By Vincent Yancigay
At 14-2, the Cheshire High girls volleyball team is used to winning. However, slow starts are causing a little concern.
The Rams trudged to a 5-0 deficit against the 5-13 Lyman Hall Trojans Wednesday night before turning it on for a three-set sweep.
“Our energy changed a lot more for some reason. The past two games we have come out low and with not a lot of energy, and then the second [set] we are a little bit more warmed up and that’s when we come out strong,” senior captain Marli Green said.
The starts aren't indicative of the results, as Cheshire won 25-20, 25-10, 25-13.
Senior captains Katelyn Morley, Lauren Carbone, and Green came into this season with a huge reputation to live up to up since they only lost three matches in the program’s previous three seasons.
“It was so much pressure." coach Sue Bavone said. "They didn’t know how to lose and they had never seen losing, so when they did lose, they were devastated. They felt like they let the whole program down."
The learning continues, however.
Lyman Hall came out strong Wednesday jumping to an 11-6 lead, but the Rams did not back down.
Led by the serving of senior setter, Eleanora Ascheri, the Rams surged back to tie the game 12-12. From this point on, the Rams stayed in control to take the first set 25-20.
“The bottom line is this is what this team has been like all year, which has really aggravated me. We don’t come out as fired up as I would like us to. We always come out feeling out the other team,” Bavone said.
After some quick adjustments from the first set, the Rams brought the intensity, jumping out to a quick 5-0 lead in the second set. Behind the dominant play of Green, who had 14 kills in the match, the Rams continued to pile on the points..
The Rams have a lot of weapons this year, but the not-so-secret weapon is Eleanora Ascheri, an exchange student from Italy who has been playing since she was 8.
Her experience shows, Bavone said.
“She’s just a skilled setter and a mature setter, so that helped us a lot since we had so much inexperience back there," Bavone said.
Even though Ascheri has only joined the team for this season, she is a key piece for the Rams' success.
“To be honest with you, if we didn’t get Ella, our record would look nothing like it does. We would have dropped a lot more games, “ Bavone said. “She turned what could have been a really rough season into a really good season.”
Ascheri added 23 assists and three kills.
The Rams continue to grow and form their identity going into the playoffs, but Bavone believes they still have a few things to work on.
“The game of volleyball is a serving and passing game so if you can serve and you can pass well, you can win. So we need to get better at those two aspects before states rolls around,” Bavone said.
The Rams will face Guilford in their next match on Wednesday, Oct. 23 before returning home for their regular season finale at home against Shelton.
Students of Quinnipiac University's JRN361 course covered local high school sports competitions in Fall '15. Their work is showcased here.
Banner photo courtesy
Dana Jensen/The Day (2003)