GLASTONBURY >> The Tomahawks boys volleyball team was better prepared Tuesday evening and it showed on the court, beating Xavier in straights sets at Glastonbury High School.
Galvin Haught and Shane Harasyko led the home team attack with 10 kills apiece, despite Harasyko playing out of position due to school vacation.
The junior middle blocker was moved outside today forcing him to make an adjustment to the new position, but had plenty of opportunities. He took 30 swings to get 10 kills, where Haught was more efficient taking only 16 swings to get his 10.
“[Harasyko] got blocked a few times,” Glastonbury coach Pat Ryan said. “A lot of that’s timing when he goes out there, but he got a lot of swings.”
Xavier (3-1) spent the whole match playing from behind.
The Falcons started slow in the first set, trailing by as many as six, but worked their way back to tie it at 18. Andre Zumerchik recorded three kills in the middle of a 8-2 Xavier run, but the Tomahawks answered with the final seven of eight points to win the first, 25-19.
“That’s their style of play. They’re very calm, very collected every point, no matter what happens,” Xavier coach John Post said. “It kind of took our energy out tonight. We never got started and we were playing catch-up the whole match.”
Jon Abbott (five kills, one ace, four digs) recorded an ace early on to give Glastonbury a 2-0 lead, but later on they hit a serve long to tie the second set at 6-6.
“We missed a lot of serves, especially in the second set and then just tried to pass well, which we actually did,” Ryan said. “We passed really well today.”
Setter Matt Alvarez handed out 36 assists for Glastonbury (3-1).
Midway through the second set, Post took Karl Sturm out of the game, made an adjustment with his blocking technique and sent him back in. It worked. The senior made a number of key blocks to keep his team close and finished with a match-high 10. Glastonbury as a team recorded six.
“He came out, listened to what we had to say and made those adjustments,” Post said. “That’s a good sign for us, because that’s been a weak point for us this year. So for him to go out and do that and keep building, that could be a good sign going forward.”
Glastonbury missed a serve on set point to make it 24-24. Haught picked his team up with a kill on the next point, but then another error made it 25-25. Two straight Xavier errors gave the Tomahawks a 27-25 second set win.
“Normally we hit that ‘one ball,’ which is the one straight to the middle,” Ryan said. “I’m trying to get them to spread it out. To hit sets that are equally quick, but are a little further distance away.”
Xavier won the first point of the third set, something they didn’t do in the first two, on a spike by John Babon, but couldn’t sustain the lead. The Falcons made errors on the next four of five points, but still wouldn’t go away. Then the error bug bit Glastonbury. The Tomahawks gave away five free points and with a Sturm block, Xavier had the third set tied 11-11.
“They’re a big blocking team which means we have to take something off to get it over their block,” Post said. “So it makes it easier for their defense to make plays.”
The Glastonbury defense won the third set.
“We actually started to do well enough at the end on the defensive side that we didn’t get a lot of offensive attempts, which is fine with us for sure,” Ryan said.
The Tomahawks won the third set 25-18.
“This is easily our toughest match,” said Post. “Pat’s [Ryan] a great coach, they’re always going to be well prepared. I have a lot of respect for him — he had his team ready today.”
Kevin Berger had 28 assists for Xavier.
Ryan saw some things from his team today that he hadn’t in the first few matches of the season.
“The things that we have been doing well, we didn’t do well today, blocking being one of them,” Ryan said. “The things that we haven’t been doing well, like passing, we did well today.”
Xavier will learn from this one.
“No matter who’s on the other side of the net, we have to be there to play our game,” Post said. “We can’t play up to good teams and down to bad teams. Try to turn it on and off whenever we want. We have to go for it every night and when we don’t do that, you see things like tonight where we look like we’re struggling. We’re a talented team, we just have to bring it every night.”