Consistency key to Greyhounds’ performance 

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NAUGATUCK — The Greyhounds haven’t lose a set in seven of nine matches so far — a dominating performance that head coach Kevin Wesche attributed to consistency across the volleyball court.

“The key has been our consistency in serving, receiving, passing and setting, allowing our hitters better opportunities to swing,” Wesche said.

Naugy continued its dominance Thursday in a 3-0 win at Sacred Heart. Hailey Russell recorded 25 points, with eight aces and 11 assists to lead the Greyhounds (9-0).

Brielle Behuniak had ten kills and Kaylee Jackson added seven aces and seven kills. The ‘Hounds didn’t allow more than ten points in any set.

“Our team defense has impressed me the most so far with our ability to bring up what our opponents have delivered,” Wesche said. “The offense is making huge strides, as well.”

Perhaps Naugatuck’s biggest win of the first half of the season came Sept. 24 against Holy Cross. Up two sets and trailing in the third set, the Greyhounds stormed back in that set for the 3-0 victory.

“The thing that impressed me most in our win over Holy Cross was our composure and focus when it looked like they might force a fourth set,” Wesche said. “We were down 15-7 and we were able to come back one pass, one serve, one point at a time and chip away at their lead. The entire squad stepped up to the challenge and did their job bettering the ball to give us opportunities to score and feel a momentum change.”

The Greyhounds picked up a 3-0 win Tuesday over Ansonia, which won three of its last four heading into the match. Behuniak, Jackson, Russell and Nadia Cestari each recorded at least ten points for Naugy. Behuniak added 13 kills. Jackson had eight kills and Russell had 15 assists.

Naugatuck is just one of two Naugatuck Valley League teams — the other is Seymour — that’s started the season 9-0. The Greyhounds’ early-season loss to St. Paul turned into a win after the Falcons had to forfeit their first four matches.

Naugatuck will host Woodland (7-1) Friday in a match of top NVL teams. The Greyhounds have not defeated the Hawks since 2017. The match with Seymour won’t come until the final match of the regular season.

Wesche said the team’s game plan doesn’t change no matter the opponent.

“Our team philosophy is not to look beyond or focus on anyone but our next opponent,” Wesche said. “Then we try to implement our game plan to give us the best opportunity for success.”

Next week, Naugatuck will play Waterbury Career Tuesday and Watertown Thursday.