Saturday, December 05, 2020

Sports

North Haven Volleyball Notches a Pair of Sweeps

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The athletes on the North Haven girls’ volleyball team celebrate after scoring a point in a recent contest versus Lyman Hall. Last week, North Haven netted 3-0 shutouts against Sacred Heart Academy and Branford to even its record at 3-3 this year. Photo courtesy of Kristen Bataille

The athletes on the North Haven girls’ volleyball team celebrate after scoring a point in a recent contest versus Lyman Hall. Last week, North Haven netted 3-0 shutouts against Sacred Heart Academy and Branford to even its record at 3-3 this year. (Photo courtesy of Kristen Bataille )

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Senior captain Alex Ferriouolo had 18 digs when the North Haven girls’ volleyball squad defeated Sacred Heart Academy by a 3-0 score on Oct. 13. Photo courtesy of Kristen Bataille

Senior captain Alex Ferriouolo had 18 digs when the North Haven girls’ volleyball squad defeated Sacred Heart Academy by a 3-0 score on Oct. 13. (Photo courtesy of Kristen Bataille )

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Senior Sophia DelVecchio and the North Haven girls’ volleyball team turned in a nice performance on the courts last week and are gaining steam as they play into the second half of their season. Photo courtesy of Kristen Bataille

Senior Sophia DelVecchio and the North Haven girls’ volleyball team turned in a nice performance on the courts last week and are gaining steam as they play into the second half of their season. (Photo courtesy of Kristen Bataille )

The North Haven girls’ volleyball team put forth a couple of excellent performances on its home floor last week. Head Coach Brianna Kleckner’s squad recorded sweeps against both Sacred Heart Academy and Branford at Fred Kelly Gymnasium to level its record at 3-3 for the season. North Haven has six matches remaining on its regular-season schedule.

After losing three of four to begin the year, Coach Kleckner and company were happy to get on the winning track last week. The two sweeps gave North Haven some momentum heading into the second half of its campaign.

“I could not be more proud of our team,” said Kleckner. “We have spent a lot of time trying to set small, achievable goals this season, and our players are working tremendously hard to accomplish whatever task we need as a group to move forward.”

North Haven started off the week by posting a 3-0 shutout over Sacred Heart Academy on Oct. 13. Coach Kleckner’s club swept the match with scores of 25-15, 25-16, and 25-17 en route to its second victory of the year.

Junior setter Hannah Auddino had 20 assists to go with six aces, two, digs, and two blocks for North Haven. Senior captain libero Alex Ferriouolo recorded 18 digs, while junior outside Caroline Toni had 10 digs with two kills and one ace.

“Our focus was trying to be consistent and not allow our team to get distracted on how our opponent was performing, but more on how we could control our side and be able to pull through. I was proud of the kids for maintaining that consistency,” Kleckner said. “We are able to focus on our mission, which was exciting. Sacred Heart gave us some free balls, and our goal was to put them away. We wanted to capitalize on that, and we did.”

Three days later, North Haven hosted Branford and claimed a 3-0 victory at Fred Kelly Gymnasium. North Haven swept the Hornets by the final tally of 25-23, 25-18, 25-13 to improve to 3-3.

Junior middle blocker Eveani Okwuosa had eight kills with two aces, and sophomore outside hitter Maria Lockery recorded 12 digs with four kills in the victory. Toni contributed six digs, three kills, and two aces for Coach Kleckner’s club.

“We struggled in the first part of the match, but the team did not lose focus on our goal, and we played better as the match went on,” said Kleckner. “We were passing really well. Our defense did a phenomenal job of passing the ball to our targets, so we could run our offense. We wanted to make sure that we were communicating at all times, and they did a great job of doing that.”

Coach Kleckner said that North Haven’s senior duo has done a great job of leading the team both on and off the court this year. North Haven’s seniors are Ferriouolo, a libero who is the team’s lone captain; and Sophia DelVecchio, who plays the defensive specialist position.

“I don’t think that words can do justice to how amazing the two of them are in every aspect. Alex and Sophia are what every coach would want to have in their leaders,” Kleckner said. “They are leaders on the court, in the classroom, and outside of school. They are phenomenal kids who give us every possible amount of effort, and we could not be more proud of the two of them.”

While the seniors are leading the charge, North Haven also has some promising up-and-comers who are making a name for themselves on the court this fall. One of those athletes is junior setter Auddino, who is in her first year as a varsity starter. Auddino made a big impact in last week’s match against Sacred Heart Academy by dishing out 20 assists in the win.

“Setter is a difficult position to play, and Hannah has handled the pressure and worked very hard to get better. She has done a tremendous job managing all of that,” said Kleckner. “Our underclassmen have done a wonderful job of coming to practice and trying to strengthen their skills. They’re working hard and focusing on the things they need to do to defeat the opponent at hand.”

Coach Kleckner said it’s hard to believe that North Haven has already reached the midpoint of its regular season. As her team gears up for the second half, Kleckner is eager to see how her players keep enhancing their abilities as they build upon the excellent chemistry that’s already an asset.

“The team is in a really good place. We’re trying to get repetition for our players, so we can focus on improving our craft, and I think we’re doing a great job of that. I’m super excited to see our players continue developing. They’re showing a lot of promise,” Kleckner said. “The camaraderie on our team is really strong. Overall, the pulse of the team is really strong. So, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us.

North Haven’s varsity roster also includes juniors Megan Cross (right side) and Lexy Signor (defensive specialist), along with sophomores Emma Liedke (middle blocker) and Kayla Balisciano (right side).

Kleckner is in her fifth season as North Haven’s head coach. Kleckner is assisted by JV coach Bianca Steele and volunteer coach Kristen Bataille.



Chris Piccirillo is the Sports Editor for Zip06. Email Chris at c.piccirillo@shorepublishing.com.

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