FAIRFIELD — Fairfield Ludlowe girls’ volleyball head coach Meghan Skelton didn’t have an exact answer for her team’s slow start Monday evening in Game one of the FCIAC quarterfinals. Instead she chalked it up to the nature of the game.
“It’s just girls’ volleyball,” she said. It’s all about momentum and it can shift so quickly. So luckily they were able to shift it back and they were OK.”
Ludlowe fought from five points down to defeat Ridgefield en route to a four set victory (25-22, 25-16, 13-25, 25-12). The win propelled the No. 4 Falcons into the semifinals on Wednesday where they will face No. 1 seed Greenwich at Ludlowe at 5 p.m.
Despite the slow start and Game three loss, Skelton felt like this was one of her team’s best performances.
“Oh my gosh, that was the best I’ve seen us play, not consistently but … one, two and four (games) unreal.”
Ridgefield, the No. 5 seed, came out strong in the opening set, building a 19-14 lead. But the Falcons rattled off the next seven points to take a 21-19 lead they never gave up. Ludlowe used strong net play, serving and a scrappy defensive performance to fight back.
Libero Corrinne Lang finished the evening with 11 service points, six aces and 18 digs. Teammate Casey Boatwright added 13 kills and five blocks. Skelton said individuals like seniors Lang and Boatwright are key, as they bring consistent play at their positions.
“Without Corrinne (Lang) we wouldn’t have balls in the front row to hit,” Skelton said. “There’s a lot of girls that have stepped up.”
Also playing well was sophomore Alice Nelson who was making in her first varsity match appearance. She finished with seven service points, two aces and 10 digs.
Ridgefield head coach Lidania Cibere said self-made errors was what plagued her team all night and from never fully gaining nay momentum and seizing it.
“I think Ludlowe is a good team but I definitely think we made a lot of unforced errors,” she said. “We missed a lot of serves and you can’t have that many mistakes against a good team. And they capitalized on our mistakes. Game one I thought we should have won. We didn’t capitalize on it.”
Ludlowe trailed in the second set, 3-1, before they took the lead and never relinquished it. A lapse in the third set from the Falcons, the Tigers took advantage of, as they held a 21-12 lead at one point.
The Falcons jumped out a 13-2 point advantage in Game four to help seal the victory.
Ludlowe will face another rematch against Greenwich on Wednesday with the winner advancing to Saturday’s FCIAC final. The Falcons defeated the Cardinals in the regular season in five hard-fought games. Skelton and her crew are expecting another great match.
“Greenwich was a very close match the first time,” Lang said. “However I think my entire team is excited to play them again. It should be a lot of fun.”
Ludlowe is the defending FCIAC co-champs but Lang said the team isn’t focused on repeating.
“We’re just really focused on the next game in front of us and playing the best we can.”