After holding off a Cheshire rally in a 3-2 victory, Amity further clouded the Southern Connecticut Conference picture this season.
Despite losing players like Sarah Rodgers, Jill Haberli and the core of its succesful teams, Cheshire looked poise to at least win the conference again.
Not so fast.
Mercy picked up a 3-1 victory over Cheshire early in the season, but got swept by the Rams later on. Just five days after Cheshire got revenge on Mercy, it lost to Amity. Cheshire had defeated Amity earlier this season.
So who is the conference’s best team?
• Record: 10-2
• Big wins: Amity (3-1), Mercy (3-0)
• Tough losses: Mercy (1-3), Amity (2-3)
• Current streak: Lost one
• The skinny: When Cheshire is hitting the ball, like most teams, the Rams are hard to beat. In the loss to Amity, far too often the Rams were apprehensive, giving Amity a chance to open up a big lead in the fifth game of the match. Still, Cheshire ran off nine straight wins with seven sweeps. The Rams won’t get another crack at the Spartans unless they see each other during the conference or state tournaments. Cheshire takes on a tough Shelton team Monday.
• The verdict: Cheshire is still Cheshire. The fact that it could take Amity’s best shot and still put itself in a position to win just shows that if this team is aggressive they’re more than likely still the best team in the conference. But the gap has closed considerably.
• Record: 11-1
• Big wins: Amity (3-2), Hand (3-0)
• Tough loss: Amity (1-3)
• Current streak: Won nine
• The skinny: Amity has hit its stride and is not looking back. Micaela Cardozo and Katie Helfenbien have led a Spartans group that has picked up five sweeps during its winning streak. The Spartans will take on Shelton and a Sheehan team that also pushed it to the limit.
• The verdict: Amity has proven it can win the tough ones in a tough environment. The Spartans can take the SCC, but it will take another perfect performance to do it.
• Record: 8-6
• Big win: Cheshire (3-1)
• Tough losses: Hand (0-3), Cheshire (0-3), Sacred Heart Academy (1-3)
• Current streak: Lost four
• The skinny: The Tigers are headed in reverse as of late. What started as a 4-1 season with a big win over Cheshire has slipped into a four-game slide as Mercy looks to stay above .500. The road doesn’t get any easier with Abby Atkinson and Branford on the schedule Friday.
• The verdict: Despite the losing streak, a win over Branford and the Tigers have momentum on their side again. Mercy may not be good enough yet to win the conference, but the Tigers are not out of it.
• Record: 13-1
• Big win: Hand (3-1)
• Tough loss: Cheshire (1-3)
• Current streak: Won four
• The skinny: The Indians have faced the toughest teams thus far, but Guilford has won the games it should. Guilford has also won those games going away, with 12 out of its 13 wins coming via sweep. Cheshire tripped the Indians up in a early-season setback. Guilford will host the Rams on Oct. 23 with a chance to get some revenge and head into the postseason with a ton of momentum.
• The verdict: Guilford is just as good as its record, despite not facing top teams each night. Meredith Shank and Heather Wirth are All-Area candidates. The Indians will be a major player come tournament time.
• Record: 10-4
• Big win: Mercy (3-1)
• Tough loss: East Haven (1-3)
• Current streak: Won one
• The skinny: Despite not playing in the toughest division in the conference, the Hornets did beat Mercy on the road and Branford has picked up four sweeps this season. The only team to sweep Branford is Cheshire, as the Hornets got blanked by the Rams twice. Mercy remains on the schedule as the two will battle for a second time on Friday.
• The verdict: If Branford defeats Mercy on Friday and can win out to close the season, the Hornets should not be taken lightly when the conference tournament rolls around.
• Record: 8-5
• Big wins: Mercy (3-1), (3-0)
• Tough loss: Amity (0-3)
• Current streak: Won one
• The skinny: Hand has set itself up for a nice state tournament run. Although the Tigers have dropped five matches, three of those were 3-2 finals. The Tigers picked up two big wins over Mercy and split the season series with East Haven and Foran, two solid SCC teams.
• The verdict: Hand is in the same boat as Branford and could potentially take out some of the juggernauts of the SCC come tournament time.