MIDDLETOWN >> This has been one of those strange seasons for the Xavier volleyball team. The Falcons play great one night and not so great the next.
Thursday night was a one of those great nights as the Falcons dispatched Norwich Free Academy 3-0 (25-15. 25-13 and 25-16) at the Art Kohs Gymnasium to climb two games over .500 at 8-6.
“This has been a tough season,” Xavier coach John Post said. “It’s been up and down. But now we have put together two very good games in a row. We played very well in beating a good Oxford team Wednesday, and NFA beat Hand who beat us, so we needed to be focused. I’m very happy.”
Xavier wasn’t challenged this night. The Falcons never trailed in the first set as they broke from a 1-1 tie and steadily pulled away. The Falcons clinched the win with a 5-0 run that turned an 18-10 lead to a 23-10 margin.
In the second set, Xavier broke from a 4-4 tie to lead throughout. NFA closed to 16-12, but the Falcons closed the game with a 9-1 run, a stretch highlighted by two aces from Tucker Aglio.
“Aglio is our libero whose job it is to pass and play defense,” said Post. “He’s gotten better every day and he had a very impressive performance tonight.”
Aglio led everybody with eight aces and 13 digs.
The third set was like the first two as the Falcons led throughout. NFA made a brief flurry cutting an 8-3 deficit to 8-6 on three aces in a row by Ray Wang, who finished with four aces and 15 kills.
Xavier finished the night in style, scoring the match’s final point on an ace by Dale Zhou.
“My team played like they were tired,” NFA coach Ryan Czaja said. “We’ve played three days in a row and we were not in the game either mentally and physically. We’ve had better games; it’s unfortunate.”
Post said that his team got good games from Sean Monaghan and Armando DeChalus.
“Armando spread the ball around,” said Post. “He quarterbacks our offense and did a very good job. Monaghan also played very well defensively.”
Post said that Kian McCormack, in his first year at the varsity level, stepped up. “He held his own tonight and helped us.”
DeChalus finished with 33 assists and Monaghan had eight kills.
NFA’s Alex Jacobik had three kills and Cam Edmond had 20 assists to lead the Wildcats, who fell to 2-10.
Xavier is at Cheshire Monday.