By KEVIN ROBERTS
Southington boys volleyball faced its first test of the season on April 15 when it took on Farmington on the road. The Blue Knights passed with flying colors, dispatching the Indians 3-0. Set scores were 25-21, 25-14, 25-14.
Southington was back in the friendly confines of the Walt Lozoski Gymnasium for the last two matches of the week, and it claimed 3-0 victories against Hall on April 17 and Enfield on April 18. The set scores against Hall were 25-13, 25-13, 25-15, and the set scores against Enfield were 25-9, 25-10, 25-22.
Southington improved to 7-0 on the season.
“Overall, we talk about where we’re at. We asked some of the kids that question, where we’re at and how do you feel,” coach Lou Gianacopolos said. “Some of them will say I feel good where we’re at right now. Some will say what’s good is we’re a good team, we’re playing well, but there’s room for improvement, so we’re always moving forward.”
Mental preparation was just as important as physical preparation for Farmington, according to Gianacopolos.
“We talk about the ‘six and six,’” Gianacopolos said. “The six feet between your head and the floor, but the six inches between your ears are very important as well. If you can get both of those six and six in key, you’re going to be far more prepared. When we played Farmington, we were on point. We played very well.”
Tim Walsh had 15 kills, five aces and five digs while Zack Morgan added 35 assists, one block assist and was 11-for-14 on serves. Rocco Possidento tallied seven kills and one block assist while Brandon Wolff added six kills and one block assist. Adam Hunter had five kills, three aces (9-for-11 serving) and one block.
Brett Hunter recorded three kills, two solo blocks and one block assist. John Idian was 8-for-10 serving and posted a team-high nine digs.
Hall lost a bunch of players to graduation and was 0-3 entering the April 17 match. The Knights were able to take down the Warriors in three sets. Walsh had 11 kills to just one hitting error (18-for-19) while Possidento recorded six kills and didn’t have a hitting error in eight attempts. Adam Hunter had five kills to just one error (7-for-8), plus three aces, four digs and a block assist.
Wolff tallied six kills (9-for-11) while Idian had two aces (12-for-13 serving). Morgan had 25 assists, three aces (10-for-13 serving) and a team-high six digs.
Enfield not only lost two six-foot-six players to graduation, but the school had junior prom on April 18, so other players were missing in action. The Eagles were no match for the Knights, who cruised in the first two sets before a little bit of a struggle in the third set. Walsh had 12 kills, two aces (9-for-12 serving), five digs, one solo block and one block assist.
Morgan bagged 27 assists, one ace (15-for-16 serving), four digs, one solo block and one block assist in a good all-around match. Possidento recorded eight kills without an error (10-for-10) and Wolff had five kills without an error (9-for-9). Adam Hunter had seven kills with just one error (9-for-10), plus six digs and a block assist. Brett Hunter had three block assists while Idian was 16-for-17 serving with one ace. Sam Miranda (11-for-11, one ace) and Justin Miranda (7-for-7) were both perfect at the service line.
There were still times in the Enfield match, however, where Gianacopolos noticed something was off and called timeout. Rather than wait until a practice to address the issue, Gianacopolos used the timeout as a teaching moment.
“I called the timeouts because there was something I saw that can help us in the future,” Gianacopolos said.
There will be tougher matches ahead for Southington, and the Knights want to make sure they are performing at their highest level.
Up next: Southington was scheduled to host Conard on Monday and Rockville on Wednesday. The Knights are on the road Thursday at Newington, which was 9-0 going into its home match on Monday against Farmington.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com