Morgan looks to cap unbeaten volleyball season with first state title since 2005

This team Morgan team is just different, according to Huskies coach Joe Grippo.

He said the top-seeded Huskies have that extra fight in them, best evidenced by a 3-0 triumph over Coventry to clinch a spot in Friday’s Class S championship against third-seeded Lyman Memorial in Berlin at 7 p.m.

“This team has had a different look in their eye from the first day of practice,” the coach said. “They believe they can do this.”

The Huskies stopped Coventry’s reign as seven-time Class S champs, topping them in convincing fashion. It was nothing new for a Morgan team that ran roughshod through the regular-season going undefeated, captured its 22nd consecutive Shoreline Conference championship and now awaits an appearance in the state title game for the first time since 2005, when it topped Coventry.

To senior Lily Dawson, this season was all about getting back to the title game.

“We’ve battled all year long,” she said. “We don’t want anything to break us now. We just keep going.”

She said she sensed a difference in this season’s team in victories over Class L schools East Lyme and Fitch.

“If we play the way we’re capable of we can do anything,” Dawson said.

Morgan has been led this season by Dawson, who captured SLC Player of the Year while posting 781 assists. Jen Dawson, who had 471 kills and 139 digs and Sami Ashton who added 188 digs and 81 kills.

The Huskies also have a chip on its shoulder, too. Morgan sat and watched Coventry win Class S title after Class S title. After finally topping the defending champs, Lily Dawson said the celebration was sweet.

“That felt really good,” she said. “We haven’t been to a championship since my freshman year so a lot of the girls don’t know what this feels like.”

And Grippo said even though it was a great moment, there is still work that needs to be done.

“We didn’t get the prize yet,” he said. “We still have to get through Lyman.”

And a talented Lyman team boasts Elizabeth Peay (219 kills and 202 digs) and Maggie Tarbox (127 digs and 659 assists). The

Bulldogs got East Hampton’s best effort in a 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-20) victory. Lily Dawson said in order to top Lyman, the Huskies must believe in their abilities

“If we go in there with confidence knowing we can play with them, I think we can have a good shot,” the senior said.

Class S girls volleyball final

No. 1 MORGAN (25-0) vs. No. 3 LYMAN MEMORIAL (20-4)
• When: Friday, 7
• Where: Berlin High School
• Championship game appearances: Morgan will make its 19th appearance with 11 Class S crowns and Lyman Memorial is here for the first time.
What to look for: Morgan is on a mission, Lily Dawson, Jen Dawson and Sami Ashton lead in a team that kills the ball well (11.4 per set) and also serves well (198 ). Even though Lyman brings in a talented team, highlighted by Elizabeth Peay and Maggie Tarbox, it could very well be Morgan’s year.
  You should know: Morgan last won the title in 2005.

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