BRISTOL - The Southington girls volleyball team knows its early season schedule will be a good test for where it wants to be come playoff time
That started Wednesday night as the Blue Knights won three straight sets against one of the top teams in Class L in Bristol Eastern, giving them a perfect record thus far of 3-0.
“It was big. Eastern always battles,” Southington head coach Richard Heitz said. “We’ve had so many battles in this gym.”
The Lancers were the first of three big opponents the Blue Knights are set to face in the span of a little over two weeks. Defending Class L champion RHAM looms next on Tuesday with Class L runner-up Farmington waiting on Sept. 29.
But if anything, Southington welcomes the challenge. To find out how good your team is, you have to face the best teams in the state.
“They’re probably the best team in the state,” Heitz said of RHAM. “We did some things we needed to do [Wednesday night], and we did some things we have to clean up. But you don't learn a lot about yourself unless you play teams that are really good, like Bristol Eastern.”
Overall, Heitz was pleased with the way his team performed against Bristol Eastern, especially when the score can be misleading at times. He though the Blue Knights passes well and also came away with some good hustle points on defense.
“Serving is one of our strengths and we missed more than we would like to,” Heitz said. “We served pretty tough the rest of the way to keep them on a system.”
Southington libero Nolyn Allen had herself a game, leading the team with 23 digs.
“[Bristol Eastern is] a great team,” Allen said. “It was awesome to have some really good competition. I think we worked together very well, we communicated very well, we were all moving together. I feel like it just worked tonight.”
And like her head coach, Allen said there were things that can still be improved on and will have to be improved on heading into the match against RHAM, which has also started the season 3-0.
Come Tuesday, the Blue Knights will know what to expect, having scrimmaged RHAM before and will be doing everything they can in practice to prepare them for Tuesday.
“We just want to go out and play hard,” Heitz said. “We have to learn a little more about ourselves and see what we can do.”
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860) 801-5096 or firstname.lastname@example.org