NORWALK — Westhill libero Nina Bakuradze got up close and personal with the gym floor at McMahon on Wednesday evening.
Bakuradze went down to get ball after ball being fired from the McMahon side, picking up 38 digs and helping lead Westhill to a 3-1 (25-20, 19-25, 25-18, 25-22) win over the Senators.
Many of those digs came at the expense of McMahon’s Taylor Morton who was chasing a career milestone in kills, which would finally come in the fourth set despite Bakuradze’s best efforts.
“This was an amazing win and I am so glad we all came together,” Bakuradze said. “We are making our way up as far as we can and trying to get to where we want to be and that is FCIACs. I am so glad that every girl put in all the effort in this one. On those digs I just breathe, don’t get too worried and just know where the ball is going.”
— Scott Ericson (@EricsonSports) October 18, 2017
The victory was a crucial one for the Vikings who move to 7-5 on the season, knocking McMahon to 6-6 with four games remaining in the regular season.
The teams entered the game in a three-way tie with Trumbull for the seventh and eighth spots in the league standings.
For Westhill, Samantha Johns-Folks had 11 kills; Betsy Sachs had 10 kills, 7 service points and 3 aces; Sophia Thagouras picked up 11 kills and 13 service points and Vasiliki Servos finished with 10 digs and 18 assists.
“I think they fought until the end and they didn’t give up and kept pushing and pushing and they came out to play today. I am very proud of them,” Westhill coach Marianna Capomolla said. “In the third they just kept their heads up and we just kept finding a way to put the ball away. Our defense was just picking up balls all day today.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Nina Bakuradze, Westhill. Bakuradze was a defensive stalwart with 38 digs, also winning 8 service points including 4 aces.
In the beginning of the fourth set, McMahon senior Taylor Morton collected her 1,000th kill as a member of the Senators’ varsity. Morton became the second player in McMahon history to hit the milestone. The game was stopped momentarily to announce her accomplishment and to present her with an honorary ball.
“(Morton) is a phenomenal individual and means so much to our program. I am just upset that we couldn’t get the win for her today as a team,” McMahon coach Peter Georgiou said. “Westhill played a lights-out defense, they got to the balls when they had to. It was a battle of who made the least mistakes, because they are evenly matched. Every game for us and them is important for the playoffs. This loss for us puts us behind the 8-ball and for them it puts them in the driver’s seat.”
WESTHILL 3, McMAHON 1
WESTHILL 25 19 25 25
McMAHON 20 25 18 22
Records: W—7-5; M—6-6