first week of competition, Southington coach Lou Gianacopolos Sr. said that he learned a few things about his team from watching them in the last match of the week; a few things that the team can take into consideration and work on in practice as they near the tougher stretch of their regular season schedule.
“What I saw on the court were things that I felt from the players’ eyes,” said Gianacopolos. “Their eyes were not necessarily what they were about to go after. Instead of focusing on their vision going forward, they were focusing on what they did in the past.”
But that’s not to say that Gianacopolos doesn’t think his team has potential.
“We’ve got a good, solid team,” the coach said. “This team has an opportunity to be successful, but this team also has to have the will and desire to improve in all aspects.”
Win at Bloomfield
APRIL 3—The Knights began the week and their season by achieving a 3-0 shutout (25-3, 25-13, 25-15) at Bloomfield on Monday.
“They are a little bit of an inexperienced, younger program,” said Gianacopolos Sr. “We made very few errors and had a good, consistent serving match.”
Lou Gianacopolos Jr. (4 kills) dished out 19 assists and anchored the defense with seven digs. Tim Walsh (2 digs) paced the offense with seven kills. Brian Durocher (5 kills, 3 digs) went 26-for-27 serving with seven aces.
Win vs. Amity
APRIL 5—A couple days later, the Knights picked up another shutout by blanking Amity, 3-0 (25-13, 25-12, 25-16), at home.
“I was excited about today because I knew that Amity had a good program,” said Gianacopolos Sr. “We were just able to keep the ball from getting to certain people as often as they would have liked.”
One of those key players for the Spartans was Connor Leary-Watson, who finished the match with seven kills, seven digs, and six blocks. The Knights were familiar with Leary-Watson from club volleyball during the winter.
“He can hammer the ball,” the coach said. “We knew that if we let him get the ball, it was going to be a tough night. But we had a quick-tempo game, and they weren’t prepared for it.”
Walsh (2 aces, 1 block) marshaled the offense with 10 kills. Durocher (6 kills) went 15-for-19 serving with seven aces.
Walsh and Durocher each anchored the defense with seven digs apiece as well. Gianacopolos Jr. (4 digs, 3 kills) dished out 20 assists.
Win vs. Wethersfield
APRIL 7—The Knights rounded out the week by remaining perfect in matches and sets on the year with their third-straight win, 3-0 (25-20, 25-13, 25-21), over Wethersfield at home on Friday. Although they defeated the Eagles without dropping a single set, the Knights still missed 17 serves and allowed 18 points off hitting errors.
“It wasn’t go in, control the match, and win 3-0,” said Gianacopolos Sr. “It was go in and manage a 3-0 win. It wasn’t the cleanest.”
Durocher (2 digs) led the offense with six kills and went 8-for-12 serving with three aces. Gianacopolos Jr. (5 digs) dished out 22 assists. Walsh (4 kills, 2 aces) anchored the defense with 15 digs.
The Knights will look to stay undefeated this week with matches against Staples (1-1), Shelton (2-0), and Farmington (0-3).
For this week’s box scores, click here: (southingtonobserver.com/2017/04/11/weekly-scoreboard-for-the-april-14-edition). To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.