NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck volleyball team that faced off against Ansonia on Tuesday definitely seemed to be missing something. After three relatively quick games, the Chargers handed the Greyhounds their second loss of the season, 3-0.
“I thought tonight we were off of our game,” Naugatuck coach Fred Scheithe said. “We just didn’t seem to have our heads in the game from the beginning and then I think we made some mistakes that just compounded and made things worse and worse.”
How the match began was not necessarily a good indication of what was to come. The first game was initially neck-and-neck thanks to the efforts of captain Jess Buckley and the superb blocking of Cataysia Brown on the Naugatuck side, not to mention the power behind Ansonia’s Rebecca Behrendt’s numerous kills and the athleticism of Courteney Ruth.
But with the game tied at 16, Naugatuck’s defense started breaking down. Ansonia capitalized and won the game, 25-17.
The second game ended identically to the first, a 25-17 Ansonia victory. Naugatuck seemed plagued by mistakes from the beginning. This, compounded with some dubious officiating—not lost on either Scheithe or the Naugatuck crowd—led ultimately to a wearing down of Naugatuck’s defense once again. A final ace off the net by Ansonia’s Julia Beattie ended the game.
As solid as the Greyhounds’ efforts were in the third game, they still did not prove to be enough as the Chargers completed the sweep with a 26-24 win. Ansonia’s service game was on point, as it seemed like the majority of points garnered by the Chargers in the third game were the result of well-executed aces.
Scheithe saw a little more from his girls by the time the third set rolled around.
“I think the third set we played better,” Scheithe said. “I don’t think we played anywhere near our potential but we did play better. They were communicating, talking, calling for the ball. And that’s what volleyball is all about.”
Despite the loss, Scheithe remained optimistic.
“It’s not like it’s the end of the world,” Scheithe said. “All we have to do is just play our game. If we play our game we’re fine. We played our game against Holy Cross and Torrington and won.”
Not one to make excuses, Scheithe came back to what was of the utmost importance.
“The main thing in volleyball … is you have to be loud on the court, you have to communicate, and you have to trust one another,” Scheithe said.
The team still needs to make up two matches previously cancelled due to issues with the Naugatuck gymnasium’s lighting—one against Wilby, the other against Crosby.
“Essentially, everyone else is on their sixth game while we’re only on our fourth,” Scheithe said.
The Greyhounds host Terryville in a nonconference match Wednesday before hitting the road for matches at St. Paul on Friday and Wolcott on Tuesday.