By BRIAN JENNINGS
The Blue Knight volleyball team did not drop a single set this past week. They’re still rolling, now with an 11-match win streak, and they’re improving their chances for the top rank in the Class L Tournament.
More important than winning, Coach Lou Gianacopolos said that it is the way his team is winning that he’s noticed.
During Friday’s match at South Windsor, Giancopolos turned to his assistant coach, Tim Casey, and asked him if he was seeing the same thing.
His players seemed to be playing by instinct.
“It was the first time this season that this team played at an exceptional level, and I was very happy to see that.”
Gianacopolos said that he’s not exactly sure why he’s seeing the kind of chemistry he’s seeing out of his team at this point of the season.
“Maybe the boys feel that the pressure has been lifted,” said Gianacopolos. “Maybe we’re finally jelling. Maybe it was the personnel on the court. I’m not sure, but we played a little bit more loose and relaxed.”
The Knights (12-1) will be back on the hardwood this week with contests against Farmington (7-6), Lewis Mills (11-3), Hall (11-4), and East Hartford (15-0). East Hartford is currently tied for first in Class L with Staples (16-0) and Newtown (15-0).
Win vs. Conard
MAY 7—Will Pfanzelt led the team at the net and behind the service line, as the Knights began the week on Monday with a 3-0 sweep (25-17, 25-11, 25-14) of divisional Conard at home. The Knights swept the Chieftains back in April as well.
Pfanzelt paced the offense with nine kills and helped anchor the defense with three blocks, going 15-for-16 serving with a pair of aces. Zack Morgan went 22-for-24 behind the line with four aces and distributed 13 assists. Niko Sophroniou completed the other half of the defense with 11 digs.
Win vs. Maloney
MAY 8—Tim Walsh and Morgan excelled on both sides of the ball the next day to keep the Knights undefeated in the CCC West Division (9-0) and at home (5-0) in a 3-0 sweep (25-8, 25-14, 25-15) of divisional Maloney. The Knights swept the Spartans last month as well.
Walsh marshaled the offense with 12 kills and helped anchor the defense with 10 digs, going 7-for-10 serving with three aces. Morgan also helped anchor the defense with 10 digs and dished out 21 assists, missing just one serve behind the line out of 25 tries with three aces as well. Tyler Peruta and Pfanzelt were the other half of the defense with a pair of blocks each.
Win at South Windsor
MAY 11—Leadership from the two team captains helped the Knights cap off the week on Friday with their 11th-straight win and ninth shutout of the season in a 3-0 sweep (25-12, 25-15, 25-16) at South Windsor.
JJ Clark helped pace the offense with seven kills anchor the defense with three blocks. Sophroniou was the other half of the defense with nine digs and went 16-for-17 serving with four aces. Walsh and Pfanzelt aided Clark with seven kills each as well, and Morgan handled 12 assists. Adam Hunter went 10-for-13 behind the service line with three aces.
For more in depth coverage, see our weekly print edition. To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.