By BRIAN JENNINGS
When the Blue Knight volleyball team opened the season with a 3-1 win at Glastonbury, Southington coach Lou Gianacopolos said that the victory was difficult because the team didn’t play well.
He said that Glastonbury is down a little bit this year, and his team played down to their level. Nonetheless, it wasn’t an exciting win for Gianacopolos.
They went down to Staples in their second match where they were swept in their only loss on the season against one of the best teams in the state, according to Gianacopolos. They lost 3-0, but Gianacopolos said that they played to Staples’ level in a very exciting match, and it was probably the best lost you could have against a top team.
The Blue Knights are rolling right now with just one loss on the season after coming away with three comfortable 3-0 sweeps this past week. Gianacopolos said that the team played like they had played against Staples this past week.
“The team really got a good out of that Staples loss and also understood the not-so-great win versus Glastonbury,” said Gianacopolos. “We see the opportunity of what we can do.”
Gianacopolos said that he believes the potential for this team is limitless. He said that he doesn’t think there’s anyone, but themselves, that can hold them back from here to the last match of the season.
“I have a very talented team in all positions,” said Gianacopolos. “It’s now whether the boys want to put their mindset and efforts into the small, little details. It’s slowly the pieces of the puzzle that are trying to come back together.”
The Knights will be back on the hardwood this week with contests against divisional opponents Farmington (2-3), Maloney (1-5), and Hall (5-1). Southington is 4-1.
Win at Conard
APRIL 16—Will Pfanzelt was perfect behind the service line while Tim Walsh was superb spiking the ball, as the Knights began the week on Monday, April 16 with a 3-0 sweep (25-20, 25-12, 25-15) at Conard in their first divisional match of the season.
Pfanzelt went 21-for-21 serving with five aces. Walsh paced the offense with 11 kills and went 5-for-10 behind the line with three aces. Connor Brush (2 blocks) and Niko Sophroniou (14 digs) anchored the defense, and Zack Morgan distributed 18 assists.
Win vs. Simsbury
APRIL 18—The offensive and defensive efforts of Sophroniou and Walsh helped the Knights earn a 3-0 sweep (25-17, 25-11, 25-14) of divisional Simsbury at home a couple days later.
Sophroniou dug out nine digs and went 6-for-8 serving with three aces. Walsh marshaled the offense with 16 kills and went 14-for-19 behind the service line with three aces. Pfanzelt (3) and Jonathan Clark (3) combined for six blocks, and Morgan dished out 16 assists.
Win at Rockville
APRIL 19—Pfanzelt and Walsh were back at it again, helping the Knights cap off the week on Thursday with their third-straight win and third shutout of the season in a 3-0 sweep (25-7, 25-12, 25-8) at Rockville.
Pfanzelt missed just one serve behind the line, going 12-for-13 with four aces, and helped anchor the defense with two blocks. Walsh paced the offense with six kills and also missed one serve, going 7-for-8 with four of his own aces. Rocco Possidento aided Pfanzelt with a pair of blocks as well, and Sophroniou helped anchor the defense with 11 digs. Morgan distributed 10 assists.
“I was able to get everyone in the match, and they were all calm and collective, from my first guy to my last guy,” said Gianacopolos. “The younger guys showed calmness, like it was their job, and that was pretty cool to see.”
Gianacopolos said that the final game of the match was a little tougher for the team because they had younger players on the floor. But they did what they had to do to close out the match, and he said that he was pretty proud of that.
“Seeing the future work at the varsity level was a good opportunity for me to see,” said Gianacopolos. “And the future looks bright.”
For more in depth coverage, see our weekly print edition. To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.