SOUTHINGTON – Eighth-ranked Southington girls volleyball swept aside No. 9 Glastonbury, 3-0, on Thursday during the second round of the Class LL state tournament.
The Blue Knights never took their foot off the gas pedal as they claimed the games by scores of 25-17, 25-11 and 25-16 to advance to the quarterfinal round.
“I think our intensity for the night was a lot better than we've had in other matches,” Southington coach Rich Heitz said. “I think the kids understood that they had the disadvantage with the size issue and we had to serve and attack aggressively and take them out of system. I think for the most part we did a good job of that. When we didn't we learned our lesson.”
Freshman Alyssa Ferreira had the highlight of the match with 14 straight service points to start the second set. The Guardians never recovered from the momentum swing and struggled to subdue the Blue Knights attack the rest of the night.
Southington secured 47 service points and 10 aces throughout the contest in arguably its best showing so far this postseason.
The first game started a bit choppy with neither team really establishing momentum until the Blue Knights strung some points together during the middle portion and never looked back.
Ferreira's impressive serves in the second match was just about all Southington needed before Glastonbury started well in the third set, before eventually falling victim to the Blue Knights' untouchable serving. Southington earned the match point on a decision from the referee following an apparent Guardians kill.
“We got down 6-2 in set three, I called a timeout and got a couple breaks,” Heitz said. “It's tough when you end on a controversial call there.”
Alyssa Ferreira led the Blue Knights in kills (10), digs (six) and service points (15), while Haley Weiner concluded with 27 assists against Glastonbury. Gabby Ferreira (seven kills, seven service points) and Emma Pfanzelt (nine service points) also helped Southington move on to the next round.
Monday, the Blue Knights barely escaped No. 24 Fairfield Warde, 3-2, during the first round battle, but got a key body back against the Guardians that proved to be important.
“We had Gabby back,” Heitz said. “She's been out the last two-three games and we get a little more comfortable with Alyssa playing. Even playing five sets, as stressful as it was against Fairfield Ludlowe, you get more work as a unit out there.”
Southington will face off against top-seeded Cheshire in the quarterfinal round on Saturday. The Rams have gone undefeated through 20 games this season, including their 3-0 victory over No. 17 New Canaan on Thursday.
Saturday's match will take place at Cheshire at 6 p.m.
Ryan Ames can be reached at 860-801-5094 or on Twitter @_RyanAmes.