SHELTON – The Shelton girls’ volleyball had one more dragon to slay before the SCC playoffs get started next week. The Gaels took on Hamden and swept their way to a 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-15) victory on Thursday night.
“I’ve happy with our performance against a good team,” said Shelton coach LeAnne Bianchine after her club finished the regular season with a 9-3 record and dropped Hamden to 8-4. “When we played them there (also a 3-0 win), they didn’t have their great middle (Rae Ada-George). I told my guys to be ready. She gets up over the block and hits right to the 10-foot line, she is amazing. My kids kept their cool, and controlled the pace of the game for the most part.”
Ada-George was as good as advertised for coach Leah Milner, as the middle hitter finished with 7 kills and 3 blocks.
Shelton received fine play from is two middles, Clarissa Pierre (4 blocks) and Bella Giliotti (6 blocks).
“Bella was a mad blocker in the middle, I’m so happy with the job she did tonight,” Bianchine said. “Clarissa did great job in the middle and had 4 kills and 3 digs.”
Shelton’s Jess Jayakar was on target all match with 7 kills and the she hit the floor to come up with 9 digs. In game one, Jayakar spotted her team an 8-3 lead with a 5-point service run that included an ace.
Hamden setter Kaitlin Moran then went to the stripe to tie things at 14 with a 4-point run of her own. Giliotti, after a series of side outs kept the margin within two, had a win at the net and a tip to the middle to spark Shelton’s 25-20 victory.
Shelton’s Julia Krijgsman was the defining performer in the next two sets. She had 6 winners with an ace thrown in to put the Gaels up 11-5 in game two.
Hamden, led by Maile Estacion in service, got back in it behind the sophomore’s 4-point stay that took the score to 16-12. Christina Logan’s hustle kept points alive and Ada-George changed things up with a tip. Logan finished with 4 kills and 2 digs,
Pierre’s block put Shelton back on point, however. Krijgsman had a spike through a block, a deep kill and a winning bump before serving up the last two points in the 25-16 win.
Game three followed the same curve with a tight beginning before Krijgsman served Shelton to a big lead.
The junior’s 6-point run with a pair of aces helped Shelton build a 13-5 advantage. Shelton weathered 4 points from Hamden’s Estacion (7 digs) and a tip by Kendall Terry and won it on Krijgsman 6th ace on match point.
“We’ve had a great regular season,” Milner said of her Dragons. “I have 6 seniors, and they impacted the squad this year with leadership, with positivity and just all-around attitude.”
Bianchine said: “Jess Jayakar and Julia Krijgsman were phenomenal. My defensive players Annabella Leone and Albana Hima covered the floor well. Kassidy Wojtowicz did a great job on the right side, with a couple of blocks, and good swings.”
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