FARMINGTON>> The Newington boys volleyball team cruised to the CCC championship with a straight set victory (25-10, 25-17, 25-20) over Farmington at Farmington High School on Saturday.
Both the semifinals and finals were played on Saturday, possibly benefiting Newington in the end.
The No. 1 seed quickly eliminated Southington in the first semi-final in straight sets and then rested while it took Farmington five sets to advance past No. 2 East Hartford.
“We’re the No. 1 seed, so we probably got the most favorable draw,” Newington coach Curt Burns said. “Play early and then rest and Farmington had to go five to get to the finals and might have been a little tired. But that’s the advantage of being the one seed, you get the better draw.”
Senior setter Riley McManus led the equal opportunity offense in the finals, handing out 30 assists and adding six digs in the win.
“It feels good,” McManus said of the conference title. “A lot of competitive teams that we were proud to be able to compete against.”
The fatigue was evident on the Farmington side.
The host team came out sluggish in the first set committing nine errors and recording just four kills.
“It played on them a little bit for the championship,” Farmington coach Juliette Givens said after her team played five sets with East Hartford. “But I’m proud of them.”
Farmington picked it up in the second set as Newington made a few uncharacteristic errors, but still couldn’t pull away.
Six straight points late in the set gave Newington a 22-15 lead and eventually a two set lead.
The second set was the last time Newington trailed.
Six different Newington players recorded kills in the final set as the top seed in next week’s Class M state tournament won the inaugural conference tournament.
“Being able to compete with teams like that,” McManus said. “It really builds a lot of confidence for the postseason.”
“We’re proud that we won it,” Burns said. “It’s a great feat. It’s really something these guys can be proud of, but our long term goal from day one has always been to get back to the Class M final and win that.”
John Cloutier led the Newington attack with a .615 hitting percentage while contributing eight kills. Jordan Aprea chipped in on offense and defense with 11 kills and seven digs for the victors. Connor Ericson and Bret Sullivan recorded eight and nine digs respectively.
Mark Steele had six kills and 10 digs for Farmington and John Dunphy handed out 23 assists.
These two teams could meet again in the second round of the Class M tournament next week if No. 8 Farmington can beat No. 9 Fermi. Newington is the No. 1 seed.
First semi-final: No. 1 Newington def. No. 4 Southington, 25-19, 25-14, 25-21.
Second semi-final: No. 3 Farmington def. No. 2 East Hartford: 20-25, 24-26, 25-16, 25-17, 15-12.