HIGGANUM >> Just two years removed from a magical Shoreline Conference and state championship season, the Haddam-Killingworth girls volleyball team is enjoying another terrific campaign this fall.
The Cougars won their 11th straight contest, dismantling longtime rival Morgan 25-15, 25-10 and 25-17 on Wednesday night at the H-K Fieldhouse.
H-K’s 11-0 start has included an earlier win over the Huskies, a non-league win against East Haven, and a victory over defending Shoreline champion Hale Ray last Friday night in Moodus.
“I knew we were going to be talented,” Haddam-Killingworth coach Robin Callender said. “But I also knew that we were going to be a very young team so I wasn’t sure how that combination would work out against some of the other teams.”
There are only three seniors (Sarah Porter, Riley Mroczka, and Jacyn Hamilton) on the Cougars’ roster.
“It’s crazy thinking that now it’s my senior year and we’re doing so well,” Porter said. “This team is just blending and working together.”
Porter had 15 service points, including seven aces, and also added five kills in Wednesday’s sweep against the Huskies. Mroczka, who is coming off an injury, chipped in with three digs.
Porter’s younger sister, dynamic junior setter Kate Porter, collected 11 assists, eight service points and five kills, while junior Sam Mohammed also gave H-K a scoring boost with five kills.
“We lost six seniors last year so we all worked over the summer as hard as we could,” Kate Porter said. “I knew that we would just have to work together to get to where we are now and that’s pretty much what we did.”
Callender is in her second season after replacing Hall of Fame coach Rich Langer, whose Cougars won the state title in Langer’s final season. A year ago, H-K lost to Ellington in the Class M quarterfinals.
“These girls work hard,” said Callender, who spent five seasons as Langer’s assistant. “They want to just play volleyball and play their game. Each time they play together they build up their confidence and it’s showing on the court. It’s a team effort.”
Morgan first-year coach Paige Trusty also replaced a Hall of Famer. And the Huskies first season without longtime mentor Joe Grippo hasn’t gone as planned thus far.
The Huskies, who have dropped five straight, fell to 4-8.
“There have been a lot of injuries,” Trusty said.
The Huskies have been without junior middle hitter Madison Seeger (concussion) for almost two weeks now.
Morgan was hampered further against H-K when senior setter Alyssa Robinson suffered an ankle injury early in game one and never returned.
“It was tough tonight,” Trusty said. “When Alyssa went out we weren’t used to the rotation and that kind of really messed with us mentally. We just couldn’t put the plays together. Hopefully, we can get everyone healthy and get ready to play the rest of the Shoreline games.”
Haddam-Killingworth will be aiming for its 12th straight victory Friday at Cromwell.
“There’s a lot of talent on this team,” Sarah Porter said. “I’m so happy this is how it’s going.”