By Tanner Harding
CHESHIRE—For the Cheshire High School girls volleyball team, wins are coming from every direction.
Primarily, though, they’re being delivered from Italy.
Senior exchange student Eleanora Ascheri again led the Rams (14-2) to a 25-20, 20-10, 20-11 sweep over Lyman Hall here Wednesday night.
Ascheri led Cheshire with 23 assists, two aces, four digs, three blocks and three kills.
“If we ever hit the jackpot with an exchange student, it’s this year with her,” head coach Sue Bavone said. “She really stands out.”
Exchange students are something Bavone has a lot of experience with.
A former player of hers hosts an exchange student every year—always requesting a volleyball player because she loves to go to the matches.
Ascheri, who is from Italy, brings maturity and a calm presence to the team that Bavone said helps the girls when they get off to a slow start, like they did against Lyman Hall (5-13). Great transition
“Our passing is shaky at times, so you can see -- because she’s experienced -- she settles that second ball for us when other player couldn’t,” Bavone said.
The Trojans started off strong, grabbing the first two points. They held the lead for the first half of the set, taking advantage of some bad blocks, missed spikes and bad serves from Cheshire. Lose the oxford comma – ap style
However, it was a miscommunication between teammates on Lyman Hall’s end that turned things around for the Rams. The hosts capitalized on that mistake, and gained momentum. A double-touch by the Trojans allowed Cheshire to take the lead for the first time in the set, making the score 16-15.
They would not relinquish the lead for the rest of the match.
The Rams finished the first set 25-20, and came out strong in the second set, jumping out 5-0.
Despite Lyman Hall’s best efforts, they could not recover against the dominant Rams, who won the second set with a convincing score of 25-10.
It was more of the same in the third set, and Ascheri scored the match point.
Wins like this have come often for the Rams.
“The bottom line is this is what the team has been like this entire year,” Bavone said about the Rams starting off slow in the first match. “It’s really aggravated me. We don’t come out as fired up as I’d like us to be.”
Senior captain Marli Green agreed, emphasizing that the team needs to come out with a higher energy.
“In the past two games we’ve come out flat, and then in the second set we’re a little more warmed up,” Green said. “That’s when we’re trying to limit our errors and be the better team.”
The Rams only have four returning players this year, so the inexperience and shakiness of the team has been a problem all year. And, despite being only 16, Ascheri is a player Bavone relies on.
Ascheri has been playing volleyball since she was 8, and has “touched a million more balls than any of these girls ever will,” Bavone said.
“To be honest with you, if we didn’t get (Ascheri), our record would look nothing like it does,” Bavone said.
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Students in Quinnipiac University's JRN361: Sports Reporting course cover local high school sports competitions. Their work is showcased here.
Banner photo courtesy
Dana Jensen/The Day (2003)