NHS volleyball notches win in opener

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WATERBURY — Many members of the Naugatuck varsity girls’ volleyball team experienced something for the first time on Tuesday evening—a win.

Naugy began the season with only two players with any varsity experience—Daniella Stoehrer and Rene Augustine—but encountered few problems Tuesday. Junior Jess Buckley served 11 aces and tallied 22 service points to lead the Greyhounds to a 2-0 (25-7, 25-8) sweep of Wilby in the regular season opener for both teams.

“I think this is the first time in my 22-year career that players one through six, along with the subs, are all new,” Naugy head coach Fred Scheithe said following the 36-minute match.

Thalia Ortiz had one kill and three digs, and Stephanie Galarza added four digs to lead Wilby.

The Greyhounds made quick work of the Wildcats on their home court. Naugy jumped out to a 6-0 lead thanks to the serves of Mikki D’Angelo, who posted 17 service points in the match.

In one of the more notable exchanges of the evening, Leticia Campos helped the Greyhounds cap the first set with a diving save along the right side of the net to keep the ball in play. The ball eventually went to Courtney Quarles, who deposited the kill to give Naugatuck the first set.

In the second set, the Greyhounds overcame an early 6-5 deficit thanks to the serves of Buckley, who tallied 10 straight points to give Naugy a 15-6 lead. Kaitlyn Fiorenzi wrapped up the match with an ace.

Scheithe said he was impressed with the front-row play of Quarles, Campos and Augustine.

“I think the three of them look good when they receive good sets,” Scheithe noted. “They attacked the net well.”

Naugatuck’s net play wasn’t the only positive development for a young team. Scheithe saw several other areas that showed improvement over the team’s bid in a Westport-Staples jamboree last weekend.

“I thought our coverage was much better,” Scheithe said. “The back people were where they were supposed to be.”

In addition, Scheithe was pleased with the squad’s serving and their overall spirit during the match.

“The team was pretty up today, which is always good,” Scheithe said.

The Greyhounds were scheduled to face Crosby on Thursday. Next week, Naugy is set to face Holy Cross, Ansonia and Woodland.

“The pace will pick up after this week,” Scheithe said.

But after Tuesday night, Scheithe wasn’t prepared to look too far ahead.

“A win is a win and right now we’re undefeated in the NVL,” said Scheithe, who then offered a glimpse into the future. “What makes me the happiest is that we’re going to get better every time we play.”