RIDGEFIELD — To say the Ridgefield girls volleyball team is locked in would be a severe understatement.
Seven games, seven sweeps.
The Tigers roared past Brien McMahon 3-0 Monday, winning by the scores of 25-22, 25-20 and 25-12. Searching for its first FCIAC championship, the Tigers (7-0) have disposed of all the contenders they’ve met so far, winning each match by the 3-0 score.
“The second and third sets were much better,” Ridgefield coach Lidania Cibere said. “I thought we played really well but it took us a little while to get going.”
McMahon came closest in the opening set, only trailing by 23-22 late. But Ridgefield got a crucial block at the net from junior Ava Fazio, followed by an ace from senior captain Caroline Curnal to wrap up the win.
Two late service errors in Game 2 prevented a dramatic finish as the Tigers comfortably closed it out when the score was 22-19 at one point.
The Tigers hit full throttle in the third set, jumping out to a 16-5 lead with all aspects of their game working in unison, including a powerful offense.
“We got a lot of free balls, which we want,” Cibere said. “We have a lot of starters back; we have a core group. Girls worked hard in the offseason and they enjoy being here.”
The Senators (7-3) have dropped three straight since starting out 7-0 themselves, but the light may be at the end of the tunnel. Two starters returned to the lineup against the Tigers, setting up the stage for a late run down the stretch.
“I’m happy with our play today,” McMahon coach Pete Georgiou said. “We played well, just not good enough; we pride ourselves on our defense and we were able to keep (Ridgefield) out of system.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Alicia Hill, Ridgefield: Came on strong as the game went along; Cibere went out of her way to cite Hill’s contributions.
“The second set she was really aggressive at the net,” Cibere said.
SETTING THE TABLE
An offense is only as good as its distributor, and the Tigers have an emerging standout in Lauren Thrasher. The senior had 23 assists — and a block in the third set — against the Senators to help orchestrate the offense.
“It’s been good,” said Thrasher, who learned on the bench behind All-State setter Katie Linekin before cracking the starting lineup this year. “I’ve been talking a lot with (Cibere); she’s helped me (with) what to do on the court and really telling me what balls to run.”
“Ridgefield is one of the top teams in the league and we know if we want to make it to the finals, we’re going to have to go through them,” Georgiou said. “We’ll be hoping for a different outcome.”
RIDGEFIELD 3, MCMAHON 0
MCMAHON 22 20 15—0
RIDGEFIELD 25 25 25—3
Records: McMahon 7-3, 3-3 FCIAC. Ridgefield 7-0, 6-0 FCIAC. Highlights: R—Alicia Hill 7 hills, 4 blocks. Caroline Curnal 5 kills, 3 digs. Mackenzie Wanicka 7 kills, 3 aces. Lauren Thrasher 23 assists.