NAUGATUCK — Records aren’t always the only measure of success. Take the Naugatuck girls volleyball team, for example.
The Greyhounds finished 8-12 overall and lost a Class L first-round state tournament match to Bristol Central.
In many ways, the state match was a microcosm of the season. The ‘Hounds lost a lopsided first set, 25-12, rebounded with a win in the second, and dropped two other close sets in a 3-1 loss.
On the surface, some might say a below-.500 record indicates a poor showing. Naugy head coach Fred Scheithe disagrees. He sees improvement as the benchmark.
“If you look at what we started with and where we ended, this team was probably my most successful in terms of levels of progress,” Scheithe said.
And that’s a perspective with 23 years of volleyball coaching experience.
The Greyhounds lacked in experience and pure talent, but it made up for it with raw athleticism and the will to improve.
Senior Lauren Andreoli was the only returning athlete with varsity experience. Other seniors such as Jess Buckley, Lani Chucta, and Victoria Hendricks helped younger teammates adjust.
Junior Sarah Chandler earned most outstanding player honors for the team and led the squad in digs, saves and service points. A lot of success started with her.
“Sarah could play all six positions,” Scheithe said. “She developed a jump serve and she was strong in the front row.”
Chandler, along with Melissa Ascencao and Raquel Loustaunau, developed throughout the season. All three will share captain responsibilities next season.
Scheithe also praised three sophomores—sisters Kate and Stef Barry, and Ashley Whitney. Each should play a key role in next season’s team.
Three freshmen from this year could also see increased time next season. Scheithe said Lauren Burns, Erika Andreoli and Kara Klimaszewski all showed advanced skills early in their high school playing days.
Scheithe congratulated the team on a season of many accomplishments. And while the 2011 overall record doesn’t show it, Naugy’s future could be a lot brighter because of this year’s squad.
“I think our success this year certainly bodes well for the future,” Scheithe said.
Greyhounds Welcome Back Familiar Faces
Last Saturday, the second annual Naugatuck alumni volleyball jamboree was hosted by Naugatuck volleyball coach Fred Scheithe and the Greyhounds. Players from the last 13 years attended for a round-robin afternoon of matches. The Naugy grads used the occasion to also collect non-perishable food for local charity organizations and created six teams that faced off against each other throughout the afternoon.
Some of the past players included the Mesaros sisters (Shannon, Fallon, and Taryn), the Witkoski sisters (Jackie and Lindsay), Jackie Brenia, Shannon and Stephanie Dunn, Ardita Vinca, Becky McGettigan, Jen Rimkus, Sarah Shea, Jess Bergin, Michelle Keesler, Jessica Lengyel, and the members of the 2010 and 2011 senior classes.