Hawks show they’ve come a long way

BEACON FALLS — The Woodland volleyball team showed it’s not the same squad that started the year 0-3 in a battle against Naugatuck on Tuesday night, though the Hawks fell short of picking up the win.

Naugatuck left Beacon Falls with the 3-0 (25-22, 25-22 and 25-9) victory.

After the slow start to the season, Woodland (9-6) won nine of 11 matches heading into the match with Naugatuck (12-4).

“I think as a team we have improved since the beginning of the season,” Woodland junior captain Steph Krebbs said. “We’ve had some ups and downs occasionally and have tried to work through the rough spots.”

“I was really expecting us to step it up tonight,” Krebbs added. “But I think it was a lack of confidence, and once we got down in that third game we just didn’t have that spark to get us back into it.”

Woodland came out with a spark and battled back from a 17-7 deficit in game one.

Krebbs (4 kills, 4 digs, 2 blocks) and Lexi Chabot (12 kills, 4 digs) were a force at the net and began to take charge in the front row. Fatima Khalid (15 assists, 9 digs) worked to set up the returns and Xiu Xiu Sammis-McCoy (10 points) began to score as Woodland cut the deficit to 18-16.

Unforced errors by Woodland kept the Hawks from taking advantage of their inspired play, and Naugatuck pulled out a 25-22 win in game one.

Tied at 22-22, game two was anybody’s game.

A side out kill by Naugy’s Aryana Powell gave the Greyhounds the serve back and it was enough to pull out a 25-22 win and take a 2-0 advantage into game three.

“I know our communication was a little down tonight,” Chabot said. “Steph and I playing in the front row together try and set an example. We try and stay positive and encourage the rest of the team.”

“I feel as a team we have stepped up to the challenge after getting off to a slow start on the season,” Chabot added. “We still have a ways to go to get better, but since day one there has been great development on this team.”

Woodland couldn’t get it going in game three as Naugatuck took charge from the opening serve to pull away for a 25-9 win.

Woodland will play East Haven on Wednesday and finish out the week on Friday at Torrington. Woodland will conclude the regular season next week at Holy Cross on Monday and home against Wolcott on Wednesday.

“We will be all right in the long run especially with a coach like Mr. Amato,” Chabot said. “He knows when to get under your skin to make you a better player. But he is also so amazing knowing just when to comfort you letting you know that you are a good player and that everything is going to be OK. And as a team, we are going to be OK.”