NVL planning postseason tournaments

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By Kyle Brennan, Citizen’s News

Woodland’s Paige Letourneau (18) takes control of the ball as Naugatuck’s Angeline Oliveira (9) defends Oct. 26 during a game at Naugatuck High School. -STEVEN VALENTI/REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

The strangest fall high school sports season ever is going to have the ending student-athletes deserve.

At least that was the Naugatuck Valley League’s plan by Oct. 30, as cases of COVID-19 were steadily on the rise throughout the state and the local area.

The regular season is set to wrap up by the end of the first week in November, setting the stage for divisional tournaments and championship meets to be held throughout the area between Nov. 7 and Nov. 14. Every school will qualify to compete in all postseason competitions.

“Just the fact that we’re able to get something in is really all we could ask for,” Woodland athletic director Chris Decker said.

SOCCER

Each division will hold a separate, six-team tournament. The method of seeding teams is still to be determined — one idea is to use a point system by wins and ties, with another idea to use winning percentage to compensate for teams that missed games due to COVID-19 postponements.

In either case, the top two seeds in each division will receive a bye into the semifinals. The lower four seeds will meet in the quarterfinals at the site of the higher-seeded team Nov. 7.

Semifinals in the girls tournament are set for Nov. 10, with boys semifinals to be played Nov. 11, all at the sites of the top two teams in each division. There will also be consolation games between quarterfinal losers on Nov. 11 or Nov. 12.

Championships and third-place matches will be played the second weekend in November.

The final in the boys Iron Division, which includes Naugatuck, is set for Torrington on Nov. 14, while the final in the boys Copper Division, which includes Woodland, is also set for Nov. 14 at a site to be determined.

On the girls side, both Naugatuck and Woodland compete in the Copper Division, which will host its final Nov. 14 at Naugatuck.

VOLLEYBALL

Each division will hold a separate tournament with teams seeded by winning percentage.

In the Iron Division, which includes Naugatuck, the top two seeds will receive a bye into the semifinals, while the lower four seeds will meet in the quarterfinals at the site of the higher-seeded team Nov. 7.

In the Copper Division, which includes Woodland, there will be a play-in game Nov. 7 between the lowest two seeds to reach the semifinals since the division has only five teams.

Semifinals in all divisions will be played Nov. 10 or Nov. 11 at the site of the higher-seeded team, while consolation games between quarterfinal losers will be played Nov. 11 or Nov. 12.

Championships and third-place matches will be played the second weekend in November.

The final in the Iron Division will be Nov. 14 at Torrington, while the final in the Copper Division will be Nov. 12 at Seymour.

Woodland’s Allyson Koliani (17) hits the ball Oct. 27 during a match against O’Brien Tech at Woodland Regional High School in Beacon Falls. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

CROSS COUNTRY

Championships in cross country will be much easier to settle — they’ll all be determined Nov. 14 at Veteran’s Park in Watertown.

The Copper Division races, which include both Naugatuck and Woodland, will be the final races of the day. Separate races for boys and girls will start at 2:15 p.m. and 3 p.m., with a maximum of 50 runners per race. Each team will likely be allowed only seven runners per race.

GIRLS SWIMMING

Postseason plans in the pool are still being finalized, but the most likely scenario is that separate diving championship meets will be held Nov. 10 for both divisions, followed by a virtual swim championship meet later in the week.

In the virtual meet, each team will send its times from that day’s races — all to be held at each team’s home pool — to a league coordinator, who will then combine all the times and award points as though it were a traditional championship meet.

FOOTBALL

Since there is no formal football season being played, no championships are planned. Naugatuck, playing 7-on-7 football with lineman challenges, is set to face Watertown on Halloween, followed by a home competition vs. Holy Cross on Nov. 6 and a matchup at Derby on Nov. 20.

The Blackshirts, which include players from Woodland, Derby and Seymour, are set to play their first regular-season game in the Connecticut Independent High School Football League on Halloween versus a team from Pomperaug, with games to follow each Saturday through Dec. 5.