Fearing a repeat performance of its harder-than-usual April 15 win over Fairfield co-op, the Staples High boys vollyeball team dubbed their second meeting "a playoff match."
If the Wreckers play in the postseason the way they played Wednesday, they may make another deep run.
"We played this like it was a playoff game," Staples coach Jon Shepro said. "We came out firing on all cylinders. All seven guys had the games of their seasons today."
Lucas Grevers added eight kills, three digs and two aces, and Harry Hlawitschka recorded three digs and 42 assists, as Staples improved to 9-1, winning its ninth straight.
"We knew what we wanted to do," Hlawitschka said. "We knew if we wanted to make a statement, we had to keep our focus and play every point as if it was a playoff game."
Emilio Renzulli led Fairfield with 11 kills and seven digs. Fairfield had its six-match win streak snapped. Fairfield, which lost its second match this year against Staples, fell to 8-2.
"This time, you could could definitely see that it was personal for Staples," Fairfield coach Garrett Covino said. "They wanted to come back and put us in our place, and they definitely did."
Though Staples swept Fairfield 3-0 in their previous meeting, the Wreckers believed they let Fairfield hang around-- particularly in game one, in which Staples won only 28-26.
"Fairfield gave us a real run last time," Shepro said.
But the Wreckers, showing renewed vigor and intensity, stymied Fairfield's offense all afternoon. Staples successfully limited Renzulli, sending two blockers to slow his powerful left-handed spike.
"We know that he's their No. 1 offensive option, so we leaned that way," Shepro said. "He's a lefty, he's going to give you a little problem doing that ... we were fast enough to get to blockers to him."
Staples' defense, combined with some effective serving, helped pace a 25-17 win in the first game. The Wreckers then steamrolled Fairfield 25-12 in game two.
"The biggest thing they did to affect our offense was their tough serving," Covino said. "Once our passing broke down ... we sent way too many free balls over the net."
After the teams were even 5-5 in game three, the Wreckers rolled to a seven-point service run, keyed by Todd Goldstein's two kills.
After Fairfield got within 18-12, Grevers' three-point service run -- in which he recorded an ace -- boosted the Wreckers' advantage to 21-12.
"We played our game," Carstens said. "We had control of it the whole time."
STAPLES 3, FAIRFIELD 0
STAPLES 25 25 25 -- 3
FAIRFIELD 17 12 16 -- 0
Records: Staples 9-1, Fairfield 8-2.
Highlights: S -- Lucas Grevers had eight kills, five digs, two aces. Harry Hlawitschka had 42 assists and four digs. Lucas Carstens had 11 kills and five digs. F-- Emilio Renzulli had 11 kills and seven digs. Brandon Lopes had four kills and six digs. Chris Sanfilippo had 12 digs and two service points.