By MICHAEL LETENDRE
PLAINVILLE — The Plainville volleyball team had a very busy first week of the season, going 1-1 with a win against Bulkeley of Hartford and a loss to Maloney of Meriden.
Here’s a quick look at what went on with the volleyball squad over the first week of the campaign.
Plainville entered the first week of the season with one player on the bench for disciplinary reasons and senior Captain Kate Dressel out for two weeks for an injury, according to Coach Steve Compson.
“These two were supposed to be among the best hitters in the program, so their loss has a strong impact,” said Compson. “We hope to see both in action next week. We have a few other players who are sick and are in various stages of recovery. We have had to play some younger players in their spots and those kids have worked very hard but it is tough to make the jump from junior varsity to varsity.”
“(It was) baptism by fire for some of them.”
Alicia Gorski was hurt on the final play of the Maloney game and Compson thinks she will be okay but had her checked out to be on the safe side.
Plainville Game One (Tuesday, Sept. 11): The Blue Devils defeated Bulkeley behind sets of 25-9, 25-1, 25-16 from the Babe Allen Field House in Hartford.
The JVs won their first set against Bulkeley and then got a little complacent during the second game.
The Bulldogs took advantage of it and forced the Blue Devils to a third and deciding game.
“The girls got it done in the third,” said Compson. “The nerves went away and the girls settled down.”
The varsity team also took care of business.
The second set was a run away for Plainville as junior Sarah Thompson earned over 18 service points to start the game.
“With that kind of serve receive, the game can get out of hand quickly,” said Compson.
The Bulldogs have many first year players and are certainly still learning the game.
But Compson was quick to give the Bulldogs program some credit.
“It was nice to see so many players on the Bulkeley squad as their numbers have been down in recent years and they kept up a good work ethic and a loud gym cheering for their side,” said Compson. “Their fans did the same.”
During the contest, Compson and assistant coach Roy shifted the girls’ goals a bit to focus on deficient areas and to tried to use the opponent to improve.
“We made more mistakes then I wanted to see but this was a night when the errors did not catch up to us,” said Compson. “Marisa Rizzo did a nice job in the libero spot for us. She was a constant force on the court. Senior Laurel Underwood has tried to fill the shoes of our missing hitters and has been working very hard.”
Game Two (Friday, Sept. 14): Maloney swept Plainville 3-0 behind sets of 25-18, 25-11 and 25-13.
Coach Victor Rivera has returned to Maloney and all the coaches in the CCC South knows the taskmaster is a very good coach.
He left the Spartans he build a few years back and had been coaching at Middletown.
Rivera hopes to pick up his championship ways again coming back to Maloney.
The game in Meriden felt like the contest was taking place in the sometimes steamy “old” Boston Garden because the Spartan gym was hot. and netted two TD’s…Like last season, the Eagles have an outstanding running component but the Blue Devils did a good job shutting it down up in Tolland…Shutting down the Day/Byam combination would put Plainville in superior position to win the gridiron showdown against the Eagles…The Blue Devils held Bloomfield rushing sensation Dave Campbell to just 85 yards and that helped to keep things close…DeMartinis made those four connections for 46 yards and a touchdown while speedster Joey Quintero nearly rushed for 100 yards on the evening…If the Blue Devils can cut down on the gaffes and miscues, victory number one is on the way.
And the winner is…Plainville stops Tolland’s ground game and comes away with a 21-14 win from Alumni Field.
By MICHAEL LETENDRE