New Canaan boys volleyball team losses in three games against Greenwich
GREENWICH -- Watching the Cardinals lose two of their last four games, Greenwich High boys volleyball coach Pete Georgiou didn't like what he was seeing. It wasn't simply just poor execution that bothered Georgiou, but rather what wasn't said, as GHS endured some admitted communication problems. Greenwich was not only vocal, but on top of its game Wednesday against visiting New Canaan, disposing of the Rams in convincing 3-0 fashion to get back on the winning track entering the final four games of the regular season.
"The one thing that really stood out to me today, which I liked, was the team unity we showed out there," Georgiou said. "In our most recent loss to Fairfield we shut down a bit and both our communication and passing were horrible. Today we really picked one another up and played as a team."
From the opening game the Cardinals (10-3) appeared eager to set the tone for the afternoon, and did so by jumping out to an early six-point advantage behind five straight service points from freshman Daizo Mori. The lead would balloon to nine points before GHS eventually cruised to a 25-18 victory. The pace Greenwich established in Game 1 carried over to Game 2, as the Cardinals once again took an eight-point lead. The Rams, however, were not about to go down without a fight. The visitors showed their resiliency, battling back to take an 18-17 lead. It was a sudden shift in momentum, but to the Cardinals' credit they regained their composure and finished on a 6-1 run en route to a 25-20 win.
"We're a young team and I think we showed our youth a little in that second game by giving up that lead," Georgiou said. "But I'm proud of the poise and composure they displayed in rebounding to secure the win. This was a much needed win for us against a good team."
The Cardinals had no intentions of prolonging the afternoon, making short work of New Canaan in Game 3 with solid performances from senior co-captains Aidan Rafferty (nine kills) and Packy Hanrahan (25 assists) leading the way to a 25-15 victory to end the match.
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"This was a borderline make or break match for us today in terms of the FCIAC tournament," Rafferty said. "By winning today we put ourselves in a great position for the postseason, but it's also how we won which impressed me the most. After New Canaan came back on us in that second game we showed the type of poise and maturity that is not common for a team this young and I think that will only serve to help us in the tournament where every point is pressure packed."
The win gives GHS an FCIAC record of 9-3 and has them just behind Staples and Fairfield, respectively, for third in the West Division. With four games left on the season schedule, starting with Friday's 5 p.m. senior night against Central, the Cardinals are hoping to enter the FCIAC tournament riding a winning streak.
"The FCIAC is a very big deal especially for us seniors," Rafferty said. "No opponent will be an easy task once we're there but we haven't crumbled against even the best competition all season long. If we continue to play with the level of focus and intensity that we had today I think we can beat anyone."