By Sarah Russell
CHESHIRE, Oct. 4 -- As the volleyball flew over the net and hit the floor of the Shelton High Gaels’ side of the court, players and coaches of the Cheshire Rams volleyball team were on their feet and cheering loudly. This was not the play that ended the game, but happened in the first set.
The Rams focused on bringing the noise tonight.
Cheshire defeated Shelton decisively, 3-0, in a Housatonic League match. The Rams remained undefeated as they took each set 25-8, 25-19, 25-10.
Communication was key for the Cheshire volleyball team, now 11-0. The team started the night on an eight-point run, cheering louder for each other with each added point.
“One of the big things we’ve been stressing in practice is really talking and being loud on the court and I thought we did a really good job of that today,” Cheshire coach Sue Bavone said. “The more we talk, the more fluid our game was.”
“Lately we’ve been working on talking a lot and today we were really determined to get out and show our coach how we can talk,” senior Brady McQuade said. “We were loud and energetic. The other team, they got loud at some points, but we maintained our game.”
McQuade was on the court most of the night tallying six kills, four digs, two aces and one block.
Senior captain Karly Pedbereznak showed how well she could communicate with her teammates through her play with 14 assists, along with three aces and two digs.
Cheshire was all over the ball all night. Libero, junior Nina Montagna, dove for every ball that was near her. She had 12 digs.
As junior Meagan Clyne jumped to block a ball that went just over her fingertips, Jenny Wang, another junior, was behind her, moving to hit the ball that was narrowly missed. These plays happened throughout the night, as the Rams communicated with each other more efficiently.
“When we’re communicating, we’re playing well,” Bavone said.
In the second set, Cheshire got quiet, giving Shelton the opportunity to step up, going on a seven-point run, bringing the score to 7-2. Shelton forced Bavone to call a time out, provoking cheers from the Gaels managerial staff.
“I told them, ‘(Shelton is) starting to pick up their intensity. They’re louder than us right now.’ I told them that we were doing things OK, but the thing that was slowing us down in the second game is that we stopped talking,” Bavone said. “I told them, ‘You’re doing a good job, but now what’s happening is you’ve got two people going for a ball, nobody’s talking, so we’re hesitating and we’re making dumb mistakes’.”
The Rams answered back with a seven-point run, taking back the lead for the rest of the game.
The 6-7 Gaels are a young team just overpowered by the Rams.
“Every game is a work in progress,” Shelton coach LeAnne Bianchine. “I have a lot of young kids. The future’s bright. We may get our butts kicked, but we don’t give up.”
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)