RIVALRY VOLLEYBALL: Road warriors rule the roost as Sheehan squares Wallingford series

RIVALRY VOLLEYBALL: Road warriors rule the roost as Sheehan squares Wallingford series



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WALLINGFORD — Sheehan dropped its volleyball season opener to Lyman Hall two weeks ago. On Thursday night, the Titans responded with a 3-2 win at Lyman Hall.

Sheehan won a back-and-forth contest 25-21, 21-25, 25-22, 17-25 and 15-11.

The Titans were paced by a career-high 20 kills from senior hitter Caitlyn Hunt, who also added three blocks and two aces.

Senior setter Emily Jockle also came through with a monster game. She had 27 assists, five digs and three blocks.

“It was awesome,” Sheehan coach Victoria Sperrazza said. “We’ve been working hard at moving our feet and staying up and staying positive and keeping our intensity up the whole time. They really dug deep and came back from some deficits we had. We worked on our serving and we served today. We were doing things much better today.”

The Trojans were paced by senior setter Gianna Scopetto, who dished out 46 assists in the five-setter. Her main targets were Mackenzie Grady (15 kills, 16 digs) and Ellery Campbell (13 kills, 17 digs).

“Both teams played really, really well,” LH coach Marion Kish said. “They were both very aggressive and got the ball up and plays were crazy. Everyone was great and all over the place. It was scrappy on both ends.”

Both teams are now 3-3.

Thursday marked the second of four regular-season meetings this fall between Sheehan and Lyman Hall. The Trojans won the first 3-1 on Oct. 2 at Sheehan.

Sperrazza has changed her lineup since the first meeting. She does not use a libero. The Titans were also without a few players due to being quarantined.

Thursday night started with Sheehan taking the opening game 25-21 despite falling behind 7-1 in the early going. Madison DiPasquale provided the game-winning slam on a spot-on set by Jockle.

Sheehan used a 10-2 spurt to gain control. Emma Smith served six straight winning points. Hunt had a block and kill during the run and Jockle had a block, kill and an assist.

LH closed to within 21-19, but Sheehan closed out the set with kills by Hunt and DiPasquale.

The Trojans were paced by top hitters Grady and Campbell in the opening game. Grady had seven kills in the inital set, while Campbell had three kills and an ace.

The hosts bounced back in Game 2 with a 25-21 verdict. The Trojans broke open a close game with a 9-3 run to go up 18-11.

Scopetto had back-to-back aces in that run and Paige Hansen, Grady and Campbell all had had kills.

It was Hansen’s serving that maintained the momentum. She had three straight aces late in the set. Scopetto finished off the game with a well-placed push as the Trojans tied the match 1-1.

Sheehan won a tightly contested Game 3 and clinched it with its bread and butter, a short set from Jockle to Hunt down the middle. That was the combination for two of the last three points in the game as Sheehan went on top 2-1.

Colleen Kelley collected a pair of clutch kills down the stretch to help set up the 25-22 win.

The Titans had jumped out to a 10-4 lead behind the serving of Hunt before Lyman Hall countered with a big run to tie the set 20-20. Macenzie Regan had two big kills for LH to spark the comeback.

The Trojans got a big game from Regan in the fourth set. The senior middle put down four kills. Campbell had two, including the set clincher to force a match-deciding fifth set.

Sheehan was sloppy to start the fifth game with five hitting errors as LH jumped out to a 5-2 lead. DiPasquale answered, serving four straight winning points as Sheehan battled back to tie it 7-7.

Jockle gave Sheehan its first lead of the fifth with a block. Hunt then punctuated the next point with a slam. The kill ended a long rally and put the Titans up 9-7.

Later in the set, back-to-back Kelley kills gave Sheehan match point at 14-11. The Titans won it on service point from Lydia Dellipoali (11 digs, 5 kills, 3 blocks).

“We really worked hard in the last set,” Jockle said. “I think we really pulled through. There were a few sets where we weren’t playing our best, but we really pulled through in the last one. We beat our rivals, so it was a very nice win for us.”


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