Close, but no Brass for Woodland spikers

Woodland's Stephanie Badale dives unsuccessfully for the ball during Wednesday's 3-2 loss to Seymour, which clinched the NVL Brass Division title for the Wildcats.

Woodland's Stephanie Badale dives unsuccessfully for the ball during Wednesday's 3-2 loss to Seymour, which clinched the NVL Brass Division title for the Wildcats.

SEYMOUR – What a match. The de facto Naugatuck Valley League Brass Division championship in Seymour Wednesday night between Woodland and the Wildcats was everything a title match should be—thrilling, competitive, even, and five games long. Unfortunately for the Black and Gold, the Cats rallied from a 9-4 deficit in the decisive game to take a 3-2 (23-25, 25-16, 13-25, 25-20, 15-9) victory.

Woodland had all the momentum it could ask for in the final game—leading 9-4 with an explosive offense and a reeling Seymour defense. But unpredictably, the Wildcats scored the final 11 points of the game to shock the Hawks and steal the Brass Division crown.

As dominating as the Hawks were at times, Seymour was just as overpowering at others. Both squads played extremely cleanly in the first four games, forcing each other to make clean kills. Strangely, the final game was when both teams were seemingly at their worst, as the Cats allowed Woodland a large lead on unforced errors then were almost handed the victory by a barrage of Hawks’ miscues.

In a vote of confidence prior to the match, Beacon Falls First Selectman Susan Cable said, “I’ve been to all the matches so far, and [Woodland] is the best volleyball team I’ve seen.”

After Seymour swept the season series, there might be reason for Cable to change her opinion. But these two squads will likely see each other again in the NVL tournament, which begins this weekend.