Lady Wreckers spike Greenwich
Published 4:25 pm, Tuesday, September 20, 2011
For the first time since 2005, the Staples girls volleyball team defeated Greenwich during the regular season Friday.
In this span, Staples did manage a win at Greenwich in the 2009 Class LL quarterfinals but except for that victory, it couldn't get past Greenwich. That changed when the Lady Wreckers played a strong all-around match in their 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-18) victory at Cardinals gym in Greenwich Saturday.
"We knew it was a big game and that Greenwich is a good team," Staples coach Jon Shepro said. "They are always in the hunt and I can't remember the last time we beat them, no less beat them they way we just beat them. The girls are really psyched about it."
The Lady Wreckers came out on fire and after the score was tied 7-7, began to open up a lead they would not relinquish. The front line of Staples, led by Joosje Grever and Anna Link created problems for the Cardinals all day with their size and spot on setting.
"We are tall and we are very athletic," Shepro said. "Having two girls above six feet and then the outside hitters are very smart. Anna Link can dump that ball in the corner and she can swing real hard and Mackenzie Roof is just a gamer."
At 6-1, Grevers (six kills, three aces, eight digs, 1.5 blocks) and Augustine Gradoux-Matt (six kills, two aces, four digs, 1.5 blocks) were an intimidating tandem who dominated the middle.
"Our height has a lot to do with it and it becomes second nature, knowing when to swing and when not to swing," Grevers said. "It helps our game."
Link said, "It's a nice advantage to have Joosje and Augie in the middle."
After a rough first set the Cardinals (1-1) settled down and made a game of it by dealing well with the Wrecker serve and passing to the setters with solid consistency. The defense was strong for the Cardinals as they hit the floor for some tough digs to help keep them in the game and fight off Staples' attack.
Down 2-0, the Cardinals came out in the third set and looked as though they may make a game of it after all, opening up a 14-7 lead before the Lady Wreckers took a timeout to slow the Cardinals momentum.
With her team down, Danielle Kosiniski (36 assists, three aces, one kill, one dig) picked up the serve for the Lady Wreckers and rattled off six straight points to get Staples within one at 15-14.
Greenwich opened up an 18-17 lead but Grevers took over from there, serving out the match with eight straight points to give the Wreckers the victory.
"It definitely was exciting and I'm proud with how we played," Link said. "We can't beat Greenwich with just one player. We were tough, we played hard and were able to pull it off."
Roof said, "During the game, we didn't realize we were beating Greenwich and after the game, it was `oh my God.' This gives us confidence."
Link (five kills, three digs) did all the little things that helped Staples. Roof (five kills, 11 digs, one ace) and Amanda Pacilio (16 digs), along with Link, were instrumental in preventing many shots from landing.
"It's all about hustle and believing you can get the ball," Roof said. "Greenwich hits well but we just hustled for it and believed in ourselves."
Link said, "We fell behind in the third game, and I'm proud we were tough and able to pull it off. We all had some good digs, and we do defensive drills every practice. We always look to get better on defense."
"The game went very well," Shepro said. "We really showed that we are a very balanced team. Again, we had 5 hitters with impressive stats. It's great that we don't rely on one girl to put us on her back. The third game turned when Augustine had a big kill and we made a great play to pull a ball out of the net. It changed the energy and we started to go down hill. Dani set a super game and I thought Anna Link looked like an All FCIAC player today. Of course, Joosje and Augustine owned the middle and Kenzie does all the little things. Just a great all around game."
Grevers said, "We were pumped after the win."