NAUGATUCK — When asked to single out players who stepped up against then-undefeated Woodland last Thursday, Naugatuck volleyball coach Kevin Wesche started to name names, and he didn’t stop.
Instead, he recognized just about every one of the Greyhounds, who entered the week 10-3 in the Naugatuck Valley League and 12-3 overall.
“It was a total team effort in the win,” Wesche said. “I can’t single any one of them out.”
The scores of the match were 25-20, 17-25, 26-24 and 25-18.
Ashley Whitney had 18 service points, five digs and three aces to lead Naugy, but many others contributed to keep the Greyhounds in the hunt for a league title.
“Kait Bary, Erika Andreoli, Ashley Whitney and Lauren Burns did a tremendous job defensively bringing up balls in the back,” Wesche said. “Ana Castelao, Ashley Whitney, Kayla Rotatori, Kara Klimaszewski and Kait Barry kept pressure on hitting balls back over. Stefani Barry and Kara did a nice job setting up the hitters.”
Stefani Barry had 12 service points, four digs, three assists and two aces. Kait Barry finished with five service points and eight digs while Kara Klimaszewski added eight service points, four kills and two aces for Naugatuck.
Perhaps the only downside to a big win is the challenge to come back out and keep playing at that high level the next night. Torrington provided that challenge last Friday and the Greyhounds struggled to keep the momentum going on the road.
The Greyhounds lost the first game 28-26 and never recovered in a 3-0 loss to Torrington, which won its seventh straight match and entered this week 12-2 in the NVL.
“We took a small step backwards,” Wesche said. “(I don’t know) whether it was the emotional high from the night before coming down or Torrington just playing a superb game plan. We came close a few times in game one with opportunities to come out on top but we were a step slow and missed a few serves.”
The Greyhounds began their stretch run to the end of the regular season Wednesday with a 3-1 (25-13, 28-26, 21-25, 25-17) win over Holy Cross.
In the win, Whitney had 24 service points, five aces, five kills, three blocks and eight digs. Stefani Barry had nine service points, four kills, 11 assists and digs. Lauren Burns had three service points, five digs. Andreoli had six service points and three digs. Ana Castelao had five kills, three digs and six assists. Kait Barry had six service points, two aces, two kills and eight digs. Klimaszewski had 10 kills, seven service points, 13 assists and four digs. Rotatori had seven kills and two digs. Ally Mezzo added two kills.
Naugy has three NVL matches remaining and a nonconference matchup Tuesday at perennial power Joel Barlow. Naugy hosts Kennedy on Friday, and then travels to Wilby on Monday. The Greyhounds close out the regular season Oct. 23 with a home match against Crosby.
“In order to continue the success we’ve enjoyed so far we need to stick with the fundamentals, play solid defense and step up our hitting game,” Wesche said. “So far they have put in the heart and hustle in practice to continue to improve. Come game day we shall see if they can execute on the court. We have a few tough competitors left on our schedule and don’t want a letdown in intensity.”