STAMFORD — By living in the moment, the Westhill High School girls volleyball team makes their future brighter and brighter.
The Vikings took another important step in their quest to earn an FCIAC playoff berth Monday as they defeated Darien, 25-27, 25-11, 25-12 and 25-11 before an adoring partisan crowd.
By winning on Senior Day, Westhill concluded the regular season with a 9-2 mark at home.
The Vikings honored its trio of seniors — Patricia Kober, Gabby Veseli and Samantha Johns-Folkes — in the best possible way. With a victory.
Johns-Folkes was a standout on the front row as she collected eight kills and five blocks. Veseli added six kills and six digs for Westhill.
“We only have three seniors, but they are so special for us,” Westhill coach Marianna Capomolla said. “They contribute so much to our success. And all three are leaders.”
Westhill did not keep the fans in suspense Monday by jumping out to early leads. Westhill led 8-2 and 15-10 in Game 1 before Darien rallied for a 27-25 triumph.
In Game 2, Westhill led 6-1, 10-2, 14-3 and 16-5 before tying the match with a 25-11 win.
In Game 3, the Vikings led 6-0, 12-5, 17-6 and 20-7 before earning a 25-12 triumph.
In Game 4, Westhill led 6-2, 10-4, 13-7 and 22-8 before finishing the job at 25-11.
“Our serving was very consistent today. The girls knew we needed this match,” Capomolla said. “They just kept swinging to make the most of Senior Night.”
WESTHILL BY THE NUMBERS
Westhill’s success this season has been built on depth and hustle.
Caroline Boyd became another weapon in the Vikings’ arsenal Monday. The sophomore amassed 21 service points, including six aces.
Freshman Vasi Servos was another impact server as she collected 15 service points. Junior Nina Bakuradze, sophomore Betsy Sachs, sophomore Sophia Thagouras and junior Nikki Newcomer also displayed their consistent serving talents.
THE PLAYOFF PICTURE
Staples, New Canaan, Trumbull and Westhill are fighting for the last four playoff slots (No. 5-No. 8) with two regular-season matches left.
After Monday’s action, Staples remained 9-5 in league while winning a non-league tilt at Weston. Trumbull improved to 9-5 with a 3-0 sweep over Trinity Catholic. Westhill is 9-5 thanks to Monday’s triumph. New Canaan fell to 8-6 after losing to FCIAC East Division leader and current No. 1 seed St. Joseph (14-0).
Westhill has road matches left at Ridgefield (12-2 FCIAC) and New Canaan. Westhill has no tiebreakers against Staples and Trumbull since it lost to both opponents.
In the Class LL state rankings, Westhill is 13-5 overall and in the Top 10 in Class LL.
DARIEN FIGHTS ON
Darien (7-10, 5-9 FCIAC) entered off a non-league road win over Weaver of Hartford last Thursday.
The Blue Wave couldn’t build on that momentum despite its 27-25 victory in Game 1.
Darien graduated six seniors from its short 2016 roster. And the dearth of varsity experience has shown in 2017.
Senior co-captain Caroline Martzolf paced Darien with 10 kills, while sophomore Lindsey Fay added nine. Rosali Perone collected 23 assists as setter.
“Slow starts in games have hurt us. Sometimes we can rally,” Martzolf said. “Westhill is a really good volleyball team. We didn’t respond to the challenge.”
WESTHILL 3, DARIEN 1
DARIEN 27 11 12 11—1
WESTHILL 25 25 25 25—3
Records: Darien 7-10, 5-9 FCIAC; Westhill 13-5, 9-5 FCIAC.
Highlights: D—Caroline Martzolf 10 kills; Lindsey Fay 9 kills; Rosali Perone 23 assists. W—Caroline Boyd 21 service points, 6 aces, 10 digs; Vasi Servos 14 assists, 8 digs, 15 service points; Gabby Veseli 6 kills, 6 digs; Samantha Johns-Folkes 8 kills, 5 blocks; Nikki Newcomer 7 kills, 14 digs, 8 service points.