Raquel Loustaunau led the Greyhounds’ attack, scoring 20 service points with six aces, six kills and five digs. Melissa Ascencao added 13 service points and 15 assists to go along with three aces as Naugatuck took control in game one and never lost focus.
After starting the season 0-2 with losses to Holy Cross and Kennedy, Naugatuck head coach Fred Scheithe was still optimistic.
“They are the top two teams in the Copper Division,” Scheithe said. “Probably two of the top four teams in the league and in the end I think it helped us to open the season against teams with that kind of strength. I thought we played well at times and the girls showed no quit. We are a starting to build some chemistry and we have a lot of potential.”
Naugatuck showed that potential in game two when Wilby started to fight back. Ana Castelao was a force in the middle with Ashley Whitney on the outside and Sarah Chandler (five digs, four kills, three aces) giving the ‘Hounds a solid front row.
When a young inexperienced team is trying to build chemistry and trust on the court, the hardest victory is the first one. Once Naugatuck took a 2-0 advantage over the Wildcats, the Greyhounds remained focused to complete the job.
“You could see the change in their attitude,” Scheithe said. “Once they got that game-one win it was a big relief to get that out of the way. Then you can start playing with confidence. But you don’t want to get too confident and lose your focus.”
The Naugatuck defense stepped up in game three and made sure the ‘Hounds remained focused for the task at hand. Brianna Britto and Kait Barry worked the back-row defense along with Emily Blanchard.
Amy Dietz and Kayla Rotatori helped out in the front row with Steph Barry (three aces, nine assists) guiding the offense to complete the sweep.
“Our biggest concern is our lack of size up front,” Scheithe said. “Amy Dietz gives us some size at 5-foot-10 but this is her first year playing volleyball and she is working into the position.”
Naugy followed up the win against Wilby by defeating Crosby Wednesday night 3-1 (25-13, 22-25, 25-19, 25-19).
The Greyhounds will visit Torrington on Friday. The ‘Hounds stay on the road next Tuesday to face Ansonia.
“We need to continue to come together as a team,” Scheithe said. “As long as we stay focused we will see improvement.”