WESTPORT — There was no containing Amelia Brackett’s excitement late Monday afternoon. The senior outside hitter was all smiles after the Wreckers defeated Fairfield Warde 3-0 (25-16, 25-11, 26-24) to improve to 5-0 on the girls’ volleyball season.
“I think we’re doing really well,” Brackett said. “We’re undefeated so I think that’s really awesome.”
Brackett’s play was a big for Staples’ success on the court Monday against a resilient Mustang squad. Brackett accumulated 10 service points and 10 kills, and anytime Staples needed a boost, she was the one to provide it.
“Amelia’s pretty good,” Staples head coach Jon Shepro said. “I’d say whenever she gets going, she obviously needs the support of the team but when she gets going, she’ one of the best players in the state for sure.”
It was an all-around effort from a balanced Staples squad as they easily took the first set and never trailed. Strong net play was from junior Elizabeth Knoll and Lauren Mushro who finished with 13 kills. Ariana Sherman chipped in with 21 assists.
The Mustangs (4-2) regrouped in Game two and took a 6-5 lead. But a Brackett spike and then the senior co-captain rattled off an impressive series from behind the service line, dominating and helped give the Wreckers an imposing 20-6 edge.
“Yeah, I mean I’ve worked really hard in practice so I guess it pays off,” Brackett said with a smile.
The senior co-captain, who plays year-round, including for TCA Connecticut, never faltered under the pressure and proved the game-winning serve in a come-from behind third set to seal the victory.
“She’s playing with so much more confidence,” Shepro said. “She’s really attacking every ball. We haven’t seen her serving that good all season long. I told the girls on the bench it looked like a practice (her serving).”
For Warde, who was playing without starting hitter Clare Burns, it was a battle of adjusting to a slightly new lineup and never quite adjusting to Brackett’s hitting.
“Amelia is a fantastic player but we just weren’t adjusting to what she was putting over the net,” head coach Matt Narwold said. “She hit the same spot several times and she picked on it because we weren’t adjusting.”
Warde made a valiant effort in the third set, leading for most of the game, including a 22-17 lead. But Staples fought back, pushing the score to 22-21. The Mustangs responded with another mini run highlighted by a Kenzie Burns kill and Warde led 24-21. But as most of the afternoon had gone, Staples withstood and calmly answered with five straight points to collect the win.
“It was nice to see us not cowering from the opportunities to get a kill,” Shepro said.
Warde was paced by Burns’ five points, four kills and three blocks. Senior Kaitlin McKenna provided excellent net play, including some big game three points. She finished with 12 service points, seven kills and one block.
Staples will get another big test on Wednesday as they face Greenwich.