Woodstock Academy girls end volleyball season
By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Woodstock - posted Mon., Nov. 21, 2011
The Woodstock Academy Lady Centaurs couldn't stop East Lyme in their semifinal match-up on Nov. 17. The decisive fifth set went 15-13 in East Lyme's favor, and the Woodstock team saw its season end in a tough 3-2 loss.
“East Lyme has always been a good team,” said WA coach Adam Bottone, after the game. “We've always struggled against them. This year, I thought the teams were pretty evenly matched. What they had over us was the experience of the big games.”
Woodstock and East Lyme met four times over the course of the season. They split two regular season games, but East Lyme won the league championship game and the semifinal match-up.
“We beat them 3-1 at their place,” Bottone said. “We were hoping we could win, but it just wasn't meant to be.”
Bottone credited East Lyme for playing good volleyball. “They just made smarter decisions, resulting in less errors,” he said. “That's what it came down to. We had some amazing defensive plays last night, but when we went to put the ball over the net on three specific instances, we either put it out of bounds or into the net. When East Lyme was forced into those dire situations, they were always able to get the ball over the net and where it belonged.”
Bottone said all of his players worked their hearts out this season. “They all deserve recognition,” he said. “We had a good season. We went from 8-10 last year to a final record of 21-4 this year. It was a tremendous turnaround, and they should be proud of it.”
Junior outside hitter Julia Low said the season was a good experience. “We tried our best,” she said. “We had a ton of fun at practices. We had an awesome time together. We're going to lose talent, but at the same time we're having five of six girls stay.”
Sam Geddes was the emotional leader on the team, according to Bottone. Geddes, who was an ECC First Team All-Star, admitted the loss was heartbreaking. “I think we came out a little complacent,” she said. “Not all of us were doing what we should have been doing. It was such a high-pressure situation, and we just wanted to win so badly, I think those emotions worked against us.” But if Geddes is anything, it's positive. “We got tournament experience, and that's something we never had,” she said. “Next year we will come back stronger. I think it's going to push us over the top.”
The Centaurs will lose Chelsea Gosselin and Kate Hickok to graduation. Gosselin served and played the back row. Hickok transferred in as a senior from Minnesota. “She was a really good all-around player,” Bottone said. “If we needed a big kill or that really big defensive play, she was the one making it.”