By MICHAEL LETENDRE
PLAINVILLE – The Plainville girls volleyball team always has to sweat an extra little bit when the Bristol squads come to town.
With big numbers and always well-coached, the Blue Devils always seem to have its collective hands full when the squads of the Mum City enter the Ivan Wood Gymnasium.
However, both Bristol teams had to sweat out games in Plainville this past year and the Lancers were no exception.
But on Wednesday, Oct. 9, Eastern eventually overpowered the Blue Devils to pick up a 3-0 victory in a CCC South confrontation.
The game scores were 25-16, 25-6 and 25-10.
Eastern moved to 12-1 with the win while Plainville fell to 4-8 on the campaign.
For Plainville, Michelle Thibodeau made six digs; Sarah Ercoli went 6-of-7 on the serving front; while Emily Duda was 4-of-4 serving.
“I gave the younger kids a look to see what they could do,” said Compson. “We just have to keep building them up and hope that our regular varsity players come out with the same fire they did in the first set.”
“If we can sustain that over three sets, we’ll be in a better place.”
The Lancers were led by its co-captain, Jenna Rodjenski, as she wrapped up a game-high nine kills to go along with four digs, three aces and a big block.
Maggie Getler— Eastern’s other outstanding co-captain— added a solid night of serving and nailed 12-of-13 attempts.
Cheyenne Orsi added eight kills. Kaylee Cruz nailed five kills. Bailey Wyrebek zipped up five digs, four aces, and had one assist.
“She has a lot range being that far up above the net (for those kills),” said Eastern coach Stacy Rivoira of Orsi. “But I think we get equally as much power out of Jenna and we get a lot of consistency. I thought Kaylee Cruz played a great game. I thought she took some great swings both in the middle and on the outside.”
“I thought she had some key hits…I was really proud of her.”
And then there was the crafty Brianna Root who once again set the floor on fire for the Lancers.
Root zipped up five aces – nailing all 10 of her serves in the third and final game – while also adding four digs.
But the smallest player on the court used her “mad hops” and tallied back-to-back points.
Root first blocked a shot and then sent a ball over that cleanly hit the floor in the second stanza for a kill that led to a 19-point win in the frame.
Daley made some solid serving contributions in the final game and zipped in five serves in a row to keep Eastern’s momentum going.
“She’s comes in for a couple games for us and she’s done a nice job,” said Rivoira of Daley. “We had a player that was sick and both she and Kelly Quirion are filling in her position for the moment and they’re doing a great job for us.”
For Plainville, Michelle Thibodeau made six digs, Sarah Ercoli went 6-of-7 on the serving front, while Emily Duda was 4-of-4 serving.
The first game was certainly a tit-for-tat affair and 28 points into the thing, the tilt was knotted at 14-14.
“We stayed with them for about half of that first set,” said Plainville coach Steve Compson. “(But) they’re a dominant team. That’s why they are who they are. For us to stick with them that long was a pretty good showing in that first set.”
Alicia Gorski zipped in a serve that couldn’t be returned – putting Plainville in front 2-0 to start – but Orsi helped propel Eastern on a 6-0 push to put the visitors on top by four.
Later, Ercoli flipped in an ace to tie the score at 6-6 but the Lancers kept its foot on the gas pedal to eventually take a 14-11 edge.
But off a bad Eastern serve, an Ercoli blast that was not returned – coupled with a Duda ace – the Blue Devils made it a 14-14 stalemate.
“(We were) very flat,” said Rivoira about Eastern’s start. “We started out flat and then our serving came along and I think that was our strong-suit in games two and three. We had Maggie serving, we have Angela (Daley) serving and Bailey was serving strong.”
“They gave us lots of points and it made a big difference.”
However, Eastern put it all together – via an 11-2 push – as one last Savannah White hit was not returned and the Lancers took a 1-0 match lead off the 25-16 win.
“In game one, they played right with us,” said Rivoira. “We were giving them points off of our errors and they were forcing us to make errors too.”
Plainville remained an irritant going into the second period and off a bad Eastern serve, the Blue Devils just trailed by one at 6-5.
But all the defense, passing, and energy Plainville showed in that first game seemed to disappear and now the home team went flat.
Powered by a 19-1 game ending run – with Getler dropping in aces, Cruz picking up kills, and Wyrebek serving exceptionally well – the Lancers won it 25-6 to go up 2-0 with one tilt remaining.
Off a Rodjenski tip-over, a clever serve by Root that was not returned, and one final hit by White, the Lancers were 25-10 victors and took the match 3-0.