STAMFORD — The Greenwich volleyball team may have lost seven seniors from last year’s squad but the few returning players it does have remembers the tough 5-set loss to Stamford a season ago.
Those returning players may have felt a sense of déjà vu as the two teams again battled into a fifth and deciding set.
This time around, Greenwich would leave Kuczo Gym happy, rallying to defeat the Black Knights 3-2 (14-15, 25-15, 25-12, 17-25 and 15-10).
The win did more than exact some revenge for the Cardinals (6-4, 5-2 FCIAC), it also kept them ahead of Stamford (5-5, 3-4) in the FCIAC standings as the season nears the halfway point.
“This was an important win for us to get back on track,” Greenwich coach Steve Lapham said. “This was like a tale of two games. When Andrea O’Connor is up front for them it is a whole different ball game and we were hitting a lot of balls out because she just makes you hit balls out. She puts the fear of god into you. I think we were a little smarter in the second and third and were able to pass a little better.”
For Greenwich, Amelia Bartlett had 11 service points including two aces and 3 kills, Tara Ford registered 23 kills and 13 digs and Erika Hauschild had 11 kills.
For Stamford, O’Connor rang up 15 kills, 5 blocks, 16 kills and 4 aces; Brooke Kelly finished with 12 assists, 5 kills and 3 aces along with 21 service points and Gloria Mattioli rounded out the Stamford scoring with 19 digs.
The Black Knights cruised to the win in the first set before losing the second and the third.
Stamford would force a fifth set by winning the fourth 25-17 but could not do enough in the final frame to bring home the victory.
“We couldn’t get out of one rotation in one of the games and Greenwich was getting more hit attempts than we did and basically doing whatever they wanted in two and three,” Stamford coach Mike Smeriglio said. “When we cleaned up the passing a little bit, we were able to hit and attack and put them in a bad position. They are just a really good team.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Nicole Wood, Greenwich. Wood spearheaded the Greenwich comeback with 43 assists and 19 service points including 5 aces.
“We fought for every point and we were not going to let the ball drop,” Wood said. “All of us really wanted to win. We didn’t want a repeat of last year. This brought back a lot of memories because they beat us in the fifth set last year and I know I didn’t want that to happen. This was a huge win for us. We are a young team and we are not a championship team but we are working to be one.”
Stamford led 9-6 in the third set but a 13-0 run by Greenwich helped close out the set on a 19-3 run.
GREENWICH 3, STAMFORD 2
GREENWICH 14 25 25 17 15
STAMFORD 25 15 12 25 10
Records: S—5-5, 3-4 FCIAC; G—6-4, 5-2 FCIAC