The Road for Boys’ Volleyball Ends in Sadness
The Wreckers met their match in the Ridgefield Tigers, this year’s FCIAC champions, as they lost in a crushing 3-1 game defeat in the State Cup Semi-Finals earlier today.
“It was a fantastic season,” said Head Coach Jon Shepro. “The effort they put in tonight was just astronomical.”
Once the game began, it was clear that Ridgefield would be tough to beat. Each team was focused and determined, and they were extremely well matched. Throughout the entire first set, neither team lead by a significant amount of points. The score went back and forth for around 40 minutes before Ridgefield came out on top 28-26.
The game continued to stay close in the second set. After Staples went up 5-4, Ridgefield had a 5-point streak, leading Staples 5-9. At this point, Coach Shepro called a time-out to refocus his team.
Staples then scored 6 points in a row.
“They’ve just got to forget about the mistakes and just focus on what’s going on in front of them,” said Shepro. “You’ve just got to remind them of that every once and a while.”
The score at 11-9 for Staples, the set continued with key spikes from Senior Captain Jonah Aelyon ’12, Lucas Carstens ’13, and David Kalb ’12 that kept the score tight. After a few intense rallies, Ridgefield managed once more to sneak by and win the second set 25-23.
The third set was very similar to the rest of the game: neck and neck. After many strong plays and unfortunate errors from both teams, the match had no clear upper hand when the score stood at 14-14. Finally, Staples had a sudden spike in energy.
Led by Aelyon, the Wreckers began to completely dominate and scored 11 points in a row to win the set. Aelyon had 9 successful serves in a row.
“I just thought to myself, ‘I’ve got to do the best for this team, we need to make it to a fifth game, we’ve got to keep fighting,’” he said.
After Ridgefield persistently led the fourth set, Aelyon managed to tie it up 10-10 with a powerful spike, and then another moments after Ridgefield took the lead to tie it up again 11-11. He scored once more, putting Staples up for the first time.
The game continued with Staples largely maintaining the control; Senior Captain Emerson Lovell ’12, Senior Captain Andrew Fishman ’12, and Patrick Connolly ’13 played a key role in the Wreckers’ success. Later in the match Ridgefield managed to catch up and the game progressed with a continually close score. Soon, it was tied 26-26.
After a long battle and a few more points, Ridgefield secured their victory with a third set win.
Although the loss was devastating to the team, and especially for the five graduating seniors, no one could dispute the amazingly high quality of play that transpired.
“I couldn’t have asked for anything more,” said Aelyon. “We left it all out on the court.”