WOODBRIDGE >> Micaela Cardozo and her Amity teammates wanted to set the tone of the Class LL quarterfinal match against Trumbull early.
Behind the play of Cardozo and Kathleen Walsh, Amity did exactly what it set out to do, defeating the Eagles, 3-0 (25-15, 25-23 and 25-21) to advance to the Class LL semifinals Thursday evening against the Cheshire-Southington winner at a site and time to be determined.
“That was really important to us,” Cardozo said of the quick start after finishing with 11 service points, 8 kills and 5 digs. “We knew we had to keep pushing. They are a good team and we knew they were not going to give up.”
The fourth-seeded Spartans (21-4) wasted no time taking the momentum in the match as they jumped out to leads of 9-1 and 16-3 to control the opening game. A pair of aces by Haley Pierson, along with a kill by Brianna Mirmina, gave the Spartans a 6-1 advantage, before kills by Walsh and Julia Bedini increased the margin to 11-1.
Two kills by Walsh put the Spartans in front 17-3 and another by Bedini increased the margin to 21-9. Trumbull’s Amelia Hampford tried to get her team back in the game with three kills and a block, but kills by Cardozo and Walsh closed out the opening game for Amity.
“They are very quick and very athletic,” Trumbull coach Tamara Deberry said. “They had the momentum on their side the entire time. They did not relinquish it. They had a tight grip on the momentum and never relinquished it.”
The Eagles (15-8) battled in the next two games, with the two teams drawing even seven different times in the second game. Walsh evened the game at 10 for the Spartans with a kill, and a block by Alyssa Breunig coupled with an ace by Lea Thompson evened the game at 17 for Trumbull.
A kill by Walsh gave the Spartans a 23-19 advantage, before Trumbull got within 24-22 on a kill by Sophia Picarazzi. An ace by Trumbull’s Sydney Adams pulled the Eagles within one at 24-23, but Mirmina’s kill closed out the second game for the Spartans.
“They are a really good team,” Amity coach Seth Davis said of Trumbull. “They play in the FCIAC. They know how to play. They play tough teams in that conference. The girls came to play today. They were fired up.”
The Eagles continued to battle in the third and final game, but again watched as the Spartans pulled away late. In a game which was tied ten different times, Trumbull never could extend its lead.
A pair of kills by Hampford put Trumbull on top 6-4, but a kill by Amity’s Katriana Helfenbein and two aces by Cassidy Kirby gave the Spartans a 9-7 advantage.
The Spartans took the lead for good after a kill by Cardozo drew the teams even at 20. Another kill by Walsh and an ace by Mirmina extended the margin to two points, before Bedini gave Amity a 23-17 advantage with another kill.
No. 12 Trumbull went on a 4-1 run to get within 24-21, but the Eagles did not have enough to come back and pull off the upset.
“We played really well,” Davis said. “It was a little bit of everybody. We did not rely on one person to move the ball around.”
Walsh led the offense for Amity with 12 kills, Bedini added 5 kills and Pierson ran the offense with 23 assists and 9 service points. Jenna Pisano led the defense for Amity with 10 digs, while Mirmina added 7 digs and Kirby had 5 digs.
Hampford led the Trumbull offense with 10 kills and 10 service points, while Adams ran the offense with 19 assists. Kristen Peterson added 16 digs on defense and Adams had 6 digs in the loss for the Eagles.