TORRINGTON >> High school volleyball is like arm wrestling: If you come back to win after your own arm is almost on the table, you own your opponent.
Torrington’s girls volleyball team put away a good Weston team that way, 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 25-12), in a Class M second-round match at Torrington High School Wednesday evening.
After winning an impressive Game One duel, the top-seeded Red Raiders found themselves down 19-10 in Game Two after Trojan Melissa Welsh (3 aces, 6 kills) served 11 straight points and Caroline Wertlieb (2 kills, 1 block) and Lily Butt (10 kills, 9 digs) tacked on a pair of kills.
“We tend to get a little quieter in that situation, but we just work together and try to get out of it,” said Torrington’s Carissa Carbone (9 kills, 3 digs).
With just a six-point leeway to work with before Weston could reach 25, the Raiders’ figurative arm began lifting off the table with help from all angles – a tip and a kill from setter Jayleen Colon (23 assists, 2 kills, 7 digs, 6 aces); two more kills by Lauren Gaghan and Nina Lestrud; and three by Jolie Fox (9 kills, 3 blocks).
“We have weapons in every position,” said Torrington coach Christine Gamari.
When Torrington finished the match’s most dramatic proof, the Red Raiders led 21-20.
A kill by Trojan Caroline Collins was one last stab at salvaging the win for Weston.
It wasn’t going to happen.
Torrington’s arm was way off the table moving down on Weston’s. A Trojan serving error and three straight aces by Colon finished the job.
“We came back from being down two games to nothing in the regular season, but that’s the most we ever came back in a single game,” said Colon.
“High School volleyball is a mental game,” said Weston coach Mackenzie Moosbrugger after watching Torrington’s long march back.
With their best effort unrewarded, the Trojans, ranked No. 16, fell easily in the final game.
“We knew they would be strong,” said Coach Gamari. “They played three top-10 teams (all losses) in their out-of-league schedule.
“This was a good barometer for us,” Gamari said, after sitting out a first-round bye. “Are we mentally and physically tough enough?
“Every match from here on out is a championship match.”
The Raiders host No. 8 Tolland – 3-2 second-round winners over Woodland – Friday in a quarterfinal match at 6 p.m.
No. 1 Torrington 3, No. 16 Weston 0
(25-18, 25-21, 25-12)
At Torrington High School
Highlights: W – Melissa Welsh 3 aces, 6 kills; Lily Butt 10 kills, 9 digs; Caroline Wertlieb 2 kills, 1 block, 5 digs. T – Carissa Carbone 9 kills, 3 digs; Jolie Fox 9 kills, 3 blocks; Ali DuBois 3 kills, 7 digs; Candyce Jewett 10 digs, 1 ace; Jayleen Colon 23 assists, 2 kills, 7 digs, 6 aces.
Records: Weston 12-9; Torrington 22-1.