PLAINVILLE - The Plainville girls volleyball team compiled one of its best efforts of the season in Thursday’s 3-1 loss to Avon.
This was only the third match all season in which the Blue Devils won a set as they close out their regular season with a 1-11 record.
“[There] was incredible improvement,” head coach Allie Caponigro said. “From an outside perspective, just looking at the score, that was a normal volleyball game. But for our team, it was incredible improvement and I’m so beyond proud of them.”
The Blue Devils hung tight for the entirety of the first set and forced Avon to minimize its mistakes in order to pull away for the 25-19 win. After exchanging serves early on, the Blue Devils took a 13-11 lead and appeared to have momentum, but they quickly fell behind 16-15 from where the Falcons grew their lead and finished with a 25-19 win.
“They’re finally learning how to play together, how to trust each other on the court,” Caponigro said of her team. “Being able to actually communicate and talk is something we’ve been pushing for them all season. It finally clicked for them. Hopefully they can bring it back next year.”
Avon showed more consistency in the second set as Plainville was unable to recreate its success from the first. The Falcons led by eight early in the set and the advantage only grew as they went on to win 25-10 to take a two-set lead.
The Blue Devils came out hot to start the third set and capitalized on more struggles from Avon to take an early 8-2 advantage, which they extended to 15-7 despite short runs from the Falcons. But Plainville nearly blew a double-digit lead.
After going up 19-8, the teams went back and forth until Avon regained serve at 21-14. The Falcons outscored the Blue Devils 7-4 for the remainder of the set, which was not enough to complete the sweep, but came much closer than Plainville wanted. This was only the third match this season in which Plainville won a set.
The fourth set looked to be Plainville’s worst when it started as they quickly fell down 17-7 with Avon playing at its best. The Blue Devils were able to bounce back and go on a run to make the set close, but eventually ended the match losing 25-15.
The Blue Devils’ regular season is now over and they wait to find out the date of their match against Southington in the bottom half of the CCC Region B playoffs. The match will be either Nov. 9 or 10.
“Hopefully they can continue to keep that positive mindset,” Caponigro said. “It’s not completely out of reach so they just have to want it.”
Matt Hornick can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org