BRISTOL - As the state tournament looms, there are some interesting headlines surrounding the local area teams.
One girls soccer team just captured its first NVL league championship and looks to make a deep run in the Class S tournament with a strong core group intact. Two local girls volleyball teams will face each other in the first round of the Class L tournament. One local boys soccer team will look to play the role of spoiler in Class L as it plays in a qualifying round game.
The CIAC released the brackets for state tournaments on Friday, which will get fully under way on Monday for girls volleyball and boys soccer and Tuesday for girls soccer.
The one outlier will be No. 33 seed Bristol Eastern boys soccer, which has a qualifying round game in Class L today at 1 p.m. on the road against Cheney Tech. If they win, the Lancers will take on No. 1 seed E.O. Smith on Monday at 4 p.m.
Led by Tom Tefoe in net and Lyle Winiarski up front, Bristol Eastern has some pieces and the physical style of play to shock some people.
For the local girls soccer teams, St. Paul leads the way as the No. 4 seed in Class S, earning a first round bye. The Falcons are coming off of their first NVL championship and have high expectations going into the state tournament.
St. Paul will take on the winner of St. Bernard and Lyman Memorial on Thursday at 2 p.m., led by senior captains Kendall Davis and Briana Senese, while featuring a freshman keeper in Nina Zwolinski who is off to a fantastic start to her St. Paul career.
In girls volleyball, Bristol Eastern and Bristol Central will face off against each other in the first round of the Class L tournament. The Lancers are the No. 18 seed and will be playing the No. 15 Rams at Bristol Central on Monday at 6 p.m. The winner will take on No. 2 seed Killingly on Thursday.
Bristol Eastern is led by senior Aliana Rivoira and features an impressive freshman in Zoe Lowe. The Lancers will look to slow down Bristol Central’s Xia’ian Carrasco at the net and will hope that Brianna Saverino isn’t on top of her game, as those two are key players for the Rams to make a run.
Also in Class L for boys soccer is Bristol Central, seeded No. 18. The Rams will travel to No. 15 Maloney on Monday for a 2 p.m. game. The Rams are led by Alex Bernier in net and have some scoring weapons, including Josh Cordero and David Bowes.
In Class L for girls soccer, Bristol Central earned the No. 27 seed and will travel to take on No. 6 Bacon Academy on Tuesday for a 2 p.m. start.
For the Rams, the play of Adalia Malick will be a story line to watch, as she has been one of the more impressive players in the area this season. If the Rams win, they will take on the winner of No. 11-seeded Farmington and No. 22-seeded Killingly on Thursday at 2 p.m.
Bristol Eastern girls soccer received the No. 23 seed and will travel to take on No. 10 Bullard Havens on Tuesday at 2 p.m.
Look out for Myah Croze in the tournament, a dangerous scoring weapon for the Lancers. If Bristol Eastern wins, it will take on the winner of Woodstock and Joel Barlow on Thursday at 2 p.m.
In Class S, Terryville girls volleyball received a first-round bye with a 12-5 record this season. The Kangaroos will hope senior McKenzie Huria has a strong tournament, as she’s been a key to their success this year.
No. 9 Terryville will take on No. 8 seeded Amistad in the second round, as both teams received first-round byes.
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org On Twitter: @OrencoleDan