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Week 7: Centaurs split 2-match week

The volleyball team heads into the final week of the regular season facing the full range of competition.

The Centaurs are already confident in the knowledge that they have qualified for the Class L state tournament but the more wins, the more likely a higher seed and possibly a home match or two.

Getting more wins will be a little bit of a challenge next week with contests against Waterford (12-4) on Monday at home; Conard (13-2) on the road on Wednesday and New London (0-15) at home on Friday.

“Waterford is a middle of the road team who played us really well at their place and beat us. Then we go to Conard who is a state championship contender and then New London which hasn’t won a match yet. It’s kind of like the whole gamut of what we will face (in the postseason),” Woodstock Academy coach Adam Bottone said. “What I want to see is a little more passion. Play hard, think about what we’re doing, take what we’re doing in practice and transfer that to games.”

The volleyball team didn't exactly get off the bus well but once it got its feet firmly on the ground for a bit, things went much better.

The Centaurs lost the first set to host Fitch in Groton on Monday but rallied to win the next three for the 3-1 victory.

“We’ve been a slow starting team whether we are at home or away. I don’t know why. I’m still trying to figure that out. We settled in after that first set, started to pass better, defense was a little better so we were able to get better swings on things and that made a big difference,” Adam Bottone said.

After losing the first set, 25-16, the Centaurs rallied to win the next three, 25-19, 25-15 and 25-23.

Liliana Bottone had seven kills and 10 digs in the win over the Falcons.Sophie Gronski added 20 assists and five aces and Morgan Bonin had six kills.

The victory finished the Eastern Connecticut Conference Division I regular season for the Centaurs with a 4-2 divisional record, second to East Lyme's 5-1 mark.

“I’m happy with that for sure,” Bottone said. “To come in second in the division is good. I would have liked to have been first and I feel like we could have been but I’m happy.”

Unfortunately for Woodstock Academy, the good times didn’t last the whole week long.

The Centaurs were blanked in Lebanon by Lyman Memorial, 3-0.

One problem, the Centaurs were missing three starters- two due to illness and another because of injury.

“When you are playing decent volleyball after just getting back two starters from injury and then you throw this into the mix, it threw us off-center a little bit. We struggled with that,” Adam Bottone said.

The Bulldogs won their sixth match in a row against the Centaurs on Wednesday, posting 25-21, 25-19, and 25-23 victories in the quick three-set match.

Lyman was helped by 18 service errors from the Centaurs.

“Lyman played well enough to beat us but we had some errors on our end that shouldn’t have happened which definitely kept us from winning,” Adam Bottone said.

Liliana Bottone had 11 kills and eight digs and Mia Sorrentino added eight kills in the loss.