Bobcats' defense overtakes Eagles' height

By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Thu., Sep. 29, 2011
Shannon Grimes of the South Windsor High School girls' volleyball team blocks against Rachel Franzluebber's spike. South Windsor won the Sept. 28 match against East Catholic three games to one. Photos by Martha Marteney.
Shannon Grimes of the South Windsor High School girls' volleyball team blocks against Rachel Franzluebber's spike. South Windsor won the Sept. 28 match against East Catholic three games to one. Photos by Martha Marteney.

The girls’ volleyball teams from East Catholic High School and South Windsor High School took to the courts on Sept. 28 for the first of two matches between the local rivals. The South Windsor Bobcats went into the evening with a 4-0 record, while the Eagles started the night with a 3-2 record. It was a home game for East Catholic.

“I’ve got potential galore,” said East Catholic’s coach Judy Landry. She feels the players just need to have a better connection between practice and game day. Landry added that the team continues to struggle with organization. During the game, she rotated several players into the mix and changed around the players' order in response to South Windsor’s style. “You have to be two-dimensional,” she said, meaning the players need to think not only about their own playing style, but the opponent’s, as well.

As the teams took to the court, it was clear that East Catholic had the height advantage. The Eagles confidently lead the first game, as South Windsor fell behind, due to hitting the ball out of bounds and missed returns. Both teams evidenced a lack of communication, as the ball hit the ground between two players, each thinking the other was going to act. East Catholic took the first game, 25-17.

Both teams came back for the second game with high intensity, as exhibited through strong volleys. The girls continued to play through missed hits, recovering and continuing to move the ball. South Windsor kept the lead, winning the second game, 15-25.

It became apparent that East Catholic had one home court advantage – playing off the ceiling. The Eagles were well-prepared to keep playing after the ball bounced off the ceiling rafters. It took the Bobcats a couple of tries to pick up on this technique, and they lost a few points, as a result.

In the third game, East Catholic held the lead for much of the play. South Windsor brought the score to a 18-18 tie, and the tension mounted. Both teams showed their ability to stay focused on the ball, keeping their moves tight during a competitive situation. Excellent final plays continued, until South Windsor pulled ahead to win the game, 22-25.

In the fourth game, South Windsor took the lead early, and kept it. The Eagles had several missed shots going either into the net or out of bounds. The final score was 17-25, with South Windsor winning the match, three games out of four.

South Windsor High School girls’ volleyball coach Tina Holt said the team lost the first game by serving percentages. Her players rallied together and tightened their defense. Holt highlighted captain Mindi Chen’s solid game, saying, “When she has a good game, it really drives us.”


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