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Weston falls to unbeaten Barlow in SWC girls volleyball final

Published 11:12 am, Wednesday, November 7, 2012
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MILFORD -- Joel Barlow, the South-West Conference girls volleyball champion, still hasn't lost a thing in 2012.

Third-seeded Weston, however, made the top-ranked Falcons sweat that statistic a little in the conference final on Tuesday night.

A back-and-forth first set finally went to the Falcons, and they jumped out to big leads after that in a 25-21, 25-20, 25-17 win at Lauralton Hall, taking their third league title in six years.

"Our backs were against the wall a couple of times," Barlow head coach Steve Antal said. "The girls really stepped up and pushed through it."

Call them games or sets, but Barlow hasn't lost one--63 in all--while rolling to 21-0 going into the state tournament.

Weston (16-3) had a lead in the first set, though. As late as 18-16, the Trojans were in front.

What turned it around?

"Adrenaline," said tournament MVP Sarah McAniff, a senior, who had 15 kills and 10 digs. "It was all adrenaline. We were so high on every point."

A few of McAniff's digs helped the Falcons regain control. Samantha Schwear (24 assists) set up Victoria Shea (11 kills, 11 digs) for big kills, and Barlow denied Weston every chance to regain momentum.

"If you get one of those early, it does so much for your confidence, your momentum. None went our way," Weston head coach Jamie Charles said.

The Trojans had won 13 in a row since their Sept. 21 loss to Barlow.

"I think we were much more prepared and confident," Charles said. "We played so much more as a team, a confident team."

Barlow took leads of 11-3 in the second set, 6-0 and 15-6 in the third set.

Weston crept back in both, even getting as close as 19-18 in the second set, with help from Savannah Carpenter's 17 kills and 18 digs, and Taylor Swanson's 23 assists and seven digs. Anna Hengelbrok had six blocks and eight digs.

Barlow just had too much, keeping its perfect season alive, not that Antal much wanted to look backward.

"What you did yesterday," Antal said, "doesn't count for tomorrow."

Schwear, Shea, Carpenter and Swanson were named to the all-tournament team, as were Newtown's Caroline Kelly and Bunnell's Kyla Pataki.

mfornabaio@ctpost.com; http://twitter.com/fornabaioctp

SWC CHAMPIONSHIP

No. 1 JOEL BARLOW 3, No. 3 WESTON 0

WESTON 21 20 17--0

BARLOW 25 25 25--3

Records: Weston 16-3; Barlow 21-0.

Highlights: W--Savannah Carpenter had 17 kills and 18 digs. Taylor Swanson had 23 assists and seven digs. Anna Hengelbrok had six blocks and eight digs. B--Sarah McAniff had 15 kills and 10 digs. Samantha Schwear had 24 assists. Victoria Shea had 11 kills and 11 digs.

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