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CIAC State Tournaments begin this week in five fall sports – field hockey, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls swimming and diving, and girls volleyball.
Here’s a rundown of who’s in among area teams and observations in each sport.
Area Qualifiers: Class M – Nonnewaug. Class S – Thomaston, Lewis Mills, Shepaug.
Of note: Lewis Mills was the undefeated Class S State Champion last year, but the Spartans had to get through a double-overtime 1-0 second-round contest with Thomaston to do it.
The Spartans still have that championship feeling, but a pair of regular-season losses to the Golden Bears means this might be No. 1 seed Thomaston’s year.
Area Qualifiers: Class M – Lewis Mills, Northwestern, Wolcott Tech, Nonnewaug. Class S – Wamogo, Litchfield, Terryville.
Of note: Lewis Mills, Class M’s No. 1 seed for the second year in a row, lost to defending champion Ellington in the quarterfinals last year. They’ll meet again in Round Two if the No. 17 Knights (8-4-4) get past Norwich Tech in the first round while Mills sits out with a first-round bye.
If the Spartans get revenge, they could meet Northwestern in the Quarterfinals. The No. 9 Highlanders have to beat No. 24 Stonington and a Tech school winner to get a third shot at undefeated Mills.
No. 13 Litchfield stands a good chance to make the Class S Quarterfinals, with a win over No. 20 Windsor Locks and another over the Two Rivers/No. 29 Coginchaug winner. Two Rivers, ranked second, is in the Capital Region Athletic League.
Area Qualifiers: Class M – Nonnewaug, Lewis Mills, Northwestern. Class S – Housatonic, Litchfield, Terryville.
Of note: After Housatonic and Lewis Mills both lost in double overtime last year to the Class S and M champions, they’re ready to do some business this time.
Housy lost to Portland in the finals; if they get past No. 8 Holy Cross (11-3-2) in this year’s Quarterfinals, it’s likely they’ll get there again.
Mills lost in the semifinals to East Catholic. If No. 4 Nonnewaug (13-3) can get past No. 1 Woodland (15-0-1) in the semifinals, we could see an All-Berkshire League final.
Girls Swimming and Diving
Area Qualifier: Class M – Torrington.
Of note: In a rebuilding year for the Red Raiders, senior Jessica Gray offers the team’s best hope for a medal at the championship meet at SCSU a week from Wednesday. Gray was fourth in the 500-yard freestyle and fifth in the 100-yard backstroke at Friday’s NVL Championships.
Area Qualifiers: Class L – Torrington. Class M – Northwestern, Nonnewaug, Lewis Mills. Class S – Wolcott Tech.
Of note: Last year, two-time defending Berkshire League champion Nonnewaug knocked Northwestern out in the Class M tournament’s first round.
This year, in the burgeoning rivalry, the teams split their regular-season matches, then Northwestern beat the Chiefs for the BL Tournament championship.
If they win their first-round matches, they’ll meet for the fourth time this year in Round Two.