Goal for Wilton volleyball: More wins, playoff berth

After going from three wins in 2013 to six last fall, the Wilton High volleyball team is hungry to add a few more wins this season and qualify for the state playoffs.

“We’re looking to build off the last two years ... and maybe get a few more wins this year than last year,” said Head Coach Steve Brienza, in his third year at the helm. “They’ve done a lot of work in the off-season, from club ball to clinics,. It’s coming together nicely.”

The Warriors, who open at Bridgeport Central on Friday, finished at 6-14 last year, two wins shy of making the state tournament. Four starters are back, and six varsity players overall.

The team is led by senior captains Shannon Golden and Julia Schiavone. Golden, who plays libero, was honorable mention all-FCIAC last season, while Schiavone returns as Wilton’s setter.

Also back is senior middle hitter Natalie Bennett, who will be the team’s main weapon on the net.

“Our offense is primarily going through Natalie in the middle and on the outside. But across the board we have many finishers. We need to be able to pass to get the hitters the ball,” said Brienza.


The Warriors also return two other seniors in Jessie Huffman (outside hitter) and Carly Lovallo (opposite), along with junior Sara Souza (outside hitter).

Rounding out the roster are seniors Claire McCullough (middle hitter) and Shriya Pathania (setter), and juniors Isabella Jones (defense), Ava Martinelli (outside hitter, defense), Hayley Meyer (opposite), Rachel Low (setter) and Kat Aznaran (middle hitter).

Brienza said he’s also noticed improved play during preseason, and hopes that will translate to what the Warriors do in matches.

“I feel that we’re doing a lot of the little things better, that we didn’t do last year, on the defensive end. We’re more efficient with the ball,” he said.

He said some of the keys to success will be improved serving, batter passing to set up the hitters, and cutting down on unforced errors.

“If we can do those things, we will continue to get better,” he said. “There’s a lot of pieces that have to go together for that to happen, but I feel we are on the right track.”