TORRINGTON >> Wolcott Tech girls volleyball put the lie to a mediocre season record in a 3-0 (25-22, 25-13, 25-20) sweep of Kaynor Tech Friday evening at Wolcott Tech High School.
“They have skills when they all play together,” said Coach Ray Tanguay before the game, discussing the team’s 3-10 mark to that point.
Friday, against the Panthers (6-9), Wolcott Tech played together, running on all cylinders on offense and defense.
“This is our best win,” said junior Libero Morgan Rubino (10 digs), fielding all the hard shots the Panthers could throw at the middle of the Wildcat court.
“We communicated; we all worked together,” said Sierra Banks, a force at the net all night (4 blocks, 4 kills).
In a game known for the huge effects of momentum, the Wildcats kept coming through ups and downs.
“We’re trying to work on creating a mindset,” said Coach Tanguay. “Our slogan was, ‘Tonight is our night.’”
Just as important, the coaches and players reminded each other not to over-think.
“If we don’t think too much about it, nothing bothers us,” said Alison Benson (17 kills), finding holes in the Panther defense for shot after shot, visibly growing her confidence.
“Just be loose and do what we do,” said Rubino, whose own confidence growth produced a devastating jump serve (5 aces) by the end of the match.
It didn’t start out that way.
The Panthers held the edge in Game One most of the way through a 19-15 lead in which Emily Medina (3 aces, 1 dig, 2 kills), Sarah Wisniewski (2 aces, 3 digs, 1 kill, 1 block) and Roza Pine (6 aces, 4 digs, 2 assists) led the way past ties at 7, 11, 13, 14 and 15.
Wolcott Tech’s Benson ended the run with a kill; setter Katie Benedict (30 assists, 3 aces, 6 digs) served a pair of aces.
At 20-18, Panthers, Wildcat Clarissa Rice boomed a kill, then served the game’s last six points, including an ace, back-to-back Benson kills and a final kill from
Wildcat freshman Amerie Massago for a 25-20 win.
The Wildcats hit their stride earlier in Game Two, overcoming an early 3-2 Kaynor lead, then withstanding Panther comeback attempts.
At 15-12, Wildcats, Wolcott Tech took off on a final 10-1 game for a 25-13 win.
Once more, in Game Three, Kaynor Tech held the early lead. Once more, the Wildcats overcame it, staying sharp through a 25-22 three-game sweep.
“Just play the game and don’t think about it,” said Coach Tanguay in a final time out as the Panthers closed from an 18-13 deficit to 18-16. “Tonight is our night.”
Wolcott Tech 3, Kaynor Tech 0
(25-22, 25-13, 25-20)
Highlights: KT – Emily Medina 1 dig, 2 kills; Sarah Wisniewski 2 aces, 3 digs, 1 kill, 1 block; Roza Pine 6 aces, 4 digs, 2 assists. WT – Alison Benson 17 kills; Katie Benedict 30 assists, 3 aces, 6 digs; Morgan Rubino 5 aces, 10 digs; Sierra Banks 4 blocks, 4 kills.
Records: Kaynor Tech 6-9; Wolcott Tech 4-10.