WOODBRIDGE — Despite winning five matches in a row, the Guilford volleyball team still felt as if it had something to prove. A trip to Amity would show just how far the Indians have come.
With plenty of young talent on the court, Guilford showed just how tough it will be this year with a 3-1 Southern Connecticut Conference interdivision victory at Amity High Monday evening. The 17-25, 25-22. 25-19, 25-23 victory allowed the Indians to improve to 7-1 on the year.
“We knew we would have to come here and face a tough Amity team,” Guilford coach Laura Meyers said. “We had to go out there and have fun. When we are having fun as a team, we play better. The fun comes with winning. Once we started playing with that energy, we were able to pull away.”
Meyers was talking about the energy in the third game when Guilford broke a 15-15 tie by running off 10 of the final 14 points. Guilford helped itself in the run from the service line with three aces, including the final point on an ace by sophomore Emma Appleman.
“This win is so important for us,” Appleman said after finishing with 19 kills and 12 digs. “We play together so well. We were able to overcome so much together. We work together and we are there for each other.”
In what was another battle in the fourth game, Guilford again rallied. Trailing 23-22 after a kill by Amity’s Abby Harbinson, the Indians used a kill by Appleman to even the game at 23, then used an Amity error and a long shot by Harbinson to close the match.
“We came in here concerned with one of the best players in Abby (Harbinson), but I think sometimes people forget that we have Emma (Appleman) too,” Meyers said. “Abby Harbinson is a phenomenal player. I think Emma’s name needs to be in the mix. We had to focus on what we were going to do with Emma.”
Guilford’s rally overcame a slow start in which Harbinson, Maddy Adzigian, and Megan Carpenter helped the Spartans to a 1-0 lead in games. The trio led Amity to a quick 21-11 lead after a kill and block by Harbinson in the opener.
“They play nice defense and have a nice team,” Amity coach Seth Davis said of Guilford. “They played very well tonight. They have Emma (Appleman) and she played well. She was all over the court. Sometimes you just get beat and they played better than we did tonight.”
Amity looked as if the lead would be 2-0 in games, but the Indians rallied from a 22-20 deficit to finish on a 5-0 run. Olivia Lawlor opened the run with a kill and Guilford rallied with the last four points to even the contest.
Eva Ott Hill ran the Guilford offense with 28 assists, while sophomore Juliet Young had 13 digs on the defensive side. Harbinson led Amity with 12 kills, Adzigian had 11 kills, and Carpenter added four kills and four blocks.
Player of the Game
Emma Appleman — The Guilford sophomore finished with 19 kills and 12 digs.
“This team has a bright future. I can’t wait to see how we grow this season and the seasons to come.”
— Guilford’s Emma Appleman