NAUGATUCK — It may have come as a surprise to the rest of the Naugatuck Valley League that the Greyhounds — armed with just a handful of players who saw varsity action last season — got off to a 6-0 start on the volleyball court.
However, it wasn’t a surprise to the girls dressed in garnet and grey.
“I think we were very composed and poised through the first six matches,” Naugatuck head coach Kevin Wesche. “Even when we have been down they never got rattled. Our three captains (Hailey Deitelbaum, Shannon Burns and Brielle Behuniak) have shown good leadership to motivate and keep our younger players focused.”
The Greyhounds showed their resiliency in a 3-1 win over Torrington on Sept. 21. The Greyhounds were thoroughly outplayed in game one, 25-11, before they roared back to sweep the Raiders over the next three sets, 25-20, 25-12 and 25-11.
Jordyn Hunt, who has been a spark in the offense, led the way with 24 points and four aces. The front line of Behuniak (16 kills, 13 assists), Deitelbaum (9 points, 3 kills) and Hailey Russell (8 points, 7 kills, 11 assists) were instrumental in taking over the game.
The middle and back row play of Burns (6 points, 4 digs) and junior Yahna Ancheta (8 digs, 5 points) didn’t allow Torrington to mount much of a threat after the first set.
No season comes without its bumps and bruises, though.
The Greyhounds hit their first bump last week with a 3-0 loss to Ansonia on Sept. 25 and a 3-1 loss to Woodland on Sept. 28 to fall to 6-2.
The Chargers (5-2) came in as a formidable opponent and managed to wrestle away sets one and two, 26-24 and 25-23, to take a 2-0 advantage. The Chargers ran away with a 25-15 decision in the third game to sweep the Greyhounds, sending them to their first loss of the season.
Kaylee Jackson had 10 kills, Behuniak had six kills and eight assists, and Hunt added 12 points and eight digs to pace the Greyhounds.
Behuniak had 10 kills and five assists versus Woodland. Deitelbaum added four kills and four.
“As a young squad I feel our failure to finish out the first two games will make us more focused and determined in practice to execute our offense,” said Wesche regarding the Ansonia game. “We only earned six assists out of 32 attempts in game one and eight out of 38 in game two. We gave Ansonia too many opportunities to run their offense.
“I believe this loss will make us more determined to improve on all facets of the game. We are serving at 96 percent and not giving up points on the serve. I feel confident that we will bounce back.”
Naugatuck will look to bounce back this week with games against Waterbury Career on Tuesday, Lewis Mills on Wednesday, and Watertown on Friday.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated from the version that is published in the Oct. 4 edition of the Citizen’s News to include information on games played after press time.