Season preview: Volleyball

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Naugatuck

2020 results: 12-0

Graduated: Alyssa Roberts, Lindsey Walsh, Cara Bergin

Seniors: Kaylee Jackson (captain), Kendall Allen (captain), Nadia Cestari (captain), Samantha Mullin (captain), Juliana Sarbieski, Felicia Salvati, Tiffany Nguyen, Mia Grella

Season opener: Sept. 10 vs. Bunnell

The Greyhounds followed up their 2019 NVL championship by going undefeated (12-0) last year, but the cancellation of fall postseason tournaments left a void in that accomplishment.

Naugy comes back strong with an experienced senior class and a whole lot of depth, including juniors Riley Best, Isabella Rich and Jenna Ash.

“We are small but athletic,” head coach Kevin Wesche said. “Time will tell how successful we will be as we blend players into new positions. They are playing with passion, excitement and enthusiasm. It will make an interesting start to the season.”

Woodland

2020 results: 9-2

Graduated: Elayna Beutel, May Dawes, Joanna Emin, Sydney Harrison, Allyson Koliani, Megan Luxeder

Seniors: Kylie Bulinski, Cassidy Doiron, Rory Nolan, Chelsea Donovan, Amber Rosato, Alexandra Lisowski, Julianna Rubino, Rebecca Swift

Season opener: Sept. 13 vs. Amity

While the Hawks lost some major contributors to last year’s team whose only defeats came to Seymour, they bring back a talented group with plenty of competition for playing time.

The strong core of eight seniors includes tri-captains in Kylie Bulinski (setter), Cassidy Doiron (opposite hitter) and Rory Nolan (defensive specialist). Amber Rosato and Alexandra Lisowski will provide strong presences at the net. Juniors who could aid the attack include Kalle Legasse, Maille Ianniruberto, Ava Cratty, Sam Sosnovich and Emma Fabrizi.

Longtime coach Jim Amato looks forward to a return to normalcy and the competition for playing time.

“After an interesting season that ended abruptly, it will be this team’s mission to move forward,” Amato said. “With the loss of several graduating players from last year, there will be several roles to be filled on the varsity team.”

Amato expects Seymour and Naugatuck to be among the NVL’s top contenders, and he’s set the Hawks’ goals in a familiar spot.

“One point, one set, one match at a time until there are no more points, sets or matches to be won,” Amato said.