MIDDLETOWN >> Middletown High’s girls volleyball team did everything right but win.
The Blue Dragons extended once-beaten Platt in every game, losing 25-21 in the first game, 33-31 in a spectacular second game, then 25-21 in the third game of a Central Connecticut Conference South division match played Wednesday evening at the LaBella-Sullivan Gym.
Platt coach Lou Giancopolos was impressed.
“I went and talked to Middletown after the game,” Giancopolos said. “They showed amazing improvement since the last time I saw them. When we played them before, they let a lot of balls hit the floor. This time, they never let that happen.”
Middletown led for big chunks of all three games. It wasn’t until Taylor Tiezzi hit two aces that Platt took the lead in game one, 17-14. But even after that, the Blue Dragons came back to tie the game at 19, before Janelle Rice’s serving closed the game out.
In the second game, the score was tied 13 times, including 31-all, before the Panthers (14-1 overall, 9-1 in the division) could nail down the win.
In game three, the game was tied at 20 before the Panthers finally were able to shake off the Dragons for the night, closing the game with a 4-1 run.
“I’m very proud of the girls,” said Middletown coach Kelvin Jones. “They didn’t quit. To take 13-1 team into the 30s in the second game was amazing. We played with great confidence from the beginning and what their coach did by complimenting our kids was great.
“We did just about everything right to win, just a couple little mistakes here and there there cost us.”
Brielle Coleman was the statistical star for Middletown with one ace, five kills and five blocks.
Rice had 11 kills and three aces for Platt and Tiezzi, the Panthers’ setter, had 33 assists and 13 digs.
“The paper will say this was a 3-0 match,” said Gianacopolos. “But Middletown is so much improved, I will tell you that was the toughest 3-0 win of my career. I had a game go into the 40s once, but this night was tougher than that.”
Middletown (2-12) is home with Fermi of Enfield Friday at 6 p.m. All four of Middletown’s remaining matches are at home.