BRISTOL - It was the third and fifth sets that proved to be the difference for Bristol Eastern girls volleyball on Tuesday against Glastonbury in the first round of the CCC tournament.
The Lancers took the third set 25-11 and the final set with a convincing score of 15-3 leading to the 3-2( 25-22, 24-26, 25-11, 22-25, 15-3), five-set win over the Tomahawks.
“We’re doing a good job finishing strong,” Bristol Eastern head coach Stacy Rivoira said. “But I’d like to see a better start to finish from each individual”
Early in the third set with the Lancers up 8-5, Zoe Lowe took over service and led Bristol Eastern on a four-point run behind a pair of aces.
Lowe finished the match with a team-leading six aces and also led the Lancers in kills with 12.
With the 12-6 lead following her service, Bristol Eastern got the ball back right away winning a point on Glastonbury’s Alexa Desaulniers serve.
Paige McLaughlin took over for the Lancers and Bristol Eastern had a pair of blocks at the net to extend the lead to 15-7.
The Tomahawks never got a chance to get back into the third set and the two services by Rebecca Bender and Aliana Rivoira finished the big third set for the Lancers after losing the previous game 26-24.
The fourth set was similar to the second for Bristol Eastern. In those two sets, the Lancers looked like a different team.
“At times we were sliding back and forth between playing well and making careless mental errors,” Rivoira said. “In game two we missed five serves and we were shooting ourselves in the foot we had to dig ourselves out of the holes that we dug ourselves into.”
Now tied up at 2-2, the final set would determine which team would be eliminated from the tournament and which would continue one. Bristol Eastern wouldn’t let it slip away.
“In the last one we were able to keep our composure and keep the serve on our side,” Rivoira said. “We made them serve/receive and they were making mistakes and couldn’t generate any hits.”
Glastonbury’s Tori Coughlan started out the set serving. On the first point, Toke Awofala whiffed at the all going for a spike and Bristol Eastern took over up 1-0.
With Brooke Dorsio serving, Glastonbury committed its second straight unforced error in the game as the Lancers took over 2-0. On the second point of service, Dorsio hit the ball out, giving the Tomahawks the ball back trailing just 2-1.
Paige Dalicandro took the ball to serve and again Awofalo missed the ball at the net, her second unforced error of the deciding set.
With a 3-1 lead, Rivoira took over service and extended the lead to five points at 6-1.
Rivoira had three aces in the match and a 95.7 serving percentage, which led the team.
“I think our service was very well,” Aliana Rivoira said. “We got most of our serves over, which was a key factor in the game.”
A kill by Sienna White extended the lead to 7-2 for the Lancers, another missed service opportunity for the Tomahawks.
After Lowe extended the Bristol Eastern advantage to 10-2, little hope was left for Glastonbury and the Tomahawks continued to beat themselves hitting another serve out to make the score 11-3.
With the eight point lead, McLaughlin took over and finished off the match for the Lancers as they moved on to face South Windsor in the next round.
“The last set will give us confidence and show us that we do have the ability to beat good teams if we play hard,” Aliana Rivoira said.
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811, or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @OrencoleDan