Volleyball: Wilton looks to get back on track for playoff push

After a tough stretch that included a trio of 3-0 losses in a span of eight days, the Wilton High volleyball ball is looking to turn things around at it begins the second half of the season.

“It gets deflating,” head coach Steve Brienza said of the 3-0 defeats. “We need to jump that hurdle and get back to our game and controlling the ball on our side of the net, so we see different results.”

The Warriors (4-5) did sweep Harding last Wednesday, 3-0, at home. Sommer Rogg had a big match with 22 service points (17 aces) and 12 kills, as did Juliana Musilli with 21 service points (13 aces) and five kills. Kiana Nobumoto contributed five kills and three blocks.

That win was followed by a pair of 3-0 losses — at home against St. Joseph last Thursday and at Fairfield Warde on Monday.

Brienza said the recent losses resulted from a combination of some tough opponents and subpar play on the part of the Warriors.

“We’ve got to do a better job of matching up to our competition and reducing unforced errors on our side of the net. We’re not playing with that level of consistency that we need to close out games,” he said. “When we’re executing well on our side of the net, we’re competitive and controlling games.”

In Monday's loss, the Warriors gave Warde a battle in the first set before the Mustangs prevailed, 25-23. Warde (6-3) had an easier time in the final two sets, winning 25-12 and 25-18.

Wilton has recently changed its formation to create more attacking opportunities, Brienza said, and the Warriors will need to make that transition quickly.

“We need to get everyone on the same page,” he said.

Wilton needs four wins over its final 11 matches to qualify for the state tournament. Although the schedule includes many formidable foes like Ridgefield, Trumbull, Danbury and Stamford, Brienza said four wins was achievable provided the Warriors gets back on track.

“I think we can get even more than eight wins. I really do. At this point, it’s not as much about winning four as winning one,” he said.

Wilton travels to Darien tomorrow and to Trinity Catholic on Friday, with home matches next week against Masuk (Monday), Ridgefield (Tuesday) and Bridgeport Central (Friday).