One, supremacy in the Naugatuck Valley League Brass Division will be on the line. Two, it very well may be an ugly affair.
Both held true Tuesday night in Seymour as the Wildcats swept the Hawks to even up the top of the division in a match that could be considered little but sloppy.
The set scores were 25-14, 25-23 and 25-14.
Despite the fairly easy victory, Seymour coach Cathy Federowicz compared the match to a similar contest last year in Beacon Falls that resulted in a 3-2 Woodland win.
“It seems like when we’ve played each other in the past, they’ve been sloppy games,” she said. “We’re not really winning points on kills; we’re winning points on errors. We just made fewer errors tonight.”
Woodland coach Jim Amato wasn’t sure why his team played its worst match of the year but pointed to the stakes of the game as a potential reason.
“Tonight we might have been playing for a Brass title that wasn’t necessarily ours yet and Seymour was playing to even up the score,” Amato said.
The Hawks (12-2, 6-1 NVL Brass) made 29 errors — more than a full set’s worth of points. But Seymour (12-2, 6-1) wasn’t too pretty, either. In their 25-23 second-set victory, the Wildcats gave away 18 points on errors.
“Sometimes you try too hard,” Federowicz said. “You try too many plays that just aren’t there. You get yourself out of your own game. We wanted to be consistent tonight. We shot ourselves in the foot a few times but they had some key mistakes, too.”
Many of those mistakes came at the beginning of each set. Woodland fell behind 6-0 in the first, 5-0 in the second and 3-1 in the third. The Hawks never led and drew even just once late in the second set.
“We got beat on serve receive early by (Nicole Esposito) and (Sabrina Williams),” Woodland coach Jim Amato said. “We were making some good passes but we were squandering it at the net. We couldn’t commit to where we were going with it and we couldn’t find the floor.”
The Hawks didn’t have a player with double-digit kills. Brianna Pacileo led the team with nine while Tayler Boncal had seven.
“Seymour was digging everything,” Amato said of the Wildcats’ defense, which received 25 combined kills by Angela Tacinelli and Carissa Wasikowski.
Seymour’s Cindy Farrell bested Pacileo’s and Boncal’s combined kills. Her 17 kills and 10 digs paced the Wildcats, especially during the tight second set.
Woodland pulled to within one point nine different times in the set, including a 20-19 deficit. But Farrell was there to keep the ‘Cats ahead, making kills on three of Seymour’s last five points.
“I don’t want to let (my teammates) down,” Farrell said. “I know I have to step it up. My role is to take leadership so I go out there and give it my all.”
Now Seymour has a good opportunity to win a share of the NVL Brass title. The Wildcats and Hawks are even in every way, down to their losses to Holy Cross. If they both win out, the division will have co-champions.