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Oxford boys volleyball team taking game to a new level

Updated 12:31 am, Thursday, April 18, 2013
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SOUTHINGTON -- Bobby Costigan hammered home a volley that a Southington player couldn't handle, capping yet another 3-0 victory for the unbeaten Oxford boys volleyball team Wednesday.

Oxford players could be heard yelling "21 and 0," homage to their perfect season. Oxford is 7-0 and has won every match 3-0.

After winning the first two sets fairly easily (25-19 and 25-18), Oxford found itself down 10-4 in the third set. But the Wolverines rallied to take a 16-15 lead in an eventual 25-20 win.

"It was amazing," Oxford coach Jeff Giovacchino said. "When you face a team as good as this and find yourself down and come back, it just feels amazing. We're on a really good run and playing at a really high level."

Oxford is not only playing at a high level, but it's doing it against some high level competition. The Wolverines have scheduled some tougher games against Class L schools like Southington and Cheshire to challenge themselves for a deep postseason run. In fact, Oxford ended Cheshire's 47-game win streak last week.

"We made it to the state finals last year (Class M) and lost to a really good Newington team," Giovacchino said. "We just want to try and get more and more competition as much as we can throughout the season so that we are ready for the postseason."

The players like Costigan are onboard with the tougher non-conference schedule.

"These games are going to obviously help us," he said. "They are Class L schools, bigger schools. They are going to help us be able to get ready for states."

The tough schedule wasn't just reserved for the regular season. Costigan talked about the Wolverines' preseason opponents.

"This offseason we actually got scrimmages against Staples, Ridgefield and big name schools like Darien and Greenwich that are going to help us get ready for the playoffs."

Costigan explained what this helps them with on the court.

"All this helps us with working together and running an offense," he said.

The fact that Oxford, which won its first SWC title last season, is winning these games sticks out in Giovacchino's mind.

"It says that we are really cohesive," he explained. "These are a great group of kids they aren't arrogant, they are good students, they are everything you want. Plus they play well, so it's a bonus.

OXFORD....................................25 25 25--3

SOUTHINGTON..........................19 18 20--0

Records: Oxford 7-0; Southington 5-1. Highlights: O--Patrick Cragan had 32 assists and two blocks. Bobby Costigan had 12 kills and four blocks. Jason Mraz had seven kills and 11 blocks.