There hasn’t been too much for the Ansonia girls basketball team to celebrate in recent years. The Chargers had won just two games the previous two seasons, but Ansonia equaled that mark on Friday night after a 45-28 victory over Wilby in Waterbury.
The victory was meaningful for another reason. The win snapped the Chargers’ 66-game NVL losing streak. The last time Ansonia won a league game was in 2013, a year in which the Chargers advanced to the Class M state quarterfinals. Tierney Lawlor, now playing at UConn, was a senior on the squad.
Senior Kristina Fiallos scored 18 points in the victory over Wilby, while sophomore Liz Wilson had 10 rebounds and freshman Natasha Rivera chipped in with eight points, 12 rebounds and four steals.
“It was nice to get sort of the monkey off our backs,” Ansonia coach Vince DellaVolpe said.
The Chargers are 2-10 this season and 4-48 during DellaVolpe’s tenure, so the victory last week was especially rewarding.
“It’s not been easy,” DellaVolpe said. “It’s been a difficult run, but we’ve been fortunate to have girls stick around and stick with the program.”
Fiallos and fellow senior Deijah Collands are four-year players. Ansonia has just 10 players on its roster, four of whom are returning starters.
“They’ve gotten steadily better every year,” DellaVolpe said. “They’ve improved but, with the numbers being so low, we just don’t have that veteran leadership on a yearly basis.”
It’s been challenging to get girls to participate in basketball, for a number of reasons, DellaVolpe said.
“Girls don’t want to take the time to be apart of something that is not going well,” DellaVolpe said. “And youth cheerleading is very popular in Ansonia, so getting girls out has not been an easy task.”
With several underclassmen, including Rivera, Wilson and sophomore Larissa Rodriguez seeing significant playing time, DellaVolpe is cautiously optimistic about the future.
“I think in the coming years we’re going to be a tournament team,” DellaVolpe said. “That’s the goal moving forward. Hopefully we will be better, especially with a lot of the younger players getting varsity minutes now.”