NEW BRITAIN - The New Britain girls volleyball teamâ€™s strong service points were pivotal against Plainville on Monday night.
The Blue Devils did a good job returning numerous balls back that were tough to get but the effort from the Hurricanes was too much in as they swept Plainville 3-0 with set scores of 25-14, 25-14 and 25-9.
Sara Manuel and Nariely Andujar led the way serving for New Britain.
Both Manuel and Andujar won ten service points. Andujar was impressive as all ten of hers came in the third set, leading to the big win.
The Blue Devils, hung around for the most part, returning numerous well-spotted hits from the Hurricanes. While down in all three contests - besides getting off to a 7-6 lead in the second set - Plainville stayed composed and played hard.
Anna Stehle was a bright spot for the Blue Devils. She finished the match with four aces.
â€śWe started off strong and then we get down on ourselves,â€ť Stehle said. â€śWe got excited when we started getting points back but needed to do better on serve/receive.â€ť
For New Britain, it was an all around team performance. While Manuel and Andujar led the way, Charliann Pedraza and Alondra Reyes both put in strong efforts as well.
â€śWe did a lot of talking today,â€ť Reyes said. â€śCommunicating and working hard together as a team.â€ť
The first two games were much more competitive than the third.
In the first game, Plainville was down just 6-5 before New Britain went on a five-point run behind five straight service points from Raven Jarrett.
The Hurricanes went on another five-point run with Nelanie Velez serving. With the two five-point runs, the first set went to the Hurricanes.
In the second set, the Blue Devils were down 17-12 before Talia Marks reeled off six straight points for the Hurricanes to give them a 23-12 advantage. The run by Marks led to a second straight 25-14 set for New Britain.
Pedraza got the Hurricanes off to a 3-1 lead in the third set serving. Reyes had seven straight service points to extend the New Britain lead to 11-1 in the third set.
The strong start in the third set was too much for Plainville to overcome as New Britain won in a convincing 25-9 effort.
â€śThe third game we had no serving errors,â€ť New Britain head coach Michelle Abraham said. â€śServing has really been one of our strong points and it will make or break usâ€ť
With the win, New Britain improves its record to 3-2 on the season.
With the loss, Plainville drops to 0-5 on the season and has yet to win a set.
â€śTheyâ€™re playing hard and giving me all they got,â€ť Plainville head coach Bob Moffo said. â€śItâ€™s still a work in progress.â€ť
Dan Orencole can be reached atÂ 860-973-1811 orÂ firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @OrencoleDan