GVB: Exchange student, chemistry clicking for Cheshire as it heads into the postseason
By Christine Smaltz
CHESHIRE— Eleanora Ascheri has proven to be a huge asset to the Cheshire High School girls volleyball team this season as it improves to 14-2 after a three-set win against the Lyman Hall Trojans Wednesday night.
Despite a slow start in the first game, the Rams found their rhythm of offense with the help of Ascheri, a senior setter, and dominated the next two games in the match 25-20, 25-10, 25-14.
Ascheri, the 16-year-old foreign-exchange student from Italy, had 23 assists, two aces and three kills in the match, while senior captain Marli Green had with 14 kills and three aces.
The Lyman Hall Trojans (5-13) put up a fight against the tough Rams’ offense throughout the first game, but their defense proved no match for Ascheri-Green duo in the following games.
“Our energy definitely increased from the first game to the second. During the second game, we came out stronger and tried to limit our errors,” Green said.
Head coach Sue Bavone attributed the team’s success this season to Ascheri’s versatility and ability to control the offense.
“Ele is a skilled and mature setter so that helps us a lot because we have so many inexperienced players and the pace of the game is so much faster than they are used to,” Bavone said. “Our passing is shaky at times and because she’s experienced, she settles that second ball for us.”
After the Rams began to control their passes following the first game of the match, their offense was unstoppable.
Green noted that her team relies on working as a unit and feeding off each others’ energy, as opposed to the previous season highly skill players got the job done.
After losing six seniors following the 2014 season, the Rams have had to focus on creating this unit.
“Even though these players are upperclassmen, this is really the first year they have gained a lot of experience on a varsity level following a mainly senior based team in 2014,” Bavone said.
Practices have been aimed towards building intensity and confidence in ability during each play and strengthening communication, she added.
With the loss of starting seniors and the gain of Ascheri, the Rams have proven that they still are a force to be reckoned with this season.
Going into the postseason, Bavone said their main focus will be to improve their passing and increase intensity to ensure stronger first game start in the future. The Rams hope to clinch the second spot in their division with a win against Guilford this Friday night at Guilford High School and bring the first playoff match to their home court.
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Banner photo courtesy
Dana Jensen/The Day (2003)