Serving up pancakes

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Woodland’s Maddie Hupprich (6) sets the ball Sept. 24 versus Watertown in Beacon Falls. Woodland won the game, 3-0. -ELIO GUGLIOTTI
Woodland’s Maddie Hupprich (6) sets the ball Sept. 24 versus Watertown in Beacon Falls. Woodland won the game, 3-0. -ELIO GUGLIOTTI

BEACON FALLS — The Woodland girls volleyball team takes pride in its pancakes. And we’re not talking breakfast.

The Hawks are off to a 6-0 start, and they’re doing it with defense. The team’s strength has been not letting the ball touch the ground.

That means keeping track of statistics like a pancake, which is a dig in which the player gets the ball up by placing a flat hand on the ground and letting the ball bounce off the back of her hand.

“This is the scrappiest team I’ve had in quite some time,” Woodland head coach Jim Amato said.

Cam Caswell leads the team in pancakes, and it was her performance that helped the Hawks in a five-set win over Torrington Sept. 25. Caswell had 30 digs in a battle of two previously 5-0 teams.

Woodland and Torrington alternated matches (25-18, 24-26, 25-23, 21-25, 16-14) before the Hawks came away victorious.

Ruthie Costanzo led Woodland (6-0) with two blocks, and has been strong at the net all season along with Emily Brouilette and 5-foot, 10-inch freshman Steph Krebs.

The Hawks have also displayed a variety of hitters.

Woodland’s Cam Caswell (34) bumps the ball Sept. 24 versus Watertown in Beacon Falls. Woodland won the game, 3-0. -ELIO GUGLIOTTI
Woodland’s Cam Caswell (34) bumps the ball Sept. 24 versus Watertown in Beacon Falls. Woodland won the game, 3-0. -ELIO GUGLIOTTI

Sam White had 21 digs, 13 kills and her jump serve produced four aces in the victory over Torrington. White leads the team with a 2.10 kills per set average.

Fellow hitters Jenna Boncal and McKenna Cronin both had eight kills against Torrington.

Carla Piccolo had 12 kills and 24 assists and has shined along with fellow setter Maddie Hupprich in a 6-2 offensive set. Hupprich had 14 assists versus the Red Raiders.

Woodland made quick work of Watertown the day before facing Torrington in a 3-0 sweep. White led the way with 10 aces and five kills. Piccolo added five kills and five assists.

Amato said the Hawks continue to have a business approach to the game, and refuse to look too far ahead.

“We need two more wins to qualify for states,” Amato said.

Of course, the Hawks probably have their sights set on another deep run in the state tournament. But, they know they must take one step at a time.

And, despite defeating their first six opponents, the Hawks have been able to keep their edge.

“They’ve been a fun team to coach,” Amato said. “Their focus is volleyball. They enjoy playing volleyball.”

The Hawks had five days off after their win over Torrington on Sept. 25. They are scheduled to play at Oxford on Thursday before hosting Holy Cross on Friday.