New Canaan boys volleyball team tops Danbury for first win in program's history
It didn't take long -- one year -- for the New Canaan High School boys volleyball team to make the jump from junior varsity/ club to varsity status. So, perhaps it shouldn't be a surprise that the Rams needed only two matches to log their first win.
New Canaan overcame a 2-1 deficit to pull out a win over visiting Danbury on Monday. The Rams prevailed 3-2 (25-21, 19-25, 20-25, 25-15, 15-13) to even their record to 1-1 after a 3-0 loss to the Fairfield Warde/ Ludlowe co-op squad five days earlier.
"I think it was just a huge weight off our shoulders," said New Canaan senior captain Zach Edwards, adding that the players have been looking to truly prove themselves since starting out as a JV group last spring.
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"It's beyond exciting," New Canaan coach Katie Bakes said of the first win. "I was really proud of them for pulling together, especially in the fourth and fifth games."
New Canaan was on the verge of defeat before coming back.
"We dug ourselves out of some pretty deep holes," said Bakes, noting that even in the second game loss, the Rams nearly overcame a double-digit deficit.
Down 2-1, the Rams simply started to come together, Edwards said.
"That's when we really came together and came out firing," Edwards said. "We all really fought together. We really fed off each other's energy."
Edwards, the team's setter, registered 26 assists. His brother, freshman Tyler Edwards, compiled 19 kills to go along with four service aces and four blocks in a solid all-around effort. Nick Depuy had 11 kills in the win. Chris Gutierrez, a middle back row player had six digs and made his presence felt more on the floor than in the scorebook, according to Bakes.
"He was just all over the place. He really kept the team together," she said.
Bakes said she was pleased to see the players executing some of the things they've been working on in practice.
"In the game they did well with their blocking and covering," she said. "To see them do it well and not get called on errors is gratifying. I'm also proud of the fact they never gave up. They pumped each other up at the appropriate times."
The New Canaan coach said that battling back and beating Danbury is a display of the young team's character.
"This game is proof that they don't want to give up and accept that they're the new guys," Bakes said. "They need to work on everything. We have a long way to go."
Bakes looks forward to working with them as the season unfolds.
"They're a very coachable team and they're a motivated team. They want to do really, really well," she said. "I am hopeful that we can get our get our hands on another victory. We have the talent. We have the raw talent and determination."
Edwards says he believes the Rams can actually battle to a .500 or better record and qualify for the state tournament.
"I think that's a great goal for us. I think we can achieve it," he said.
Bakes isn't worried about wins and losses, noting that every game presents a chance for the players to hone their skills.
"Every game is a learning opportunity," Bakes said.
New Canaan had its first chance to move north of the .500 mark when it traveled to take on St. Joseph of Trumbull on Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. but the result was not available at press time.
New Canaan's next game is at home against the Greenwich Cardinals next Friday with a start time of 4 p.m.