With the season at the midpoint, here’s a breakdown of the top 5 newsmakers of the first half of the season.
No. 5: First timers
Canton won its first game in program history with a 3-0 sweep of Gilbert on Sept. 10. Canton picked up win No. 2 with a sweep of Enfield on Sept. 16.
No. 4: New year, new coach
Despite taking over in the second week of the preseason, new Lyman Hall coach Karolina Wytrykowska guided the Trojans to a 4-1 start after a 3-0 triumph over Hillhouse on Sept. 20. The coach said the transition was hectic, but has been fun.
“It was difficult, but we’re making it work,” said Wytrykowska, formerly an assistant at the University of Hartford.
Former coach Tim Gaiser left the school to take a job at Mitchell College. Senior Lauren Manginelli said it happened the day before preseason started. The senior said he called every player personally to notify them he was stepping down.
“I was pretty shocked,” Manginelli said. “But I was thankful we got Karolina. She’s a really good coach and she’s really going to push us.”
The Trojans currently stand at 5-4.
No. 3: Gaelette Nation
Shelton shocked the SCC, and the state, with a tough 3-0 sweep of Amity on Sept. 23. Nicole Beard had 15 assists and 11 digs, Emily Rogalin had 18 digs and 11 kills and Nika Marczak had five kills and five blocks in the triumph for the Gaelettes.
No. 2: Your 2012 SCC champs are...
In a rematch of the 2012 SCC championship game which was canceled due to weather, Cheshire overcame a late Spartans rally to wrap up a 3-1 win over Amity on Monday.
Cheshire improved to 9-0 while dropping Amity to 7-2 overall and 2-2 in the Housatonic Division. The Rams were led by Laura Heynen with 12 kills and four assists, Jillian Haberli with 17 kills and three digs, Sarah Rodgers with 41 assists and Maria Buzzelli with 21 digs. Kathryn Pisano’s 23 assists and Allison Denny’s 11 kills led the Spartans.
No. 1: No. 500
On Friday night, coach Paul Thees picked up career win No. 500 as Nina Luciani went 13-for-13 serving with three aces and Amanda Vecchio added five kills in Amity’s 3-0 (25-15, 25-22, 25-20) triumph over Lyman Hall in Wallingford.
Thees is now 500-152 in 31 seasons at North Branford, Trumbull and Amity. After the game, his players surprised him by decorating the team bus.
“They had a big splash on the bus of food items waiting, decorations and even (the Register) photographer was sitting on the bus snapping away pictures like crazy,” he said. “It was special.”
- Nina Luciani, Amity: Luciani went 13-for-13 serving with three aces to lead Amity over Lyman Hall and give coach Paul Thees career win No. 500 .
- Meghan Gavin, Sheehan: Gavin had 30 assists and three aces against Shelton on Friday.
- Maria Buzzelli, Cheshire: Buzzelli had 21 digs in a win over Amity Monday.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Shelton at Cheshire, Wednesday, 6:30 p.m
The skinny: The Gaelettes swept SCC co-champion Amity, but lost to the other co-champion, Cheshire. The Rams will be looking to keep their strong season going as the capable Gaelettes look to avenge an early-season loss.