Lady Trojans sweep New Milford
Although the Weston girls volleyball team grabbed a 3-0 (25-15, 25-17, 25-15) home victory over New Milford on Wednesday, the team wasn't completely satisfied. Weston felt it committed too many errors despite raising its record to 6-3. New Milford dropped to 0-9.
"We didn't come out as fired up as we should have," Lady Trojans Coach Jamie Charles said. "We were solid enough to get the win but we could have played a lot better."
Weston fell behind 5-3 in the first game before it started to find the holes and get its act together. Junior Lili Clement (five kills, seven digs, three service points, two aces) hit the ball hard and forced many errors. Charles felt the statistics were deceiving and thought the five kills didn't reflect how well she hit.
"Lili had a good night and she hit the ball well," Charles said.
Clement said, "I was on top of the ball and I hit it correctly. I was able to follow through."
Also stepping up for the home team was senior Sam Fino (seven service points, one ace, one dig), who served well and was solid in the back row.
In the second game, the Lady Trojans trailed 3-1 before taking a 4-3 lead on senior co-captain Christina Welsh's kill. Welsh (10 kills, 10 digs, 10 service points, four aces) was a force at the net and her kill from junior Jessy Gersh (18 assists, three digs, one service point) tied it, 5-5. Weston never trailed after the captain's kill.
"I tried to be smart and find the open spots," Welsh said. "All we wanted was for the ball to hit the ground."
Sophomore Hannah Ashmore (six kills, nine service points, three aces, one block) also hit the ball hard for the Lady Trojans and had three kills in helping them build up a 14-9 lead in Game 2. Gersh's passes led to her first two kills and sophomore Savannah Carpenter (three kills, three digs) set up the third kill, which made it 14-9.
"I guess it came from good passes to the setter and calling for the ball to where you want it," Ashmore said.
The Lady Green Wave didn't quit and scored five straight points to tie it, 14-14. Welsh ended the surge when her hit forced a New Milford error.
Ashmore then served five straight points to give Weston a commanding, 20-14 lead. Her last point was a crosscourt ace.
"I took my time and made a good toss," Ashmore said.
Welsh and sophomore Anna Hengelbrok (two kills, one block) helped Ashmore out with back-to-back kills for points No. 18 and 19. Gersh, who ran the offense well, deftly set up both points.
"It took a lot of practice and we worked on teamwork in practice," Gersh said. "We were able to communicate better than we were and Hannah and I have been working on a lot of new things in the middle and we're finally getting them down."
The game ended with Ashmore's slam at the net forcing a New Milford error. Clement played well defensively in the game and prevented a few balls from dropping.
"Coach Charles reminded me to track the ball in the last few games," Clement said. "I tried to get behind it and pass it to the setter."
Welsh tied the third game at 2-2 with a kill and the Lady Trojans never looked back after her kill gave them a 3-2 lead on Ashmore's serve. The captain then forced an error to make it 4-2.
Senior co-captain Maggie Montelli, who is being brought back slowly, after missing the beginning of the season with an injury, lifted Weston with her serves. Montelli (three service points, one ace, one assist, one dig) had a tennis-serving motion and had great velocity in putting the ball in play. She served three straight points, starting with an ace, to give the Lady Trojans an 8-3 lead.
The Lady Green Wave closed to within two, 13-11 before their service error forced a sideout. Clement then served two straight aces to make it 16-11.
Welsh served well all night and had three service points, starting with an ace, to make it 23-14.
"I tried to put it in between their players and make good contact," Welsh said.
The match ended with Ashmore's kill with authority off a return on Fino's serve.
"When it's an overpass, I jumped real high for the ball," Ashmore said.
Although Weston was victorious, it was hard to surmise it from its feelings.
"I was a little disappointed," Welsh said. "We settled for a win. Now we know what we have to work on."