TORINGTON: They take their cues from their coach who has nothing but positive things to say to them every moment they are on the court.
For their efforts, the 2021 Oliver Wolcott Tech girls’ volleyball end their regular season with perfection.
A spotless mark that saw this remarkable team lose just two games, I repeat, just two games the entire year on their way to this point.
The culmination of their efforts was seen in a dominant performance against a good Whitney Tech team (13-4) in straight sets, 25-11, 25-18 and 25-16.
A packed OWTS gym was ready to celebrate on Thursday night and got just what they seemed to know was going to happen.
After all, this is a unit that won 60 of 62 games, pitching shutouts over their last 16 matches.
That coach who sends the positive vibes on each and every point, won or lost is Ray Tanguay, who has had his share of great teams over the years in boys’ and girls’ volleyball but never perfection.
The Wildcat players made a deal with their coaches this year about who would do what once it was gametime.
“We talked before the year,” Tanguay said. “And we decided that I would be the positive message coach during games while my assistant coaches, Jim Pepper and Harkin Foster would be the ones talking between games about what they needed to work on.”
A good cop/bad cop approach which seemed to work to its desired goal as the head coach had nothing but words of motivation after every point.
Tech doesn’t substitute much, they go with the same seven each game, three juniors (Myckenzye Davis, Zoie Matava and Lauren Huffman) and four seniors (Brianna Dinice, Maya Frenette, Sierra Doyle and Yennifer Sarmiento).
I game one, the home team jumped out to a 7-2 lead three service points from Dinice (including an ace) and three by Sarmiento.
The visitors would get no closer than five the rest of the first game as the ‘Cats dug in.
Game two was more of a back-and-forth affair until Huffman reeled off six service points in a row to turn s 16-12 lead into a 21-12 advantage for the home team.
This team is talented and disciplined; you can tell how much they trust each other from their reactions to play on the court.
Not too high, not too lo wat any given point
The Owls would fight back to within six at 21-15 in game two, but Tech was able to close the game out to go up two games to none.
In game three, Sarmiento once again was on the service line when her team ran off five straight points to go up 9-5 but Whitney Tech was not going quietly with a 6-2 run of their own.
At 11-10, the Wildcats took over one final time with Matava pushing them forward with six straight service points to put her team up 18-11.
It was all over from there as the gym had an air of anticipation that game true in a 25-16 final game score.
Davis and Matava had monster games at the net while Sarmiento was all over the court the entire match.
At 20-0 and atop the standing in Class S, Tech heads into their CTC tournament as the top seed before launching into the State tournament.
It was a great night to be a Wildcat.