MIDDLETOWN >> Almost, but not quite.
Middletown High’s girls volleyball team extended Conard (West Hartford) to five games, but came up short in the finale, 15-8, as Conard kept its tournament hopes alive.
The Chieftain’s are 7-10 and must win their final game to qualify for the postseason. The Blue Dragonbs fell to 3-14 and finishes its season today at Bulkeley in Hartford.
“We got bit by the mistake bug,” said Middletown coach Kelvin Jones. “We played well, but we make mistakes at the wrong time. I thought the kids were so overwhelmed by the Senior Night festivities, that they came out flat. But they picked it up.”
Conard won the first game, jumping out to a quick 7-1 lead. Middletown closed to with three points at 15-12, then made it close at the end at 24-20 before losing 25-20.
The Blue Dragons rebounded in the second game to win 25-17, but lost game three, 25-17. The turning point in that game came midway through when Abigail Tryon served two aces as the Chieftains came from behind to grab the lead at 14-13.
Conard closed the game with an 11-4 run.
Middletown won game four, 25-21, as Jessie Trageser served while MHS went from a 20-20 tie to a 24-20 lead.
Conard took command in the final game from the beginning, jumping out to a quick 8-4 lead and was never threatened.
“We played well enough to win,” said Conard coach Kerry Roller. “We needed to win it.”
Conard was led by Shelley Rodgers with 10 kills and 10 digs.
Middletown was led by Trageser, who had 35 assists and four aces. Tamyia King, who had 20 digs, and Brielle Coleman, who had seven blocks and eight kills.
“I was proud of my team,” said Jones. “They kept fighting. We went five games with Conard when we played them there. We just couldn’t win the fifth game.”