Nighthawk Spikers Showing Progress
A five-match winning streak, one that featured all 3-0 wins, came to an end in the form of a 3-0 setback to visiting Cheshire on May 5. But for the Newtown High School boys’ volleyball coaching staff, the biggest takeaway in recent matches has been continued improvement.
“I give them a lot of credit, coming in here and working really hard — massive improvement from the start of the season,” said former Nighthawk, Assistant Coach Jeremy Doski, who is helping his mom, Head Coach Sandy Doski, lead the team this spring.
“Each game we’re doing things we couldn’t do the match before. It’s a cumulative effort,” Sandy Doski said. “It’s going to come.”
Sandy Doski said the Nighthawks have cut down significantly on first service errors; the team had been committing ten or 12 such miscues early in the season and has cut it down to just a couple or three per match in the late part of the campaign. “That’s one part of the game you control yourself. You have to put the ball over,” she said.
Newtown has improved its setting game, setting up teammates, which allows for a faster-paced offense and incorporating some back row attacks, Sandy Doski said.
The Nighthawks have a senior-heavy lineup, but most of them were sophomores and saw limited or no varsity playing time the last time there was a season, given that last spring was completely wiped out by the coronavirus.
Cheshire provided Newtown its first true test since a 3-0 loss to Joel Barlow of Redding on April 19. Each game with nonconference foe Cheshire was close, with the Rams prevailing by scores of 25-23, 26-24, and 25-19.
“They’re one of the better teams in the state. It’s nice to be able to match up against this kind of competition,” Jeremy Doski said.
Aidan Stout had a dozen kills and ten digs; Thad Teraszkiewicz logged ten kills, 15 digs, and two aces; Matt Mattera had four kills, three aces, eight digs, and one block; and Sawyer Findley racked up 29 assists to go along with a trio of digs.
Newtown beat Oxford 3-0 (26-24, 25-14, 25-19) on May 7 for the team’s second minimum-game triumph over Oxford this spring. Teraszkiewicz had 12 kills, six digs, two aces; Stout logged nine kills and eight digs; Brandon Akbas had 5 kills and one dig; and Luke Hannan recorded six kills, one ace, and one block.
In a May 10 rematch with Joel Barlow of Redding, the only South-West Conference team to defeat NHS this spring, the Falcons won 3-0 (25-18, 25-14, 25-17), but Sandy Doski saw improvement from the previous match between the teams, a 3-0 Barlow win on April 19.
Teraszkiewicz had seven kills, 11 digs, and blocks; Hannan had three kills, one dig, and two blocks; and Mattera had three kills, seven digs, and an ace.
“We played better defense against Barlow this time around, however, Barlow has such solid hitting, defense, and court awareness that they will be hard to beat this year,” Newtown’s head coach said.
The Nighthawk spikers bested Xavier of Middletown 3-0 (25-10, 25-9, 25-22) on May 11. Akbas logged seven kills, two digs, and one block; Jasin Kodzodziku had four kills and a trio of digs; Hannan registered four kills, two digs, and two blocks; and Eli Kirby had one kill, one ace, and five digs.
The Hawks beat Kolbe Cathedral 3-0 on May 12 to improve to 10-4 with two matches to play before the postseason.
Andy Hutchison can be reached at email@example.com.