Knights best the Lancers: Girls Volleyball survives first test of the season

Kayli Garcia attacks the net during a 3-1 victory over Bristol Eastern in a battle of unbeaten teams. (Photo by John Goralski)



The Southington girls volleyball team started a streak of big matches with a 3-1 home win over Bristol Eastern on Sept. 14.

The win over the Lancers completed a 2-0 week for the Lady Knights, who also beat Hall 3-0 on Sept. 11 in West Hartford. Southington was 4-0 entering an undefeated showdown at 3-0 RHAM of Hebron on Monday. The Lady Knights faced another road test Wednesday at Farmington.

Here’s what happened during the previous week:

Victory over Hall

SEPT. 11—The Lady Knights defeated the Warriors in straight sets, winning by scores of 25-20, 25-6 and 25-17. Brooke Cooney led Southington with another stat sheet-stuffing night of 11 kills, five digs, three aces and one block while Olivia Carpenter added 32 assists, two aces and one block. Katie Gundersen had eight kills, Kayli Garcia contributed seven kills, and Era Pasha served up four aces.

“We had to play without Haley Larrabee as she had an injury that kept her out,” coach Rich Heitz said. “Katie Gundersen did a nice job filling in for her as a hitter.”

Cooney and Garcia combined for 18 kills against just two hitting errors. Isabell Myrick tallied 10 digs and three aces, Lynsey Danko had 13 digs and two aces, and Jenna Martin added 11 digs and two aces.

“The team served well on the evening, with 17 aces against only seven serving errors,” Heitz said.

Big win over Lancers

SEPT. 14—The Lady Knights needed four sets, but picked up a big win over the fellow CCC power Lancers by scores of 27-25, 25-15, 20-25 and 26-24.

“We knew this would be a very tough test as they returned five starters from last year’s team, only graduating one senior,” Heitz said.

Larrabee returned to the lineup and had a huge match with 15 kills and 28 digs. Martin went for six kills, 18 digs and three aces and Cooney had eight kills, 15 digs, five aces and one block. Carpenter again had 32 assists and two aces for Southington. Veronika Gorski put up three kills and three blocks while Lynsey Danko added 20 digs.

“Veronika Gorski also had some very timely blocks late in the match that helped shift some of the momentum,” Heitz said.

Bristol Eastern had set point on Southington in the first and fourth sets, but the Lady Knights rallied for 27-25 and 26-24 victories. On game point, a Larrabee hit wasn’t returned by the Lancers, giving the home team another victory.

“It was a nice win for us against a very formidable opponent,” Heitz said. “The match was so tight, it could have very easily gone the other way. I thought our defense was very good and our serve receive passing was good overall.”

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