Three of the four area volleyball teams finished the season with playoff appearances, as Bristol Eastern, Bristol Central and Terryville all made the postseason.
The Lancers and the Rams actually faced off in the first round of the state tournament and Bristol Eastern advanced with a 3-0 win.
For the Lancers, three players were selected to our All-Press Volleyball Team, Aliana Rivoira, Zoe Lowe and Sienna White.
Rivoira was second in all of Class L with 74 aces. She was third in Class L for total assists, with 672, and averaged 8.2 per game, the leader among juniors.
“Hardworking, dedicated, vocal leader, committed player, A true student-athlete - top five percent of her class,” Eastern coach Stacy Rivoira said. “She did a great job of distributing the ball.”
White was the only senior on the Lancers and served as a team leader.
“Determined, focused, positive attitude, great teammate,” Rivoira said. “I loved coaching her and will miss her very much. Dominant force on the right side, we relied on her to put the ball down.”
Lowe was one of the most impressive freshmen not only in the area, but the state. She finished first in the conference in kills, fifth in aces and was 32nd in the state in kills.
“Zoe worked hard as a freshman to become a starter for the varsity team,” Rivoira said. “She had the most kills of any freshman in the state. She has tremendous potential to become a high profile volleyball player in the state.”
For Bristol Central, two seniors and a pair of sophomores were selected to our team.
Xia’ian Carrasco and Brianna Saverino were the senior leaders for the Rams.
Carrasco finished with 148 kills and 52 blocks. She was an all-conference player. She will be looking to continue her volleyball career at Southern Connecticut State University.
“[Carrasco] has come so far as an athlete and young woman, I am so proud of her determination, self-motivation and awareness,” Central coach Holly Willette said. “An outstanding player, teammate, and leader on and off the court. She brought such great energy and fire to the court when she was on it. Always worked hard in every practice to better her skills, always asked questions. Just one of those players you love to watch grow and coach.”
Saverino was a captain along with Carrasco and consistently displayed excellent athleticism.
She was named the best offensive player for the Rams in her junior season.
“She always worked hard and really knows the definition of relentless pursuit. Her hustle and passion are fun to watch,” Willette said. “She was a great leader. She had 228 digs, 43 aces and 115 kills on the season, always gave her all and never gave up no matter what happening on the court.”
Sophomores Peyton Greger and Kathryn Ross have been strong for Central during their first two seasons spent at the varsity level.
Greger was named to the all-vonference team this season as an outside hitter and finished second in the conference in aces, with 83.
“Peyton is such a great athlete. She has such a passionate competitive spirit and brings so much fire with her whenever she steps on the court,” Willette said. “But it is her focus and mental toughness that helped her to lead her team in aces, with 83. She also had 234 digs, 70 kills, and 34 hustle balls (saves). She never stopped working.”
Ross was also named to the all-conference team as a middle blocker for the Rams.
“Kat is such a great player and has really picked up the game in the last two years,” Willette said. “Her mindfulness and work ethic are inspiring. She was a great defensive force for us this year, leading the team in blocks with 72. Her offensive game really picked up this year as well, as she worked hard on her mechanics and learned how to run a quicker ball and be more aggressive. She had 117 kills and 44 aces as well.”
As a team, Terryville made the deepest run in the state tournament, reaching the quarterfinals in Class S before losing to top-seeded Coventry.
Senior Martina Trovato was one of the main reasons behind the success.
She played in the middle and was named to the second-team All-Berkshire League twice.
“Martina is a strong and consistent player,” Terryville coach Belen Michelis said. “She is one of our strongest hitters and there was never any doubt when she went up for a hit that it wouldn’t be a kill. She was a strong competitor and advanced drastically in her defense. Martina had strong ties with her team and was definitely an asset.”