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Staples shows strength with sweep of Greenwich boys volleyball

Published 8:06 pm, Wednesday, May 15, 2013
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In 14 matches since losing to Southington to start the season, Staples High's boys volleyball team dropped just a single game. That came during a 3-1 win over Greenwich on April 29, which was the eighth of the Wreckers' 14 straight victories over FCIAC opponents entering Wednesday.

When the Wreckers and Cardinals met again on Wednesday -- this time at Staples -- the Wreckers made sure to add to their string of perfection.

Displaying crisp passing and a decided advantage at the net, Staples made quick work of the Cardinals, cruising to a 3-0 (25-18, 25-17, 25-10) sweep.

"They're a great team, but we wanted to come together a little more and finish it up early," Staples middle hitter Lucas Grevers said.

The Wreckers improved to 15-1 overall, including 15-0 in conference with one regular season match (Thursday at New Canaan, 4 p.m.) remaining.

"The passing was good and we made some nice defensive plays," coach Jon Shepro said. "The balls started falling our way a couple times into the ceiling and we were able to dig it up. It was a nice clean game."

Staples got offense from all over the court, especially near the net, where senior Lucas Carstens led the team with 10 kills. Senior Jonathan Denowitz and junior Todd Goldstein each had eight kills.

Senior setter Harry Hlawitschka paced the Wreckers with a match-high 32 assists.

"We've got hitters in every spot," Shepro said. "That's tough for other teams to handle. ... It doesn't matter who's in the front row. We seem to always have real good options."

Greenwich (12-4, 11-4) played Staples tight in the first game, getting as close as 20-17 late, but the Wreckers pulled away. They netted five of the final six points in the first game -- the last on an unforced error -- to win 25-18.

The Cardinals were tied 4-4 in the second game before Staples scored four straight points to take control. The Wreckers led the rest of the way, pulling ahead by as many as 10 points, 24-14.

"We gave them a lot of points on missed serves. You can take nothing away from (Staples). They played excellent today," Greenwich coach Pete Georgiou said. "Their middles were on, their serving was on, their passing was on. It was tough to get points against them."

Greenwich got 15 assists from senior Patrick Hanrahan, while Aidan Rafferty delivered five kills, four digs and an ace. Freshman Daizo Mori led the team with five digs.

The Wreckers dominated the third game, quickly turning a 3-3 tie into a 12-4 lead. After Greenwich scored to cut it to 20-10, the Wreckers reeled off five straight points -- the final on a kill by Grevers -- to seal the match.

"That was a great game," Grevers said. "It ended a lot quicker. I didn't think it would end that quick, but we got our serving going at that point. Once again, we were able to make a lot of quick runs. Everyone just did their part."

For Greenwich, the Wreckers' power at the net was too much to handle throughout the match.

"You're not going to beat them straight up hitting. They bring too much to the table," Georgiou said. "You have to force them to make errors. Today, they did a great job of forcing us to make errors.

"I wish I gave them more of a run, I'm sure my players wished they gave them more of a run too. They're a tough team."

Staples also showed its strength defensively. Denowitz led all players with 12 digs, while Carstens added six digs. Grevers registered three blocks.

dbonjour@scni.com; 203-255-4561 ext. 114; twitter.com/DougBonjour

STAPLES 3, GREENWICH 0

GREENWICH 18 17 10 -- 0

STAPLES 25 25 25 -- 3

Records: Greenwich 12-4, 11-4 FCIAC; Staples 15-1, 15-0.

Highlights: G -- Patrick Hanrahan had 15 assists, two blocks and two digs. Aidan Rafferty had five kills, four digs and one block. Daizo Mori had five digs, four kills and one ace. S -- Jonathan Denowitz had 12 digs and eight kills. Harry Hlawitschka had 32 assists. Lucas Carstens had 10 kills and six digs.

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