STAMFORD — Another step closer to a banner.
The King School girls volleyball team began its journey toward a fourth NEPSAC Class C championship in five years Wednesday as the No. 1 seeded Vikings swept No. 8 Miss Hall’s, 25-13, 25-11, 25-16 in a home quarterfinal round victory.
The victory means that King (17-1) will host No. 4 Greens Farms Academy Saturday at 10 a.m. in NEPSAC Class C semifinal play. GFA ousted No. 5 seed Chapel Hill, 25-20, 25-10, 25-20 at home Wednesday.
LEAVING A LEGACY
Even though banner space on the King gymnasium walls is getting precious, the Vikings’ trio of senior captains Kelly Conheeney, Stephanie Costabile, Alison Wheeler along with juniors Ava Robinowitz, Christine Nelli and Anne Michalski are focused on acquiring a third consecutive NEPSAC title.
“Our practices are intense. We work hard to play harder,” King’s Nelli said. “Everybody’s blood, sweat and tears go into earning those banners. Your pride shows when the banners go up on the wall.”
King will need to work harder in Saturday’s semifinals. King defeated FAA rival GFA, 3-1, in the regular season back on October 14.
A CHANCE FOR GENERATION NEXT
No. 8 seed Miss Hall’s of Pittsfield, Mass. closed out its season at 5-9 overall.
The disparity in postseason experience allowed King coach Tung Tran to give his reserves the opportunity to play much of Game 2 and a portion of Game 3.
It was a just reward for having to battle King’s starting unit each day in practice.
“It’s been a while since they have had a chance to get playing time,” Tran said. “The more experience and understanding of what the postseason is like is beneficial down the line.”
Junior Mallory Ehlers, 8th grader Norah Shattan, sophomore Catherine King, seniors Abigail Price and Lily Davis along with junior Natasha Aysseh finished off Game 2 (25-11) and closed out Game 3 (25-16).
Aysseh finished with 11 service points just behind starter Michalski’s 12 service points.
“It’s beneficial for underclassmen to learn and take on roles on the postseason stage,” Nelli said. “The program always wants to be stronger in the future.”
COULD BE ALL-FAA ROAD TO NEPSAC TITLE
In the other half of the Class C bracket, No. 3 St. Luke’s swept No. 6 Wooster, 3-0. No. 2 MacDuffie School of Granby, Mass. eliminated No. 7 Beaver Country Day School, 25-6, 25-11, 25-8.
Having captured their fourth straight FAA championship last week, King would not need to scout if St. Luke’s can defeat MacDuffie. King topped St. Luke’s in the regular season and in the FAA playoff semifinals.
The NEPSAC Class C final is set for Sunday. It could be at MacDuffie if it wins Saturday.
KING 3, MISS HALL’S 0
MISS HALL’S 13 11 16—0
KING 25 25 25—3
Records: Miss Hall’s 5-9 overall; King 17-1 overall.
Highlights: K—Anne Michalski 12 service points. Natasha Aysseh 11 service points. Ava Robinowitz 5 service points. Kelly Conheeney 5 service points.