5 STORYLINES TO WATCH
Can Trumbull build off momentum?
Trumbull is coming off its first FCIAC championship, defeating top-seed Westhill Saturday. The Eagles (18-3), seeded fourth in Class LL, have never made a CIAC volleyball final before. The road to this year’s final would be a difficult one for Trumbull, with potential matchups against South-West Conference finalist Newtown in the quarterfinals and CCC regular-season champion and top-seeded Southington in the semifinals. Trumbull has won 12 straight since being swept by Westhill on October 5.
Can RHAM return to state final?
When you’re talking about a program which has been there in 10 of the past 11 tournaments, the answer is probably yes. RHAM, which has won seven titles, last missed the state final in 2012. RHAM’s two losses this season came to then-No. 1 Southington 3-0 on Sept. 17 and to No. Woodstock Academy 3-1 on Oct. 26. RHAM responded to that loss with four straight wins in the CCC tournament, including 3-0 over Farmington to win its 3rd straight conference title and fourth in the past five years. RHAM could face NVL champion Kennedy in the quarterfinal, then SWC champ Barlow in the semifinals. A trip back to the title game could lead to a rematch with Woodstock Academy, the top seed in L.
How will regular season champs react to tourney losses?
Southington, Seymour and Westhill are all coming off losses in their respective conference tournaments as top seeds.
CCC champion Southington, the No. 1 seed in LL, was stunned in the CCC quarterfinals by Farmington 3-2. Farmington had lost to Southington 3-2 earlier in the season. Southington had won 19 straight. Southington will be seeking its second state title, the first coming in 2009.
NVL champion Seymour saw a 2-0 lead over Kennedy evaporate on the Eagles home floor. Seymour, which had won 20 straight, is the top seed in Class M. The Wildcats won their only state title in 2016.
FCIAC champion Westhill, which made a habit of advancing to state tournament championship games in the , with six appearances from 1974-82, has not made a state final since 1986 (the last year the Vikings won an FCIAC title). The Vikings were swept by Trumbull in the FCIAC final. Westhill has a tough road to the Class LL final as the No. 3 seed. Potential foes standing in the way include, FCIAC rival Fairfield Ludlowe, which defeated the Vikings 3-1 on Oct. 17, in the LL quarterfinals. SCC champion Cheshire is the No. 2 seed and could face Westhill in the semifinals.
SCC tournament rewind?
Amity must have done a double-take when the Class LL bracket was released. The Spartans, seeded 10th, could face No. 7 Shelton in the Class LL second round. The Spartans topped the Gaelettes in the SCC semifinals last week.
A win over Shelton could set up another showdown with Cheshire for Amity. Cheshire overcame a 2-0 deficit to defeat Amity Saturday for the SCC title. Amity and Cheshire have combined for 17 state titles in volleyball.
The two faced off once in a Class L final, with Cheshire defeating Amity 3-2 in 1997.
NCCC rivals on collision course in Class S?
Coventry has won 11 state titles since 2003, including 3-1 over Lyman Memorial last season. But the Patriots have a new rival in Class S in new NCCC rival SMSA.
SMSA defeated Coventry twice this season, 3-1 in the regular season on Oct. 3 and 3-1 in the NCCC final this past weekend. The two could meet in the Class S semifinals. Coventry is the No. 4 seed, SMSA the No. 1 seed.
SMSA’s only loss this season came to Shoreline regular season champ Coginchaug 3-1 on Oct. 24. Coginchaug is the No. 2 seed in Class S, so a rematch could await in the final.