AVON >> Last Friday, the Avon High girls volleyball team gave up just 28 points in a dominating 3-0 decision over Suffield in the quarterfinals of the NCCC Tournament, 25-9, 25-10, 25-9.
“It was the best match we’ve played all year,” long-time Avon High coach Curt Burns said. “You want to be playing your best volleyball at this time of year. Our goal was to be playing out best volleyball in November.”
Granby eliminated Avon in the semifinals of the NCCC Tournament but the No. 17 Falcons rebounded with a 3-1 win over Pomperaug in the first round of the Class L tournament on Monday.
After scoring just 13 points in a 25-13 loss in the first game, Avon (15-8) picked up steam with three straight victories (25-14, 25-19, 25-14).
Junior outside hitter Caitlin Cunningham had seven kills, two aces and 10 digs to lead Avon over Pomperaug. Sophomore Abby Laszewski had a team-leading 12 kills while senior Caroline Rendeiro had a team-high four blocks.
The win earned Avon a date with top-ranked Farmington in the Class L quarterfinals on Thursday night. Farmington (21-1) swept the Falcons in three games a little over a week ago, 25-8, 25-20 and 25-22 but Burns said his team is up for the challenge.
Avon went 13-6 this season and finished third in the NCCC with a 12-4 record. Once again, Coventry (16-3, 15-1 NCCC) won the league championship with Granby coming in second (16-4, 14-2).
“We’ve improved our overall game (throughout the season),” Burns said. “The setters are connecting with the hitters and we’re hitting some good velocity. That comes with timing. Our serve receive has improved.”
Laszewsi is the team’s leading hitter with 200 kills and 44 blocks. Junior Sammy Maniatty has 103 kills and 43 aces serving the ball. Rendeiro has 85 kills and a team-leading 57 blocks. Senior Madison Mains also has 44 blocks.
Defensively, Cunningham has a team-high 183 digs while Nicole Rubenstein has dug up 171 potential hits.
Avon hosted the NCCC Tournament last weekend and the Falcons and Granby played in the older gym in the semifinals. No. 1 seed Coventry beat Ellington in the other semifinal in the main gym.
The challenge of plsying in the older gym is the lower ceiling. The Falcons had trouble controlling their digs of Granby hits, putting several passes into the ceiling. Avon played tough but was still swept, 25-18, 25-20 and 25-21. Laszewski had seven kills and nine digs in the loss for the Falcons.
In the tournament championship match, Coventry dispatched Granby, 25-11, 25-18, 25-22
2013 NCCC Tournament
Avon 3, Suffield 0 (25-9, 25-10, 25-9)
Ellington 3, SMSA 1 (25-23, 25-23, 23-25, 25-23)
Coventry 3, Ellington 0 (25-22, 25-13, 25-11)
Granby 3, Avon 0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-21)
Coventry 3, Granby 0 (25-11, 25-18, 25-22)