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Volleyball Team Competed Against Tough State Opponents



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Newtown High School’s girls’ volleyball team earned the No. 10 seed, took care of business in a first-round matchup against visiting and No. 10 Hamden on November 8 and, two days later, fell in a five-setter at No. 7 Amity of Woodbridge in the second round of the Class LL State Tournament. Amity went on to defeat No. 2 Cheshire in the quarterfinals.

The Nighthawks beat Hamden 3-0 (25-9, 25-21, 25-22). Zosia Teraszkiewicz had eight kills and two digs; Annabel Saunders logged seven kills, two digs, and a block; Gianna Galassi had four kills. Emily Daoust tallied five digs; Haley Austermann had two aces, two kills, 20 assists, and a pair of digs. Gabby Soltis recorded ten assists to go along with a dig. Amaro Beard-Galati registered an ace, a kill, two blocks, and two digs; and Liz Anesi had an ace, three kills, two blocks, and one dig.

“Our serving was better than usual,” said Newtown Coach Tom Czaplinski, whose team put just about 92% of its serves in play and kept Hamden on its heels with good placement.

Amity overcame a fast Newtown start to prevail 3-2 (10-25, 25-23, 25-20, 27-29, 18-16).

“They’re strong. They’re definitely one of the more talented teams in the state,” Czaplinski said.

Teraszkiewicz had three aces, 20 kills, a block, and four digs. Ella Stubbs had two aces, 12 kills, an assist, and four digs. Grace Miller logged an ace, seven kills, one block, one assist, and six digs. Bella Rio had three digs and Saunders had four kills. Anesi was a blocking machine with ten denials at the net to go along with two kills. Austermann racked up 32 assists and Soltis had 17 assists — both recorded two digs.

Czaplinski saw improvement from his team throughout the season during which the Nighthawks went 5-4 before making a run to the South-West Conference title match.

“I think they’re understanding the game better,” he said.

The seniors will leave big shoes to fill, but Czaplinski is hopeful the returning players will continue to improve and take their understanding of volleyball to the next level.

Sports Editor Andy Hutchison can be reached at andyh@thebee.com.

Lauren Young spikes the ball during Newtown’s first-round state playoff home win over Hamden on November 8. —Bee Photos, Hutchison
Liz Anesi gets the ball over the net against pressure from Hamden.
Amaro Beard-Galati clears a front-row defender with this hit at the net.
Bella Rio digs the ball as Lauren Young looks on.
Haley Austermann sends the ball back over to Hamden’s side of the net.
Liz Anesi (No. 16) and Zosia Teraszkiewicz defend for the Nighthawks.
Gabby Soltis serves the ball into play.
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