Amity celebrates after scoring the winning point in game five of a 3-2 victory over rival Cheshire. This was the first time Amity defeated Cheshire since 2012 and Amity’s ninth straight win.
CHESHIRE >> Amity coach Seth Davis had seen this story play out before. Amity jumps out to a 2-0 lead over rival Cheshire. Cheshire settles down, comes back and wins. It happened to his Spartans last year in the state tournament semifinal. So when Cheshire erased Amity’s 2-0 lead Monday, the coach did the best job he could to keep his team from thinking about it.
It didn’t hurt that he had already forgotten all about it.
“To be honest, I didn’t even realize (we lost in a similar fashion last year) until you said,” he said, with a laugh. “I was more worried about keeping them honest and keeping them playing hard.”
Amity kept playing hard despite losing its early lead and knocked off rival Cheshire 3-2 (25-19, 25-21, 14-25, 14-25, 15-10). It is the first time the Spartans have defeated the Rams since 2012.
“This feels absolutely amazing,” said Micaela Cardoza, who starred in the fifth game. “It’s the best feeling in the world. I’m speechless.”
Amity improved to 11-1 and has won nine in a row. Although Davis is proud of his team, he is reluctant to call the Spartans the SCC’s best so early.
“It’s still a regular-season game,” the coach said. “We can do well the rest of the year and if we don’t make it anywhere in the tournament or states, it’s still just a regular season win.”
Cheshire fell to 10-2 following its first loss since a 3-1 defeat to Mercy in the second game of the season. Coach Sue Bavone implored her team most of the match to hit the ball. She said it is something they have to improve.
“We were totally not aggressive tonight,” Bavone said. “We were not as aggressive as we should be. Certain people were, I thought Molly Michaud played outstanding tonight.”
Michaud finished with 10 kills, Marli Green also had 10 kills with four aces and four blocks and Ela Ascheri had 24 assists and seven digs.
For Amity, Cardoza had four kills, seven assists and seven digs, Kathleen Walsh had 10 digs and three kills, Jaiden Williams had 34 assists and Katie Helfenbein had four kills, seven assists and two blocks.
Cardoza, Walsh, Williams, Helfenbein and the Spartans were clicking early. Amity trailed briefly in game one, 5-2, then opened up a 20-15 lead later in the game to take the early advantage.
The Spartans did the same in game two. After it trailed briefly 21-19, Amity rallied behind Helfenbein to take the commanding 2-0 lead. Bavone made some adjustments after seeing her team drop two straight.
“We put in some junior varsity kids who did a nice job,” the coach said. “It was really our seniors, our captains. They need to step up.”
The adjustments worked, as Cheshire dominated the next two games. The Rams opened up the first double-digit lead of the match, taking a 17-7 lead in game three to cruise to victory. Cheshire led by 12 in game four before winning.
Amity talked things over in the game break before game five.
“It came down to passing for us,” Helfenbein said. “We said our number one thing was passing.”
Passing, killing and serving worked to perfection as Amity jumped out to a 9-2 lead and held on to knock of its rival, finally.