WATERBURY >> After Torrington won the first game of the match, the Woodland Hawks railed and won the next three games and the NVL title, 3-1.
“The team to make the fewest mistakes would be the team that won,” said Torrington head coach Christine Gamari. “Woodland was that team, they’re a great team.”
The NVL championship was something that the Hawks wanted all year, only losing one game to Naugatuck during the season.
“It’s something they wanted all year it’s something they strived for,” said Woodland head coach, Jim Amato.
In the first game Torrington was able to capitalize on the Hawks mistakes, leading to a 26-24 win.
“We we’re making too many mistakes,” said Amato. “Once we got back to the basics we were good.”
From the second game, 25-16, on the Hawks took early leads and didn’t look back.
“We knew we made our own mistakes,” said Samantha Lee, 39 assists and 18 digs in the win. “We can fix our own mistakes.”
That was exactly what the Hawks did, they began passing the ball better, giving Lee, the setter, easier first passes that she could turn into better sets from NVL Tournament MVP Brianna Pacielo.
“I was telling them just pass in the middle,” said Lee. “I was able to change up the sets and move them around.”
Once that happened it opened free lanes for Pacielo, who finished with 18 kills in the win.
“Geno Auriemma once said, ‘we have Diana Taurasi and you don’t. “Well we have Brianna and the other teams don’t.” said Amato. “She dominates, she’s aggressive.”
Lee kept feeding Pacielo the ball and the Red Raiders couldn’t keep up.
“When she’s on, she can’t be stopped,” said Lee.
In the third game, 25-23, the Red Raiders didn’t go away easily, they kept fighting back, holding the lead late before the Hawks came back to take it.
““I love them, I love the hustle, I love the heart,” said Gamari. I never thought they would give up, we are never out of it with these girls.”
“You can never count Torrington out, coach Gamari is going to make sure her girls are ready,” said Amato.
In the fourth game Woodland jumped out to an early lead and didn’t look back winning it 25-19.
“Our team plays well together, once we’re up we stay up,” said Pacielo.
Torrington’s Kiley Rosengrant led the match with 22 assists and Shelby Consolini also led the match with 21 digs.
Both teams’ seasons aren’t over, as both will play in the State tournament. Woodland though has State title on its mind.
“That loss to Naugatuck, that’s going to be the last one we drop,” said Pacielo.
Reach Pete Paguaga in the office at 860-489-3121 ext. 326
Woodland 3 Torrington 1
(24-26, 25-16, 25-23, 25-19)
Highlights: W – Brianna Pacileo 18 kills, 18 digs; Samantha Lee 39 assists, 18 digs, 1 kill; Anna Khalid 11 kills, 1 assist, 4 digs. T – Kiley Rosengrant 22 assists, 10 digs, 2 kills; Shelby Consolini 21 digs; Carissa Carbone 3 kills, 9 digs.
Records: Woodland 20-1, Torrington 19-4.