Lady Wreckers lose fourth straight match
She had played one of her best matches of the season -- and while injured, no less.
Yet after the Staples girls volleyball team ended its home match against Ridgefield on Wednesday night, the only reward junior Joosje Grevers received for her efforts was a bag of ice on her sprained left foot.
"I just really wanted to win this game. I definitely came here really being hungry for it. It really didn't matter if I had an injury or not," the junior middle hitter said following her team's 3-2 loss to the Lady Tigers (17-25, 25-21, 14-25, 25-12, 15-12).
After suffering the injury in warm-ups before a match at St. Joseph on Oct. 15 and missing the last two games, Grevers returned to the Lady Wreckers (9-5) and had 14 kills and nine blocks. Yet in spite of her performance, Staples lost its fourth straight match as the goal to qualify for the FCIAC tournament grew all the more challenging.
"We needed the win," Staples coach Jon Shepro said. "We really needed the win, for our confidence more than anything else."
As was the case in the other losses, the Lady Wreckers personified a light switch: on one game, off another. In the first and third games, the home team won with relative ease before finding itself reversing roles with Ridgefield (11-3) in the second and fourth games.
"I think every game no matter if it's a win or a loss, you just have to shake it off and every game is a new game and you just have to go in there really wanting it--being so pumped up and mentally ready. I think that's something that we have to learn. It's not easy to learn," Grevers said.
One could make the argument that the standout junior has already taken such a lesson to heart. Before the fifth game, Grevers' voice could be heard the loudest on the court: "Fight for every single ball! Let's go!"
"She owned the net," Staples coach Jon Shepro said of Grevers. "She changed the way the Ridgefield girls were playing because she was in the front. She made the Ridgefield girls try to hit around her and over her."
She was far from alone, though, in terms of production. Senior captain outside hitter Alex Masiello had 16 kills, 10 digs and three aces.
Fellow senior captain Lucy Stanley, who plays setter, had 19 assists and 11 service points. Junior middle hitter Augustine Gradoux-Matt had seven blocks and four kills. Junior setter Anna Link added 14 assists and six kills.
The Lady Tigers, who in contrast won their fourth straight match, were led by the 24 digs and 18 kills of Megan Kirchoff, who nearly had her team's last five kills in the fourth game. Katie Powers had 34 assists and 12 service points with five aces. Karryn Christiansen added 20 digs and 14 service points.
The players appreciated the size of the home crowd, which was as big as or bigger than the match against Darien on Sept. 29.
"Our fans helped out a lot but, I don't why after we win we just can't keep the momentum up," Masiello said. "We play really well under pressure, so once the pressure's off of us we kind of tone it down a little. We shouldn't be doing that."
Now, the team will try to show the home patrons a victory when the take on New Canaan at 5:30 p.m. on Friday--with only four matches left in the regular season.
"We have sort of a tough streak at the end, which is rough, because we all sort of got our hopes up when we were 9-1," Stanley said. "Four straight losses -- it's definitely putting a dampening on the season."