Volleyball preview / Falcons eager for another playoff run
After losing to Greenwich in the FCIAC tournament semifinals and bowing in the state LL semifinals to eventual champion Cheshire, one would think that the Ludlowe girls' volleyball team is hungry for redemption.
The Falcons are.
"I'm so excited for another season," Falcons coach Meghan Skelton wrote in her fall prospectus. "I'm proud of my girls' had work in the off-season. The team looks extremely strong and capable."
Ludlowe was 20-4 last fall, winning the FCIAC Central division title for the second straight season and the third time in the last four years,. The Falcons have lost a pair of first-team All-FCIAC players in Casey Boatright and Corrnie Lang (and eight lettermen overall).
But Skelton welcomes back three top seniors in captains Keki Cardenas, Andrea Alvarez and Liz Buckley. In addition, April Cooke -- who was second in the state in blocks last season and had a solid .387 hitting percentage -- and Alice Nelson are expected to provide experience and leadership.
"We are working on finding a starting lineup," Skelton wrote. "There's been a big turnover in players from last year due to many seniors graduating. (We're) working on establishing a normal lineup."
Ludlowe will be seeking its seventh straight CIAC tournament appearance, dating back to 2008. The Falcons have lost in the semifinals the last two seasons.
Warde is coming off a 12-9 campaign and a third place finish in the FCIAC East. The Mustangs lost in the conference tournament quarterfinals and fell to NFA in the first round of the Class LL tournament.
"Despite the fact that we graduated our entire starting lineup from last year, I will not use the term, `rebuilding, " Warde coach Matt Narwold wrote in his preseason prospectus. "These girls have just as much potential to win games. If we can remain mentally tough, we will be successful."
Senior captain Samantha Ferleger returns after missing last season with a back injury. Senior Hannah Wolf is the other captain. They will be joined by junior Clare Burns (also coming back form injury).
"This team supports each other and pushes each other every day in practice," Narwold wrote. "Every girl on the team demands perfection from each other."
At Notre Dame for coach Jon Mercado, there's nowhere to go but up after a 1-19 season last fall. The Lancers are just 8-84 since 2009.