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Torrington dominates Seymour in NVL Volleyball Tournament final, 3-0.

POSTED November 04, 2016
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

BEACON FALLS: The words that come to mind are dominant, controlling, masterful and just flat out magnificent.

It took all of 62 minutes for the top ranked Torrington girls’ volleyball team to take home the 2016 Naugatuck Valley League Volleyball Tournament Championship after dismantling rival Seymour by a 3-0 final.

No need for any extra games, no need for the drama of a fifth and deciding game this time around, the Raiders came out aggressive from the start and never looked back, never let the Wildcats lead by more than one point (3-2 in the first game) the entire evening.

Heck, everybody got home to Torrington in time for a not so late night snack, this performance was so polished, so surgical in nature.

Let’s see. The Raiders have now completed the first two goals they set back in August by going unbeaten in the regular NVL campaign and by winning the NVL title game.

We are not used to this type of final, this type of dominance between two teams that usually battle it out but not tonight. The raidesr were on a mission.

The season is far from over, the State Tournament awaits and Raider fans could certainly get used to more matches like this.

Game scores of 25-17, 25-11 and 25-16 show how complete and efficient the Raiders were on Thursday night in front of a boisterous crowd that was heavily tilted in the favor of the team from the north.

Raider senior Jolie Fox was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player for her outstanding performance throughout the run and especially her dominant play at the net which simple gets better and better every game.

The dilemma for any team that comes up against Torrington this year is that you have to pay attention to so many players at once.

Fox (13 kills) has the ability to control games from the net, as does fellow senior Carissa Carbone (8 kills) who is the epitome of a player who is having a great deal of fun while being enormously talented and deadly above the net.

Junior Lauren Gaghan led the way with 21 service points while Nina Lestrud (also a junior) pitched in with 11.

The ever steady Jayleen Colon set up her teammates while senior Ali Dubois made some simply amazing saves on balls destined to hit the ground but did not.   

Head coach Christine Gamari, whose team has taken her competitive but fun nature to heart and it shows every time they take the court, talked about how her team came ready to play in the final and expected a battle.

“I think we prepared for it to be a long drawn out match,” Gamari said. “I think we were ready. When you go against the second place team you know it’s not going to be easy, it wasn’t the first time we met them. All I told them that this what we started this in August, we have wanted this since August. I told them to go out there and have fun. I wasn’t going to be teaching them any X’s or O’s so this is what we’ve got.”

The only game that feature any suspense was the early stages of game one when the two teams traded points until Torrington stretched their lead out to 11-6, forcing Seymour to call time out but the avalanche had already started down the mountain, there was no stopping it.

Seymour got within two at 8-6 in game two before Torrington turned on the afterburners in running away with a 25-11 win and a 2-0 lead. Did they think they had the match in the bag?

“I told them in the huddle after game two that there is no safe lead,” Gamari said. “We’re 0-0 but then Jolie (Fox) piped up and said no, we’re down one so that was the mentality that we needed to play that last game with.”

Game three was a formality as the Raiders broke open a 6-5 game with a 9-1 run and never looked back.

This season has been all about family, all about being one team that soaks in the experience of being part of something that has turned out to be pretty special.

“Go out, have fun, play together,” Gamari told her team. “Whether you are on the court or on the bench or in the stands, we’re all doing this together. The only thing that is going to matter is that we are going to see the 2016 banner (NVL Champions) up in the gym and everyone is a part of that.”

This is the team of the fall at Torrington High School and they are going to be a force in the upcoming state tournament based on who takes the court.

“I honestly believe that position by position, player by player,” Gamari said. “We have what it takes and it was just a matter of showing everyone else that.”

Is this a team that might do something special on a state wide basis before this month ends?

“We’ll see,” Gamari said with a smile. “We’re hoping to make some noise in the State Tournament.”

That smile and the dominant performance the Raiders just threw out on the court should worry fellow Class M foes. Just ask the Wildcats.      

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