BRISTOL - The Bristol Eastern girls volleyball team came out on fire against South Windsor, playing strong team volleyball.
The 25-8 first set score set the tempo for the Lancers against the Bobcats and Bristol Eastern didn’t trail until the third set, leading to the 25-8, 25-15, 25-19 win on Wednesday night for the Lancers in the quarterfinal round of the CCC Tournament.
With an advantage at the net, Aliana Rivoira made sure to spread the ball around to different teammates.
“I knew that they didn’t have such tall [blockers] here, so I knew I could use all my hitters,” Bristol Eastern’s Aliana Rivoira said. “All the hitters were hitting well, so I wanted to move the ball around well to keep them on their toes.”
Rivoira finished with 31 of the 36 assists for Bristol Eastern.
Sienna White (10) and Zoe Lowe (9) led Bristol Eastern in kills, but Amber Blais (6 kills), Gabriella Nozzolillo (6 kills) and Olivia Beaudoin (6 kills) also were a difference in the win for the Lancers.
In the first set, the Lancers limited their mistakes and served the ball well. When South Windsor won a point on the Lancers’ service, Bristol Eastern got the ball back five times during the set without the Bobcats getting a single point on serve.
Rebecca Bender started off the set serving, getting Bristol Eastern off to a 2-0 start, and later in the set she won four straight service points to extend the lead to 18-6.
Rivoira finished off the first set serving with five consecutive service points won, three of which came at the net by Lowe, White and Beaudoin.
In the second set the Lancers didn’t play as well, committing six hitting errors, three of which were on the serve, and nine of the 15 points for the Bobcats came on unforced errors by Bristol Eastern.
Off to a 10-3 lead, the Bobcats began to start a comeback and got within five points at 12-7 before Rivoira won three service points. One of the points was spotted nicely by Rivoira, hitting the ball to the left side of the court where no South Windsor players were.
Throughout the night Rivoira was in command, setting up her teammates while also spotting the ball well and serving well.
As the second set continued, the Bobcats started picking up their play at the net, blocking the Lancers more so than they did in the first set.
“I feel like we should be able to dominate in the front row if they’re not putting up good blocks,” Bristol Eastern head coach Stacy Rivoira said. “In the third game they started blocking us a little more and it made it more of a game. In the first two games I didn’t feel that their block was present.”
Bristol Eastern did enough at the beginning of the third set to hold on for the win, giving the Lancers a two-set advantage.
After not trailing in the first two sets, Bristol Eastern didn’t get a lead until it was 6-6. With Paige McLaughlin serving, White won a point at the net.
The Lancers didn’t give up that lead, with the 25-19 win leading to the straight-set victory.
“I think as we talked more and pushed each other to hit the ball better that helped us in the third set,” Blais said.
The win is the fifth in a row for Bristol Eastern and the Lancers snapped the seven-game win streak that South Windsor came in on.
Bristol Eastern advances to face an opponent yet to be determined in the CCC Tournament semifinal round on Friday night.
Dan Orencole can be reached at or On Twitter: @OrencoleDan