By KEVIN ROBERTS
Southington boys volleyball picked up three more wins to get to 16-0 on the season, but it hasn’t been as smooth a ride as the record might indicate.
“Our last four or five wins have been about doing what we have to do to get the win,” coach Lou Gianacopolos said after a 3-1 victory over Farmington on May 9. “There’s no pushing.”
The Knights started last week with a 3-0 win against a stubborn Conard squad on May 6 in West Hartford. Southington downed Farmington on May 9, then defeated South Windsor 3-0 on May 10, also at home. Here’s what happened in each match:
Close win at Conard
MAY 6—The Knights were tested by the Chieftains, but ultimately prevailed in straight sets. The set scores were 25-22, 25-18, 25-19.
Southington struggled with its hitting against Conard. The Knights had 30 kills, but also totaled 21 errors. Southington did serve well and put 67 of its 73 attempts in play. Zack Morgan had 23 assists, was 11-for-12 serving, and tallied 11 digs. Morgan also had two solo blocks and a block assist.
Rocco Possidento led the Knights with nine kills, plus two block assists. Adam Hunter had six kills while Tim Walsh and Brandon Wolff added five kills apiece. Walsh also had 11 digs. John Idian led Southington with 12 digs, and Idian, Justin Miranda and Sam Miranda combined for three aces on 33-for-34 serving.
MAY 9—The Indians were at full strength for their rematch against the Knights, and it showed even though the home team won. The set scores were 25-23, 17-25, 25-22, 25-18.
Farmington bothered Southington with its blocking and was able to steal the second set and tie the match, 1-1. It was the first set taken from the Knights since the 3-2 victory at Newington on April 25. Scott Trophy had a match-high 10 blocks for Farmigton while Satchit Sabapathy added four blocks. Sabapathy recorded 11 kills while Trophy chipped in 10.
“After that second [set], I said you can’t play angry,” Gianacopolos said. “You got to be calm, cool, collected. Save that energy for your jumping, your passing, your mind, your thoughts toward the ball, not towards emotions.”
Gianacopolos said the Knights played better in the third and fourth sets, and they were able to take down the Indians for the second time this season. Southington had 48 kills to 33 errors.
“We only hit .115 as a team, which is poor,” Gianacopolos said. “That’s something that we have to work on.”
Morgan tallied 42 assists, three aces (21-22 serving), 10 digs, three kills and one block assist in another big performance. Walsh had a match-high 17 kills, plus 14 digs, one ace, one solo block and one block assist. Possidento had 11 kills, three solo blocks and four block assists while Adam Hunter had 10 kills, three aces (15-16 serving) and 12 digs. Idian was 11-for-11 serving and had a team-high 18 digs. Sam Miranda recorded an ace (13-13 serving) and four digs while Justin Miranda was 9-for-11 serving with two digs.
South Windsor win
MAY 10—The Knights were home again, and they were able to sweep the Bobcats. The set scores were 25-10, 25-16, 25-19.
Southington had 30 kills and 17 errors in the match. Morgan totaled 31 assists, one ace on a very strong 27-for-28 serving, and four digs. Walsh paced the offense with 15 kills, plus two aces, four digs and one block assist. Brandon Wolff recorded six kills, five digs and two block assists while Possidento, Adam Hunter and Brett Hunter all tallied five kills. Adam Hunter had two aces on 8-for-9 serving and 11 digs. Idian recorded one ace on 8-for-9 serving to go along with a team-high 18 digs, and Sam Miranda was 12-for-12 serving.
Up next: Southington was at Hall on Monday, then hosted Newington on Tuesday in a rematch of their big 3-2 comeback win on April 25. The Knights were at Rockville on Wednesday in the regular season finale.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com