RHAM volleyball experiences its first loss of the season

By Melanie Savage - Melanie Savage
Hebron - posted Mon., Nov. 5, 2012
Francesca Mack bats the ball over the net for RHAM. Photos by Melanie Savage.
Francesca Mack bats the ball over the net for RHAM. Photos by Melanie Savage.

With skilled players and terrific chemistry, the RHAM volleyball team usually works together like a well-oiled machine. So it became increasingly difficult to watch the Sachems' CCC finals match against Bristol Eastern, as all of that well-honed, hard-earned polish began to fall away.

Bristol Eastern came into the Nov. 3 match with an 18-1 record, having suffered a single loss of the season at the hands of still-undefeated Coventry High School. Number-two-seeded Bristol Eastern faced number-three seed Glastonbury in a CCC tournament that was clipped short due to Superstorm Sandy, easily earning a semifinal win with a 3-0 match final. Number-one-seeded RHAM faced number-four seed Southington in the semifinal round, earning another win to bring their record to 19-0.

The Nov. 3 final match started out well for RHAM, with Bristol Eastern keeping the score close, as expected. Both teams have lost precious few games all season. Bristol Eastern came into the match with only five game losses all year, three of those coming from Coventry, the other two from Southington. Southington had handed RHAM two out of their four losses coming into the CCC finals, with the other two coming during the third game of the season against East Lyme.

RHAM took the first game on Nov. 3 with a close final score. But the Sachems fell behind early during game two, and never regained the lead. The same thing happened during game three. Part of the problem was Bristol Eastern's undeniable skill and teamwork. Like RHAM, the Lancers know their roles and they fill them well. Like RHAM, they work together and communicate well as a team. And like RHAM, the Lancers have some skilled athletes. During the CCC finals, Lancers co-captain, senior Karissa Smith, proved an especially formidable foe, as she repeatedly caught the Sachems off-guard with a deadly cross-court kill.

And equally-skilled RHAM athletes were not playing up to their potential. Balls were repeatedly going out-of-bounds or into the net. The normally effective kills from RHAM's Francesca Mack, Sarah Veilleux and others were few and far between. RHAM never let up on the effort, but the accuracy, skill and precision that their fans have come to expect from them was largely lacking. The resulting 3-1 loss gave Bristol Eastern the CCC victory.


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