Amity and Cheshire, the reigning Southern Connecticut Conference co-champions, did battle on Monday with the Rams coming away with a 3-1 victor.
However, at the midpoint of the year, Shelton, Guilford and Foran are eager to prove the SCC is more than just a two-team conference.Shelton (6-2) put the league on notice on Sept. 23 when it swept Amity 3-0 in Woodbridge. Gaelettes coach LeAnne Bianchine said Shelton served and hit well in the win.
“We were just able to find the holes and down the line and a little bit in the middle,” she said.
Shelton got swept at home by Cheshire and Bianchine calls the Rams the total package, especially libero Maria Buzzelli.
“She reads the hitters very well,” Bianchine said. “She’s really impressive as a libero.”
Bianchine also had praise for her own players. Francesca Testani, Nicole Beard and Brooke Grand have paced Shelton to its hot start as Bianchine makes clear the Gaelettes are more than just Testani.
Foran coach Julie Johnson said the same situation applies to her All-Area selection, Fallon Bevino, and the rest of the Lions. Johnson said her team has limitless potential to make noise in the conference, but the supporting cast must stay consistent.
“It’s nice to have one player, but to win we need our whole team to play well,” Johnson said.
Foran is 6-3 after winning four of its last five games, thanks in part by a supporting cast which includes Abigail Amann and Janae Owen.
The Lions got swept by Cheshire on Sept. 26, but did take 7-1 Mercy to five games a week earlier. Johnson said as long as her team learns from those losses, they can do great things in the second half of the season.
“A loss is only good if we use that loss for the next time we play,” Johnson said.
Guilford coach Rachel Martinich has said the same to her team. She said her team has been led by Sam Grinold, Presley Altieri, Katherine Triebel and Heather Wirth, a group which was inspired after a 3-1 loss to Amity on Sept. 25.
“They want to beat teams like Amity, like Mercy, like Cheshire,” Martinich said. “I have eight seniors on my team and they are so motivated.”
The Indians started fast at 4-1, but have lost three of their last four. In the loss to Amity, the Spartans’ lack of consistent hitting ironically worked in their favor, according to Martinich. She said when the two play again on Oct. 15, the Indians will be ready.
“They beat us because all they did was tip,” Martinich said. “They didn’t swing at the ball and we were expecting them to come out and swing the heck out of the ball. Now we know their game. We know what to expect.”