Southington blanked againt CCC foes

Published on Friday, 4 June 2021 20:53
Written by RYAN AMES

@_RyanAmes

SOUTHINGTON -- Some teams just have your number.

Eight days after losing to Glastonbury in five games in the Central Connecticut Conference tournament, Southington boys volleyball lost to the Tomahawks, 3-0, during the quarterfinal round of the Class L state tournament Friday.

The third-ranked Blue Knights never seemed to find their footing against No. 6 Glastonbury, despite nearly winning two sets.

Southington lost the first game, 25-21, and the third game, 26-24, but the second set favored the visitors heavily as the Tomahawks took it, 25-16.

"Towards the end there was some glimmer," Blue Knights coach Lou Gianacopolos said. "They always say better late than never, but it was a little too late. 

"We didn't look gassed or tired, but our ball control was not as effective as it was in the past," Gianacopolos said.

Glastonbury came out focused in the second set and led 8-0 before the Blue Knights earned their first point. Unfortunately for Southington, it dug itself too deep of a hole to climb out of, giving the Tomahawk's all the momentum in the decisive middle frame.

"I think we kind of got in our own heads in the second set," Blue Knights senior Mitchell Messina said. "Especially the first nine points or so I think it was in the beginning. It all just came down to us. I don't think they were doing anything special in those nine points. I think we got in our own heads and it took us longer than it should have to turn the game around."

Glastonbury's height was an issue for the Blue Knights as they had trouble defending its lanky outside hitters in Liam Scales and Trey Tennyson.

"I think a lot of it comes down to our mistakes but also their height," Messina said. " I think we're a very well-rounded team but also a very short team, and they're a big team with big blocks. The whole time they're hitting through our blocks and we're consistently trying to hit around theirs, I think that makes a big difference."

Messina mustered 14 assists to lead Southington, while Connor McInnis (13) and Matthew Morgan (12) paced the Blue Knights in digs in the loss. McInnis also smacked 12 kills to lead Southington.

"This team plays well when everyone is playing well together, because we don't have a superstar," Gianacopolos said. "They got Liam, who can hit the heck out of the ball, but we have a team that needs to play together as a family."

The Blue Knights finished the season 17-3, including a 16-game win streak during the regular season."

"I'm really proud of the regular season," Messina said. "We had a [16] game win streak, we're all really proud of that."

Messina, McInnis, Cooper Burdette, Andrew Bafuma, Devin Larabee, Anthony Picone and Omarian Dugee made up Southington's 2021 senior class.

Ryan Ames can be reached at 860-801-5094 or on Twitter @_RyanAmes.



Posted in The Bristol Press, Southington on Friday, 4 June 2021 20:53. Updated: Friday, 4 June 2021 20:55.