NEW BRITAIN - For 30 years, Michelle Abraham has patrolled the sideline as the head coach for the New Britain girls volleyball program and grown it into a consistent contender, celebrating a perfect season, title runs and a championship win.
And on Friday night, the head coach added another accomplishment to a rather full resume.
With many of her former players in attendance, Abraham earned her 300th win as a head coach following the Hurricanes 3-1 victory over Wilbur Cross.
“I’m kind of humbled about it,” Abraham said of the milestone. “Honestly, it’s all about the character and drive of the New Britain kids. Towns don’t understand what it means to be from New Britain.
“To have been a player here and to carry the tradition on, it means a lot. To play for the same town and school and reach this achievement is nice. If I was in another town and I had to play against New Britain to get this win, I would be feeling differently.”
Out of everything Abraham has been able to accomplish, there has been nothing like the journey of the program, which went just 2-16 when she started.
“All the girls I’ve coached in the past contributed to this,’ Abraham said. “This isn’t about me. They’ve been amazing. From where we’ve come from to where we’re at, it’s something.”
It took four sets for the Hurricanes to seal the win for Abraham, taking the first, third and fourth sets by scored of 25-7, 25-22 and 25-17. They dropped the third set 25-14, but it hardly matter with the way the game was playing out.
New Britain got plenty of big performances in the game for the occasion. Nelanie Velez finished with 12 aces, 21 service points and 11 assists; Sara Manuel collected 13 digs and seven service points, while Raven Jarrett was key upfront.
With the win, the Hurricane are now 6-4 on the season with their sights set on plenty more wins for the team as well as their head coach.
Southington 3, Farmington 1: The Blue Knights handed the Indians their first loss of the season.
After splitting the first two sets, Southington was able to seal the match after a strong showing in the final two games, finishing with set scores of 25-20, 19-25, 25-21, 25-19.
There were plenty of outstanding performances for Southington as a result. Brooke Cooney collected 14 kills and nine digs, Hannah Zelina tallied 12 kills, Erica Bruno 11 kills, Steph Zera recorded 50 assists and 14 digs and Lynsey Danko ended the night with 12 digs.
Both teams are now 6-1.
Innovation 3, Aerospace 0: The Ravens upped their record to 7-1 after a strong showing at home.
Imani Rosado finished with 14 assists for Innovation, while Bailee Nardi recorded eight kills and Morgan Sartor tallied eight aces as the Ravens won in straight sets 25-16, 25-18 and 25-20.
Southington 98, Plainville 76: The Blue Knights were able to come away with the win, but there were plenty of big performances.
Andie Nadeau, Julie Duszak and Meghan Hammarlund were all double winners for Southington. Nadeau took first in the 200 and 500 freestyles, Duszak won the 500 freestyle and 100 breaststroke, while Hammarlund won the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke.
Plainville, meanwhile, had two swimmers qualify for states. Bella Samperi did so in the 200 freestyle with teammate Lydia Weinberg qualifying in three events - the 200 IM and the 100 and 5000 freestyles.