Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Sports

H-K Volleyball Claims Conference Crown, Goes 13-0

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The Haddam-Killingworth girls’ volleyball squad celebrates after posting a 3-0 victory against Hale-Ray in the Shoreline Conference Tournament final on Nov. 13. Photo courtesy of Robin Callender

The Haddam-Killingworth girls’ volleyball squad celebrates after posting a 3-0 victory against Hale-Ray in the Shoreline Conference Tournament final on Nov. 13. (Photo courtesy of Robin Callender )

The Haddam-Killingworth girls’ volleyball team had some major expectations entering the 2020 season. H-K exceeded those expectations and then some by piecing together an undefeated season that culminated with a Shoreline Conference championship.

Last week, the Cougars competed in the Shoreline Conference Tournament and prevailed in all three of their matches en route to the title, finishing off the run with a 3-0 win against Hale-Ray in the final at H-K Middle School on Nov. 13. Head Coach Robin Callender’s club completed its season with a perfect record of 13-0.

“The girls probably played their best game all season,” said Callender of the Shoreline final. “It was certainly a great way to end the season.”

Prior to facing Hale-Ray, H-K notched a 3-0 win over North Branford in the Shoreline quarterfinals and then had to grind out a 3-2 victory versus Coginchaug in the semifinal round.

The top-seeded Cougars started off the tournament with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-13, 25-11) over No. 8 seed North Branford in the quarters at North Branford High School on Nov. 9. Juniors Jess Timothy and Audrey Snyder posted 11 and 10 kills, respectively, while combining for 21 of the team’s 34 kills in the match. Senior Caitlyn Esposito recorded a team-high nine aces, while senior captain Meghan Doxsee led H-K with 22 assists.

Two days later, the Cougars hosted No. 4 seed Coginchaug in the semis and won a tightly contested match by the final score of 3-2 (14-25, 25-11, 25-14, 19-25, 15-8) at H-K Middle School. Sophomore Lola Chagnon had 13 digs to go with seven service points and two aces in the victory. Doxsee handed out 25 assists and also had four kills, eight service points, and two aces to help H-K take the five-set thriller.

H-K then solidified its Shoreline Conference title by claiming a 3-0 victory versus Hale-Ray in the championship matchup. Timothy had 14 digs, 14 kills, 10 service points, and six aces for the Cougars. Snyder contributed to the win tallying 10 kills, nine digs, 11 service points, and four aces for Coach Callender’s team.

Callender, who completed her fifth season as H-K’s head coach, was proud of her squad for attaining Shoreline supremacy, especially since the Cougars did so while dealing with the variety of challenges that have come in 2020. H-K wasn’t even able to play a single match on its home floor at the Patsy Kamercia Field House, which is undergoing renovations.

“One of our goals this season was to be undefeated. We accomplished that and more without having our own stadium to play in during the middle of a pandemic,” Callender said. “I’m very proud of these girls. All the credit goes to them.”

Timothy led the Cougars with 139 kills on the season, accounting for more than one quarter of the team’s total kills. Esposito and Snyder combined for 66 of H-K’s 168 aces this year, while Esposito recorded 24 of the team’s 33 blocked shots. Chagnon tallied the most digs with 75, and Doxsee had a team-high 257 assists.

H-K’s roster includes senior captains Lizzy Celano, Addy Duquette, and Meghan Doxsee; fellow seniors Tessa Wills, Caitlyn Esposito, and Ella McGlynn; juniors Audrey Snyder, Megan Butler, Jessica Timothy, and Carly Rettberg; and sophomores Kaleigh Bodak, Lola Chagnon, Payton Yazmer, and Audra Yazmer.


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