FAIRFIELD—A berth in the FCIAC Girls Volleyball final is a worthy reward.

Trumbull High School earned its chance to play for the 2018 league crown Thursday night by outlasting Ludlowe High, 25-15, 23-25, 25-21, 21-25, 15-10 in the FCIAC semifinals before a passionate crowd at the Ludlowe High gym.

The win means No. 2 seed Trumbull (17-3) will face No. 1 seed Westhill (20-2) on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Ludlowe’s gym for the FCIAC Championship. Westhill held off Darien, 3-2 in Thursday’s early semifinal.

“Every night in FCIAC volleyball is a battle. This was fun,” said Trumbull’s first-year head coach Nicole Trommelen. “How did we do this? With our fight. With our resilency. Ludlowe beat us in the regular season. And we could have gotten down after losing Game 4 to tie the match. But our team responded as it has all year against adversity.”

It appeared that the match might turn in Game 4. Ludlowe, trailing two games to one, raced out to leads of 11-1 and 19-6. But Trumbull wouldn’t allow the Falcons an easy win as the Eagles fought back before falling, 25-21.

And Trumbull kept grinding in Game 5.

Leading 11-10, sophomore Ali Castro (41 assists) had three straight service points. And senior middle hitter Krystina Schueler had a block and a kill for 15-10 to vanquish Ludlowe.

“We had to keep our heads up,” Schueler explained. “We just kept going for it.”

No. 6 seed Ludlowe had upset No. 3 seed St. Joseph in the quarterfinals. The Falcons had a number of impressive wins along the way.

The young Falcons can do damage in the Class LL tournament if they can stay away from the glut of FCIAC teams for a few rounds.

“We were inconsistent tonight. Trumbull kept its composure,” said Ludlowe coach Meghan Skelton. “I’m proud of our girls’ performance. There are no easy roads in the FCIAC. We just need to cut down on unforced errors.”



LUDLOWE 15 25 21 25 10—2

TRUMBULL 25 23 25 21 15—3

Records: Ludlowe 16-5, Trumbull 17-3. Highlights: L—Margaret Nolan 9 service points, 6 aces, 12 kills, 19 digs. Lily Traum 9 service points, 3 aces, 3 kills, 32 assists, 10 digs. Jo Bianco 11 kills, 10 digs. T—Krystina Schueler 22 kills, 5 blocks, 2 aces. Rachel Hage 16 digs, 3 aces. Ali Castro 41 assists, 4 blocks, 12 digs.