Raiders Volleyball Conquers Seymour in early season test, 3-1. Rule the NVL.
SEYMOUR: There’s a new top dog in the Naugatuck Valley League girls volleyball as this Friday night wraps up and they reside in the northern most city in the league.
Say hello to your 6-0 Torrington girls’ volleyball team who went into the lion’s den and came out with the early season trophy that underscored how for real they are in 2016.
The Raiders went south to the Valley to take on state perennial powerhouse, Seymour and dispatched of the Wildcats in four games handing the home team a lot of firsts in coming out as the last unbeaten team in the NVL.
Seymour had not lost a game this year, let alone a match.
After dropping the first game by a 25-17 final (a game in which they had 11 unforced errors), the Raiders came back to take the second game by a 27-25 score, going overtime to hand the Wildcats their first game loss.
Check, a game lost.
Torrington rolled to a 25-9 win in game three and outlasted Seymour by a 25-23 final.
Check, a match lost.
This was hailed coming in as a good test for both teams with perfect records and it lived up to the billing.
Playing against the best always brought the best out in the Raiders head coach, Christine Gamari and her team is a lot like their coach.
“We are competitors,” Gamari said. “My girls love to compete, especially against good teams and Seymour has a reputation of being a good team so we always get energized by the fact that we are playing them.”
If Torrington was going to step into a gym that screams volleyball consistency and come away with the victory, all members of the team would need to contribute and they did.
“I was definitely a balanced performance by all of our starters,” Gamari said. “If you look at the digs, Ali (DuBois) had 15 digs, Candyce (Jewitt) I believe had 14 digs. CC (Carbone) had 14 digs so we definitely stepped up our defense so we could turn things around and play some defense.”
Having the ability to beat a team without relying on just one or two players is the sign that this team might just have something special brewing this year.
It was all about the balance and variety.
“Lauren (Gaghan) led us with nine kills,” Gamari said. “Jayleen (Colon) was key in getting them the ball (25 assists) so we were tough at every position.”
So, at 6-0, how does the head coach feel about her team with a bulk of the season still ahead of them?
“We have a lot of season left but we also feel like we played a lot so far,” Gamari said. “You know, we’ve been tested, we’ve played tough competition already and we’ve showed we have the grit and the mental toughness to push through. In that second game (27-25) we were trading points back and forth and we had the mental toughness to come out with the win.”
Torrington was up against the wall against Naugatuck when they were down 2-0 at home early this year but came back to win. That, coupled with a confidence boosting performance like Friday night sure can’t hurt.
“It sets up nicely to know that we have been in these situations before,” Gamari said. “And so far have been successful in them.”