The Staples High boys volleyball team sure has turned the page on its season-opening loss to Southington.
The Wreckers ran their win streak to five matches on Monday with a convincing 3-0 victory (25-14, 25-14, 25-17) over St. Joseph at home. The Wreckers -- now 5-1 since a 3-1 loss to Southington on April 5 -- have not dropped a game during their current streak.
"The guys are starting to play better together," Staples coach Jon Shepro said. "We're working out some kinks, passing is improving. We're starting to do more of our offense and play more team defense, rather than just individuals."
After pulling away early in the first two games against St. Joseph, the Wreckers found themselves tied 12-12 in the third game. But a kill by middle hitter Lucas Grevers put the Wreckers ahead for good, 13-12.
The Wreckers led by as many as nine points, 24-15, before closing it out on a kill by outside hitter Lucas Carstens.
Carstens finished off the other two games with kills, as well.
"It was a nice performance," Shepro said of the match. "The third game maybe got a little slow -- we hit a couple balls out and kept them in the game -- but when it came down to it, we stepped it up."
For Staples, outside hitter Nick Cohen had six kills and three aces, while Jonathan Denowitz recorded six kills and five digs.
"We respect that team a lot. They played a good game. We just came out with a lot of fire and a lot of momentum," said Carstens, who recorded 11 kills, four digs and one block. "We played our game. We didn't really let them get into a rhythm. We executed on our hits and played good defense."
St. Joseph, which fell to 2-5, got nine kills and five assists from Kevin Stapleton. Andrew Zaprzalka had 10 assists and four kills.
In the second game, Staples jumped out to a 13-4 lead and never trailed. The Wreckers led by as many as 12 points on two separate occasions -- 22-10 and 24-12 -- before closing it out.
Shepro believes his team's passing played a key factor in the match. Setter Harry Hlawitschka recorded 26 of Staples' 27 assists.
"All around I think it started with the passing," Shepro said.
Staples took the lead for good in the first game, 2-1, on one of Hlawitschka's three aces. The Wreckers built their lead to 7-1 before St. Joseph ran off four straight points.
The Cadets got to within two points at 8-6, before Staples pulled away, scoring 13 of the next 19 points. The Wreckers led by as many as 10 before Carstens' game-point kill.
With a match against Bridgeport Central up next (Wednesday at home, 4 p.m.) for Staples, Carstens said that the Wreckers' confidence is rising.
"We've grown a lot already as a team," Carstens said. "I think that shows on the court. We're winning games with larger and larger margins. I think we're coming together as a team. We've got a lot of chemistry going."
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STAPLES 3, ST. JOSEPH 0
ST. JOSEPH 14 14 17 -- 0
STAPLES 25 25 25 -- 3
Records: St. Joseph 2-5; Staples 5-1.
Highlights: SJ -- Kevin Stapleton had nine kills and five assists. Andrew Zaprzalka had 10 assists and four kills. S -- Lucas Carstens had 11 kills, four digs and one block. Nick Cohen had six kills, three aces and one dig. Harry Hlawitschka had 26 assists, aces and four digs.