MILFORD — Outperforming its seed is quickly becoming an annual occurrence for Weston in the Class M girls state volleyball tournament.
Friday night on the road against fourth-seeded Jonathan Law at Richetelli Gymnasium in Milford, the 12th-seeded Trojans sprung their second consecutive upset of the playoffs with a 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-21) sweep over the Lawwomen.
“I think in the state tournament seeding doesn’t really tell you much,” Weston head coach Mackenzie Robens said.
Last year, the Trojans, who improved to 17-7, marched to the state finals as the No. 18 seed before falling to top-seeded Seymour, 3-1.
Weston’s victory at Law, coupled with No. 1 seed Seymour’s win over Granby, sets up a return bout of that championship in the semifinals on Nov. 19. Haddam-Killingworth will square off with Waterford in the other semi.
“We’re really excited about it,” said Kelly Rosemann, one of the Trojans four senior leaders. “Weston has never won a state championship before, so we are really excited to be in a place where we have an opportunity to win… We have some unfinished business.”
Big runs late carried the Trojans to victories over the Lawmen in the first two games. Tied at 18 in game one, Weston rattled off a 6-2 flurry to set up game point. Law then answered with three consecutive points to get within one, before an errant return gave the game to Weston.
Law (20-5) battled back in the second game, storming to a 20-14 advantage following three straight aces by Emily Morey. Unfazed, Weston, keyed by the defensive presence of Kate Anderson and Natalie Shreder in the middle, roared back with an 11-3 burst to seal the 25-23 win.
“We were prepared for that,” Law head coach Stacy Loch said. “We’ve been preparing for it. We knew it was going to be tough in the middle. We wanted to strategize to make our rotation match theirs.”
Said Robens: “Our block is a big part of our game. We’re not necessarily going to stuff every hit, especially against a team like Law. But as long as we can slow the ball down, that’s our focus.”
Weston led wire-to-wire in the third game, but the Lawmen did not buckle, despite losing senior Liv Kowalski to an injury after a hard fall to the floor.
Law’s Alexis Neider provided a clutch run from the line, reeling off a pair of service points to tie the game at 16.
The Trojans then again cranked up the pressure, keeping their serves in play and running their offense, before securing the 25-21 win to punch their tickets to the semifinals.
“We played aggressively,” Robens said. “I don’t know how much we were worried about what they were doing. We really just focused on ourselves tonight and that’s how we came out on top.”
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Weston’s Kate Anderson. The senior marshaled the Trojan defense in the middle with three blocks and a dig, while powering the offense with 12 kills
“I think in the state tournament seeding doesn’t really tell you much,” Weston head coach Mackenzie Robens said