WATERBURY >> Seymour’s been on a mission ever since falling in the first round of last season’s Class S girls’ volleyball tournament. The Wildcats ran roughshod through the Naugatuck Valley League going 19-1 and on Thursday in the league tournament final, the Wildcats showed just how dominant they can be.
Setter Myranda Williams had 28 assists and six digs and was named Most Valuable Player as top-seeded Seymour defeated second-seeded Woodland 3-0 (25-14. 25-19, 25-20) to capture the school’s first conference championship since a five-set victory over Holy Cross in 2012.
“At the end of last year we said that it was going to take work in the offseason,” Seymour coach Cathy Federowicz said. “Almost everyone on the floor did something in the offseason.”
The coach was also happy for Williams, who put in a lot of work to get better.
“She said to me two years ago, ‘I’m going to be the setter,’” Federowicz said. “I said, ‘You’re too slow, you don’t have great hands and she worked her tail off. When you look at what hard does, every single one of them. They put in the time and it’s paying off.”
The Wildcats stopped the Hawks from repeating as NVL champions. Woodland defeated Torrington in last season’s final.
“When the season started out we only had two returning players that had experience at this speed,” he said. “To begin there and get all the way to this point, I think it’s a heck of an accomplishment.”
Woodland went 16-4 in the regular season and lost to Seymour 3-1 in their only regular-season meeting. In Thursday’s loss, Woodland was led by Cameron Caswell’s 26 digs and Jenna Boncal’s 11 digs.
Seymour got 12 kills from Jill Murphy, 18 digs from Gosia Fryc and 19 kills and two blocks from Jessica Litwa.
“We all came together and we fought,” Williams said. “It was all about confidence and in the end, we pulled through.”
Seymour took the first game behind strong play from its hitters. The Hawks did their best to control play at the net, but the Wildcats managed to find holes in the Hawks’ defense en route to the 1-0 advantage.
Woodland battled Seymour tighter in the second game, as the Wildcats held a 12-10 lead. However, a late-game surge pushed Seymour up 21-15 en route to the victory.
In the third game the Hawks got even closer and trailed 17-16, prompting a Seymour timeout.
“I told them that Woodland wasn’t going to back down,” Federowicz said. “If we gave them an opportunity to get back in the match, they were going to take it. We had to shut them out right then and there.”
The Wildcats did just that, and picked up a 25-20 triumph in the last game. The players stormed the court and celebrated as the NVL championship trophy was being wheeled onto the court. For Williams, the moment was unreal.
“This is amazing,” she said. “It’s awesome.”
Seymour 3, Woodland 0
Game scores: 25-14, 25-19, 25-20)
Notes: Seymour: Myranda Williams had 28 assists and six digs and was named NVL Tournament MVP.
Jes Litwa had 10 kills and two blocks, Shari Minagla had 18 digs, Jill Murphy had 12 kills and Gosia Fryc added 12 digs.