Nighthawk Spikers Engage In Five-Game Battles With FCIAC Foes
Newtown High School’s girls’ volleyball team went the full five sets in two of its first three matches of the campaign, defeating visiting Darien on September 6, and falling to St Joseph of Trumbull on September 11. Both of those were home contests that sandwiched a 3-0 triumph at Immaculate of Danbury on September 7.
The five-set matches came against tough squads from the FCIAC, so there was a positive takeaway from both, but especially the Darien match, given the outcome.
Newtown beat Darien 3-2 (25-19, 25-17, 13-25, 23-25, and 15-5). Setter Kim Buttery compiled 36 assists; libero Mollie Goudy registered 19 digs to go along with five service aces; and Veronica Kroha had eight kills, three aces, and a trio of blocks.
“Any time you beat a team like Darien, it’s a great win for your program,” Newtown Coach Tom Czaplinski said.
NHS defeated Immaculate 3-0 (25-14, 25-16, 25-14). Buttery had 17 assists, eight kills, and seven aces; Natalie Horn logged five aces and four kills; and Kroha had three aces, three blocks, and six kills.
In the St Joe’s match, the Hawks overcame a 2-1 deficit to force a decisive fifth game, but St Joe’s prevailed 3-2 (25-16, 19-25, 25-21, 22-25, 15-6). The Nigthawks led 11-9 before scoring eight of the next nine points to seize control. Goudy and Buttery had aces as part of Newtown’s pull-away. Sarah Nowacki and Kroha had key kills as the Hawks staved off a late-game St Joe’s comeback attempt.
Newtown used times to stop the St Joe’s momentum twice during the fourth game. Both times, the Cadets lost points on serves out of the break.
A pair of fifth-game timeouts couldn’t halt the St Joe’s momentum, as the Cadets scored 11 unanswered points to turn a 2-2 tie into a comfortable lead.
Buttery had a trio of aces, along with 31 digs and two blocks; Kroha had 11 kills; and Nowacki recorded five kills and eight digs.
Czaplinski liked that his team was in the match with a St Joe’s team that is the defending Class M state champion, but he thought the squad could have come out on top.
“When we pass, we win. When we don’t pass, we lose. Our passing, which still needs improvement, has gotten a lot better,” Czaplinski said. “I’m not upset with losing. It’s how we stop playing in spots. I’d like to see more mental toughness.”
Up next for Newtown is another early-season nonconference test as Woodstock Academy visits on Monday, September 17, at 5:30 pm.
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