Woodstock gives East Lyme a run for its (volleyball) money

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Woodstock - posted Tue., Sep. 27, 2011
Marianna Leonard, Kate Hicok and Julia Low get ready for the serve. Photos by D. Coffey.
Marianna Leonard, Kate Hicok and Julia Low get ready for the serve. Photos by D. Coffey.

The Woodstock Academy varsity girls’ volleyball team was up two games to one against defending 2010 Class L champion East Lyme on Sept. 26, and the hometown crowd in Alumni Fieldhouse went wild. The Centaurs knew the Vikings would give them a run for their money, but they also felt they could compete.

“We knew they were going to be good,” said WA coach Adam Bottone. “We're a good team, but a very young team. Last year, we took our lumps knowing that it was a good group. We came out this season and won five games, 3-0, 3-0, 3-0, 3-0, 3-0. We knew this was probably going to be our biggest competition.”

The defending champs took the first game, but Woodstock rallied to win the next two. In the fourth, East Lyme went ahead 15-5 and maintained a strong lead to the finish. The Vikings took the fifth game with a 15-13 score.

“We were able to pass well out of serve-receive,” Bottone said. “We were able to get good sets by our setter. We were very dominant from the outside tonight. Sam Geddes and Julia Low had a lot of success. We hit that line a lot. We tipped a lot. In the grand scheme of things, we played well against them.”

It was the number of mistakes that tipped the game in East Lyme's favor, according to Bottone.

“It comes down to they made a lot of mistakes. We made a lot of mistakes; we just made more mistakes than they did,” he said.

They got down on themselves, Bottone said. “That team [East Lyme] is used to winning,” he said. “We're not used to winning. So when we face a good team, we play at a certain level. The girls don't know yet how to win a big game. They came pretty close.”

Part of Bottone's job is to be hard on his team, to nit-pick little things that will make them better players. “It's a tough game,” he said. “It's not an easy game to play. It's a very fast-paced game. We just struggled a little more tonight than we're used to.”

“I'm going to encourage them and cheer them on to do the right things,” he said, “but when you make as many errors as you make tonight, whether it's a service error or being out of position defensively, I'll come down hard on them. I'm proud of them, but we have to make teams like that work harder on defense,” he said.

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