On the Court: Woodland junior setter Jess Patrizi has been a key force in leading her Hawks to a three-way tie atop the Naugatuck Valley League with a 10-1 overall record. Although she’s the only non-senior in Woodland’s normal rotation, any spectator would guess Patrizi is the most experienced player on the Hawks’ half of the net. Patrizi finds herself in the middle of almost every point, whether starting it with an impeccably accurate serve, setting up a kill with a spot-on pass, or keeping the defense off-guard with a timely kill herself. And if there exists a machine to produce the perfect set, engineers must have modeled it after Patrizi’s form.
By the Numbers: Patrizi has put up monster numbers all season long. If the casual observer doesn’t know how to judge volleyball stats, here’s a clue: Racking up matches with 20-plus assists every time while tossing in a 30-assist, 15-service point night every once in a while is really good, to say the least. Patrizi has tallied 30-plus assists multiple times this year and rarely has an off night. Just this week, Patrizi had a match with 15 assists and three aces against Ansonia and a spectacular, 21-assist, 14-point, three-kill night against Wolcott.
In Her Own Words: “I think my success is mainly because I had been going to a lot of camps during the summer. It’s also because our team makes good passes to me, and that lets me make good sets for them to set up kills. … I had some goals in not missing serves and sets. Obviously you’re going to miss serves once in a while, but I wanted to be as consistent as possible. Sometimes one hitter is really on fire and they’re hitting the ball really well, so I try to get it to them in that situation, but because we have a lot of good hitters, I try to spread the ball around as much as possible. Our hitters are doing really well this year and I give them a lot of credit. Everybody’s been doing well—it’s not just one or two players, but really a whole team effort. … [To win the league,] I think we just need to want the ball more. We need to serve well and make good passes and kills, and if we can do that, we can definitely win.”