FAIRFIELD — As the crowd in the Fairfield Ludlowe gym roared, the Ludlowe volleyball team rushed the court after defeating FCIAC rival Staples in five exciting sets on Wednesday evening.
“It feels so good because we really earned that,” Ludlowe senior Kate Steensma said. “But it’s fun to play such a hard, long game and finally win it. They were competitive and they were a great team, so it’s exciting to beat one of our rivals.”
Steensma led the way for the Falcons, finishing with a game-high 17 kills to go along with five digs and two aces.
The match hung in the balance several times with the teams separated by no more than four points in the third set.
But it was Staples’ grit in the fourth set that enabled the match to continue. Trailing by five points, the Wreckers battled back to win the set 25-22 and force a decisive fifth set.
Wreckers coach Joe Sheprio said he was proud of his team’s ability to fight through the adversity and tough stretches against a difficult opponent.
“It’s something we talk about, obviously,” he said. “(It’s) something you want to see this early in the season. It’s nice to see them fight back from being down 2-0.”
The Falcons bounced back after dropping the opening match of the season against Lauralton Hall.
A win like this can do wonders for her squad going forward, Ludlowe coach Meghan Skelton said.
“Confidence,” she said. “It’s huge. The girls typically need that validation of a win to believe that they’re at that status to achieve greatness throughout the season. We can believe it, but for them to have that tangible ‘W’ is very important.”
LET’S PLAY 10
Both of Staples matches this season have gone to a fifth and final set — the Wreckers defeated Amity 3-2 last Friday on the road.
NEW SEASON, NEW RESULTS
Ludlowe was able to get the victory over Staples after dropping both matches against the Wreckers last season, failing to win a set.
“A lot of what I preach is just calm consistency. Not worrying about what’s going on with the other team. We’re worried about our own selves and the job we have to do.” — Ludlowe coach Meghan Skelton.
FAIRFIELD LUDLOWE 3, STAPLES 2
STAPLES21 20 25 25 12—2
LUDLOWE25 25 21 22 15—3
Records: Staples 1-1; Ludlowe 1-1.
Highlights: S— Vanessa Eng had eight aces and two kills. Isabella Jagenberg had five kills and six blocks. FL— Jasmine Hamel had 11 kills and seven blocks. Jo Blanco had 11 kills and two digs.