Junior setter Aliana Rivoira of the Bristol Eastern girls volleyball team and senior captain Corey Picard of the Terryville boys cross country team share “Athlete of the Week” honors with regards to area high school sports.
Rivoria, the daughter of Stacy and Steve Rivoira, played two official games entering this week, a 3-0 win over Plainville the week before and a 3-0 loss to Southington on Wednesday. Rivoira led the way for the Lancers with 52 and 15 assists, respectively.
“In the Plainville game, we were kind of nervous, but we worked through it as a team,” Rivoira said. “In the second game, against Southington, which was our first home game, we knew it was going to be hard, because Southington is a good team. We didn’t win the game, but I was proud of how our team fought back.”
As far as goals this season, Rivoira said, personally, she’d like to obtain All-State status.
“I was all-conference last year,” Rivoira said. “I have to keep working and consistently set up my hitters and be a leader. I think it’s possible. The team goal is to work together and win as many games as we can. We’re a young team and we have to learn to work together and learn to be consistent.”
When asked about what she has gotten out of playing sports, which includes softball in the spring as an outfielder, it was how to be a good teammate.
“It’s learning to work well with others,” Rivoira said. “How to be a leader and how to balance my day with the team and school classroom (work).”
Picard, the son of Sheryl and Bert Picard of Plymouth, also returns this fall as a 2016 all-conference pick with his school competing in the Berkshire League. He runs cross country and the 1,600 and 3,200 events in both indoor and outdoor track.
A week ago, he finished first in a narrow 27-30 win over a strong Nonnewaug boys team. His time of 17:10 was a personal best for the Kangaroo leader.
“It’s a good feeling, like you’ve accomplished a goal,” Picard said. “And, you are relieved doing this.”
He added that his previous best was a 17:17 and that was earlier in the season at the Blue Dragon Invitational in Middletown. Previous to that, it was his time of 17:20 for ninth place in the 2016 Class SS meet.
With regards to personal goals this fall, it’s what it always is for a runner and that’s to continually lower ones personal record. Under 17 minutes is one goal for a boys cross country run and that would put him in somewhat elite company.
“The team goal is win the Berkshire League, but it’ll be hard, because Nonnewaug and Northwestern will be the schools to beat,” Picard said. “We beat Nonnewaug by three points, but that doesn’t guarantee another win. We have to keep improving as a team.”
When asked about what he has gotten out of his three high school seasons of running annually, Picard said it has been the process of setting goals.
“It teaches that if you really want to reach a goal, you have to work hard,” Picard said. “And you make friends, especially in cross country because are with teammates on long runs.”