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Conard Sweeps Enfield Volleyball on Senior Night

Conard's seniors (l-r) Jayden Du, Julian Hartland, Brendan Denault, and Dominic Belyaev. Conard vs. Enfield boys volleyball. May 15, 2024. Photo credit: Paul Palmer

The Conard volleyball team defeated Enfield in straight sets Wednesday night in West Hartford.

Sports reporting is sponsored by Keating Agency Insurance

Julian Hartland takes the first serve of the match. Conard vs. Enfield boys volleyball. May 15, 2024. Photo credit: Paul Palmer

By Paul Palmer

Conard boys volleyball moved to 13-2 on the season with a 25-15, 25-9, 25-13 win over Enfield on Wednesday night.

Before the match began, the four senior players for Conard – Brendan Denault, Julian Hartland, Dominic Belayev, and Jayden Du – were honored by their coaches, teammates, and fans. “These seniors are so unique,” said their head coach, Kerry Roller. “They think about the game and respond well when you tell them something.”

In the first set Conard ran out to an early 7-2 lead, and then 8-3 on Tyler Richards’ kill. At 10-3, Hartland had a perfect set in the middle and Du flew up from the backline and drilled the ball right through the Enfield defense.

Jayden Du on the serve for Conard. Conard vs. Enfield boys volleyball. May 15, 2024. Photo credit: Paul Palmer

“We have worked hard to get to this level,” said Du. The UConn-bound senior would win the serve back for Conard at 13-6. Then at 22-12, Tristan McClay won the serve back, he then served an ace and the Red Wolves won the set 26-15 when Enfield’s return of serve went out of bounds. “We had 10 aces today and Tristan had five of them” Roller said. “He came into the season playing well and every part of his game is just elevating.”

The second set would be closer and the Eagles had the chance to tie when they won the serve at 6-5, but after giving up the serve, Enfield committed three straight violations at the net to give Conard the 10-5 lead. Later in the second, Justin Hartland’s brother, Lucas, served off six consecutive points to 18-6 using a tough serve and strong return game from his teammates. At game point Enfield failed to return the ball and it was 25-9 and 2-0 in sets for the hosts.

Tristan McClay (22) had no errors on return vs Enfield. Conard vs. Enfield boys volleyball. May 15, 2024. Photo credit: Paul Palmer

In the final, set Enfield struggled early to handle McClay’s service as Conard built a 7-2 lead. The Eagles would fight back again and when Andrew Wyse delivered a big left-handed kill from the right side it was 7-6 Red Wolves.

Aidan Piamondon would win back the serve when his kill roared down the left sideline past the Enfield six players. Piamondon would finish with nine kills on 15 attempts with no errors over the three sets.

Aidan Piamondon with the return for Conard. Conard vs. Enfield boys volleyball. May 15, 2024. Photo credit: Paul Palmer

At 13-9, it was Hartland and Du running the same set play with Du crashing in from the back line to deliver the kill as part of a five-point run for Conard. “[Julian] spreads the ball around so well and sets the ball so well,” said Du. “He doesn’t make anything easy for the other team,” Hartland said of Du.

Conard would build leads of 19-9 and 22-12. They would get the side out at 23-13 and on match point Julian Hartland let loose a bullet of a serve that caught an Enfield player in the shoulder, and the ball deflected across the court in the air, hitting the bleachers on the far side. “It is our senior night and we wanted to put everything into the game, especially out serves,” Hartland said after the match. “We have built up this program and built better connections with each other,” he added when asked about the team’s success this season.

Tyler Richards hits the return for Conard. Conard vs. Enfield boys volleyball. May 15, 2024. Photo credit: Paul Palmer

Last year’s squad made it to the state semifinals before losing to eventual Class L champion Darien, and Roller thinks that this year’s group may have a little something more than last year’s. “We have more parts compared to last year,” the coach said. “This year I have a solid nine I can depend on. We are a better team right now than I thought we would be.”

If the Red Wolves are going to make another run at a title, nothing will come easy. Thursday night they meet Hall, which needs every win it can get to ensure a post season spot, and Conard finishes with 15-0 Simsbury – looking to avenge a straight set loss from early this season. As things stand now, Conard would open play in the CCC Tournament against a Southington team they defeated earlier in the year.

Dominic Belyaev works to beat the block. Conard vs. Enfield boys volleyball. May 15, 2024. Photo credit: Paul Palmer

Game Notes

Thursday is a huge day for the Conard/Hall rivalry. Because Conard has its junior prom on Friday, several rivalry games have been scheduled to be played Thursday. In addition to the volleyball game at 6 p.m., the boys lacrosse teams meet at 7 p.m. at Hall, boys tennis is at Hall at 3:45 p.m., girls lacrosse plays at 4:30 p.m. at Hall, girls tennis is at Conard at 4:35 p.m., and Conard will host Hall in softball at 3:45 p.m …. Let’s hope the weather holds.

Aidan Piamondon beats the 2-man block. Conard vs. Enfield boys volleyball. May 15, 2024. Photo credit: Paul Palmer

Tristan McClay goes for the winner with teammate Brendan Denault. Conard vs. Enfield boys volleyball. May 15, 2024. Photo credit: Paul Palmer

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