GREENWICH — One win from perfection.
That’s the exciting situation the Greenwich girls volleyball team has put itself in after turning in another effective performance on Saturday.
Carrying the momentum throughout, top-seeded Greenwich registered a 3-0 victory over visiting New Canaan in the semifinal round of the FCIAC West Region Tournament.
The Cardinals, who raised their record to 11-0, advanced to Tuesday’s championship match against either Darien or Westhill.
Saturday’s match marked the third time the Cardinals and Rams met, with Greenwich sweeping the match each time — though New Canaan provided tough competition.
“We played New Canaan twice already this season, so it was important that we knew their tendencies going into this game,” Greenwich senior tri-captain/outside hitter Lilly Saleeby said. “We went into the game with the mindset that it was a new game and to not be worried about what we did in the past.”
Greenwich, which won the match 25-15, 25-14, 25-15, received 11 kills and seven service points from Saleeby, seven kills and four blocks from senior tri-captain/middle hitter Cornelia Roach, six kills and nine service points from junior outside hitter Adele Sotgiu and 31 assists from senior setter Addie Leder.
“It’s super exciting and it’s gratifying to see that all the hard work we have been putting in during the season is being shown in the results,” Roach said. “It’s safe to say this is one of the most fun games we’ve had. There was very high energy and it was a great match.”
New Canaan was paced by senior Elle Sneddon and junior Andrea Gravereaux.
“Our young kids made some great strides this year and our seniors were leaders and that’s all we can ask for, so I’m proud of them for sure,” New Canaan coach Kevin Marino said. “We just couldn’t get any real runs going and made some untimely errors and mistakes, but Greenwich played great. I don’t think there’s anything we could have done.”
A kill by freshman Lily Stevens gave New Canaan an 11-10 lead in the first set, but after Greenwich tied the score at 11-11, the Cardinals went on a pivotal run.
With the score 13-12, Sophie Jones served three aces, giving Greenwich a 16-12 edge. Sotgiu also provided strong serving to help the Cardinals finish the set with a flurry.
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In the second set, the Cardinals leads of 19-8 and 22-11 on their way to taking a 2-0 advantage in the match. Effectively passing the serve and running its offense, Greenwich played from in front in the final game as well.
Saleeby and senior tri-captain/libero Chelsea Cleary each added four digs, while senior Gia-Rose Greschner had nine digs and junior Liana Sarkissian had four kills in the winning effort.
“That might have been one of our best games,” Cleary said. “We had a really great connection and we really cleaned up our passing and played a nice game of volleyball and had a lot of fun too. I’m really excited about going to the finals, it’s going to be a good challenge.”
The Rams tried to cut into the Cardinals lead throughout, but Greenwich’s solid serving kept them out of system.
“It was really fun, I’m glad we went down swinging against Greenwich,” Sneddon said. “They played really well. Middles rule Connecticut volleyball and they have a really good pair of middles. It was an awesome experience though, I love playing Greenwich.”
Said Roach: “Playing New Canaan brings out the best in us. We remembered their tendencies and executed our game plan.”