DANBURY — It was a fitting exclamation point at the end of a dominant performance by the Greenwich High School girls volleyball team Monday evening.
Tied at 15-15 with Danbury in the third set, Cardinals senior Erika Hauschild stepped to the service line and served up 10 consecutive winners — including an emphatic kill by Tara Ford for the winning point — to take the set and finish off a 3-0 sweep of the Hatters in a battle between two of the FCIAC’s top contenders. Greenwich clinched the FCIAC West Division title for the second straight season, now having a two-game lead over Danbury in the division standings with one FCIAC game remaining on each of their schedules.
Greenwich won by scores of 25-13, 25-8 and 25-15.
“This was an old-fashioned beat-down by Greenwich. They took it to us,” said Danbury coach John MacMillan, whose team fell to 14-4 overall and 11-4 in the FCIAC. “They attacked the whole way. We were tentative, and you can’t be tentative against a team like this. We gave them so many free balls, and they were just pounding them right back.”
Both teams have secured spots in the upcoming eight-team FCIAC tournament. Entering Monday’s action, Greenwich had the second-best record in the conference behind unbeaten St. Joseph, while Danbury was fourth.
A win like this certainly gives Greenwich (14-4, 13-2 FCIAC) an added boost as the conference tournament approaches.
“Everything is coming into place,” Greenwich senior Nicole Wood said. “We’re a lot more cohesive. We just want to fight as hard as we can and push ourselves in practice.”
After winning the first set, the Cardinals raced out to an 8-0 lead in the second set to make a Hatters comeback even harder.
“We need to be mentally tougher against a team like this,” MacMillan said, “and we can’t give them free balls. If you give them free balls, you’re going to eat the ball.”
Greenwich’s lead in the second set grew to 15-2 on a kill by Ford, to 17-2 on a kill by Amelia Bartlett and to 24-8 on a kill by Egan. Hauschild finished it off with a kill of her own.
“We expected a lot from them because they have a similar record to ours,” Hauschild said. “We definitely played a very clean game today. We avoided hitting errors, and our serving was really good today.”
Trailing 2-0, the Hatters led for much of the early part of the third set. An ace by Megan Mercer opened a 6-4 lead for Danbury, which later led 13-11. An ace by Bartlett tied it at 13-13 for Greenwich, and the final hopes of a Hatter rally were extinguished by Hauschild’s impressive run at the service line.
“We just want to be able to finish off games quickly,” Hauschild said.
GREENWICH 3, DANBURY 0
GREENWICH25 25 25 — 3
DANBURY13 8 15 — 0
Records: Greenwich 14-4, 13-2 FCIAC; Danbury 14-4, 11-4 FCIAC. Highlights: G—Nicole Wood 5 kills, 36 assists; Tara Ford 16 kills; Adnerys DeJesus 23 digs. D—Shea McNamara 1 ace, 7 digs; Megan Mercer 2 aces, 7 assists, 7 service points; Alex Cooke 5 digs.