Volleyball: Warriors hold off Bears, now 5-0 (video)
Over the past eight seasons, the Wilton High volleyball team had averaged four wins a season — which is how many the Warriors won a year ago.
So Monday’s 3-1 win at Norwalk was something of a milestone — Wilton (5-0) not only notched its fifth win of the season, but needed only 11 days into the season to do it.
The Warriors, a team full of new varsity players, are off to their best start since the 2006 team also opened at 5-0.
“I knew these girls were talented going in, but in my years past we haven’t done this well, ever. Starting out at 5-0, that’s incredible,” said senior captain Ava Martinelli. “It’s so amazing — better than I ever thought we were going to do. I’m so proud of everyone. It’s so great and I can’t wait to keep going.”
A win on Friday against Bridgeport Central would give the team six wins, something it has only done twice since 2008.
The Warriors are also already within range of eight wins, and their first post-season berth since 2006.
The final scores on Monday were 25-13, 25-27, 26-24, 25-19. Norwalk dropped to 2-3 with the loss.
In game one, the Warriors pulled away early as Sommer Rogg had eight straight service points to build a 15-5 lead, and the Bears never got closer than six points after that.
In game two, Norwalk was up early, 6-2, after a kill by Amanda Beckwith, but Wilton rallied to tied go up 10-8. Katie Sciglimpaglia’s five service points put the Bears up 13-10, and Norwalk built its lead to 22-16. Wilton battled back, pulling even after a pair of point-scoring hits by Haley Meyer and Juliana Musilli.
A cross-court kill by Ajsa Vega put Norwalk up 24-23, but Wilton won the next two points and had game point, but had a service error that tied the game up. A couple of Wilton miscues then ended the game in Norwalk’s favor, 27-25.
Serving errors plagued the Warriors in game three, which saw the Bears build a 22-15 lead. Wilton rallied to make it 24-23 after an ace by Rogg, and went up 25-24 on a kill by Musilli, before a misplay by Norwalk ended the game in favor of Wilton, 26-24.
Norwalk was down 19-14 in game four, but came back to make it 19-18 after an ace by Jessica Otto. Rachel Low’s tap at the net put Wilton up by two, and two miscues by the Bears extended Wilton’s lead to 22-18. Sarah Souza’s ace finally ended the game, and the match, 25-19.
“Our serving wasn’t what we wanted it to be today. We were aggressive but maybe overly aggressive. At some points we were kind of rushing into the service game and trying to keep pace with the match. That kind of got the better of us,” said Wilton head coach Steve Brienza. “We made a few errors in the early part of game four but we bounced back. We showed the kind of team we are, the kind of heart and energy, and the kind of guts this team had in game three.”
“We really had to pick up our momentum there and I’m really proud of how everyone composed themselves,” said Martinelli. “It was a really tough game all the way around. Some of the people in the crowd and the girls on the other team were saying stuff, so I’m really proud of how people handled themselves.”
For the match, Low had 21 assists to go with two kills, three digs and six service points, while Rogg had 22 service points (five aces), seven kills and 11 digs.
Musilli finished with nine kills, nine digs and eight service points (three aces). Sophie Phelan had 13 digs and six service points (one ace).
Martinelli, Souza, Meyer and Addie Tanzman also were part of the victorious Wilton effort.
For Norwalk, Beckwith finished the match with 11 kills and 10 digs, while Camille Deguzman had 17 assists and Sciglimpaglia had six digs and 14 service points (four aces).
Coach Brienza said he was proud of the way the team battled back when they were down in game three.
“I have a lot of confidence in this team. I have a lot of faith in their ability to pick one another up on the court right now," he said. “Norwalk came out and gave us some fight, and my hat’s off to them because they really played hard.”