WOODBRIDGE — As impressive as the first two games against South Windsor were, the Amity Spartans saved their best for last.
Trailing by seven points in the third game, Amity went on an 11-0 run and rolled to a 3-0 victory over the Bobcats in a CIAC Class LL second-round contest at Amity High Thursday night.
With the 25-11, 25-21, 25-17 victory, No.8 Amity improves to 19-5 and advances to the state quarterfinals 7 p.m. Saturday at No. 1 Cheshire, which has defeated the Spartans twice already this year.
“We know they are going to be tough to beat,” Amity coach Paul Thees said. “It is tough to beat a good team three times in a season and we feel we are a good team. We are going to go all out for it.”
After defeating No. 9 South Windsor rather easily in the first two games, the Spartans were sluggish to start the third game, falling behind 5-1. When South Windsor’s Morgan Stoker delivered an ace, the Spartans trailed 13-6.
With much going through the mind of the players on the court, including the possibility of the seniors playing their final game and thoughts of coach Thees in his final game at Amity (he has stated this is his last season), Amity needed a spark.
“Our coaches have been telling us we keep needing four or five games to win,” Amanda Vecchio said after finishing with six kills, two aces and 14-of-14 serving. “We really wanted this. We wanted to win in three. That’s what we really wanted.
“Our defense played really well. Everyone realized it could possibly be the last game for our coach and the last home game for the seniors. Everyone wanted to win the game.”
Whatever motivation the Spartans drew, Vecchio led the way. On the service line for 10 straight points, Vecchio helped turn a 13-7 deficit into a 17-13 lead with an ace on the final point of the run.
The run included three kills by Kathryn Pisano, a kill by Nina Luciani and several errors by the Bobcats.
“That run in the third game when we were down was pretty good,” Thees said. “We really wanted to win three zip. We did a nice job.”
A kill by Allison Denny increased the margin to 20-15 and it was just a matter of time before the Spartans advanced to the next round. Vecchio delivered the final point with a kill, setting up another meeting with the Rams.
“Coach has said it is hard to beat a good team three times,” Denny said. “We are going there thinking positive things.”
The Spartans came out flying to start the match, taking a quick 12-3 lead on a kill by Vecchio. Kills by Vecchio and Zoe Moscato and a pair of aces by Denny gave the Spartans a commanding 18-6 lead in the opening game.
“Them being the 9 and us the 8, we came out big,” Denny said after finishing with 12 kills, three digs, three aces and 10-of-11 serving. “We came out strong.”
After Vecchio closed the first game with a kill, the Spartans carried the momentum to the second game. Three kills by Denny and an ace by Pisano had Amity off to a 7-1 start.
South Windsor roared back to even the game at 7 but a kill by Pisano put the Spartans ahead for good in the middle game.
Aces by Denny and Moscato increased the lead to 16-10, before a pair of kills by Caroline DelVecchio increased the lead to 18-14. Kills by Denny and Micaela Cardozo had Amity on top 24-16, on the way to a second-game victory.
Pisano led Amity with 33 assists, six kills, 13 of 14 serving and an ace. Julia Bedini added four kills and was 11-for-11 serving.