Greenwich rides momentum to girls volleyball victory over Stamford
GREENWICH — Seizing the momentum and keeping it is being turned into an art form by the Greenwich High School girls volleyball team.
Six matches into their season, the Cardinals have rarely trailed, so it’s no surprise they’ve been a sweeping success thus far.
Excelling at serving, serve receive and hitting, Greenwich provided another volleyball clinic during Tuesday’s 3-0 Senior Day win over visiting Stamford in an FCIAC West Region match.
“The biggest thing for our team is that we have so many seniors, so we have kind of gone through the program together,” Cardinals senior tri-captain Cornelia Roach said. “It’s these core group of girls that we have that have gotten so close. We are a tight-knit team.”
The juniors and underclassmen on the squad have blended nicely with the seniors, forming a group that, when they are on their game, are tough to contend with.
“The juniors, sophomores and freshman on the team have become a super supportive family,” Roach said. “We are all supportive of each other on and off the court. That’s why we are able to keep such high energy and cheer each other on.”
Roach registered 10 kills, senior tri-captain Lilly Saleeby posted seven kills and junior Liana Sarkissian added six kills for the 6-0 Cardinals.
Senior setter Addie Leder helped ignite the offense, tallying 28 assists and five service points, while senior Thalia Doundoulakis had 20 service points for the victors.
“We definitely had a good game,” said Cardinals senior libero Chelsea Cleary, also a tri-captain. “Stamford really challenged us with their serving. They had good serves that kept us moving and kept challenging us. We had a lot of girls coming in and out, which helped us grow as a team even more tonight.”
Stamford (0-6) was paced by the effective serving of Kim Saunders, who recorded 12 service points and libero Kady Green, who provided solid defensive play.
“I think we played pretty well against them today compared to our last game,” Green said. “The communication was a lot better and our hitting was a lot stronger.”
The first game was tight, with Greenwich taking the lead for good on a kill by Roach, making it 11-10. Another Roach kill extended the Cards’ advantage to 13-10 on their way to taking the first game.
After Greenwich won the second set, 25-11, Stamford rallied from a 6-1 deficit to even the score at 7-7 in the third set, courtesy of Saunders’ serving. She tallied three aces during the final set. Roach again put GHS ahead to stay with a kill, making it 12-11. Greenwich went to take the third set for the sweep, 25-18.
“I think Greenwich is a great team,” Black Knights coach Mike Smeriglio said. “The plays they run are phenomenal, they have a great coaching staff and they are always good. I’m proud of my girls for hanging in there. We had a couple of good rallies with them.”
Stamford practiced outdoors for several weeks, before finally moving indoors to play.
“We are a work in progress,” Smeriglio said. “This is like our fourth scrimmage. We would have had four scrimmages before we started the season. We did a lot of good things and I am very pleased with our performance.”
With each win, Greenwich continues to build on its unmatched momentum in its region.
“Momentum usually comes if we have strong serves, which we are getting,” Cleary said. “Going on a long service run can bring up the energy and help us win. I’m so lucky to be a captain of this amazing team. It’s so much fun to see us progressing through the season.”
Added Roach, one of the seniors honored on Senior Night: “Being captain is such an honor so nice to have that an awesome role on the team. Feels like we are all one big body of energy.”