Schools Sports

Conard Volleyball Takes Down Defending Champs, Advances to Class LL Quarterfinals

Conard volleyball vs. Amity. Nov. 14, 2019. (Photo credit: Marlon Pitter)

Coming off a first-round bye, second-seeded Conard defeats 15-seed Amity to advance to the Class LL quarterfinal round.

By Marlon Pitter

With defending champion Amity standing between the Conard girls volleyball team and a quarterfinal berth, the Chieftains rolled to a 3-1 win (24-26, 25-14, 25-16, 27-25) in the second round of the Class LL tournament Thursday night in West Hartford.

Conard (17-2) narrowly lost the first set but took the final three to knock off Amity (12-8), a team head coach Kerry Roller expected a tough match from.

“I knew [Amity] would be competitive,” said Roller. “I didn’t think that we were going to walk over them at all. Defending state champs, we played them two years ago in the state quarterfinals, so they’ve been there. … We have a very young team – I start three sophomores – so I knew we would have some nerves to start.”

The Spartans led 11-5 in the fourth set, but the Chieftains drew even at 15. Down 24-21, Conard came back again to take a 25-24 lead.

Leading 26-25, Nyssa Park made the game-winning serve, rolling the ball just over the top of the net to clinch the victory for Conard.

Avery Theriault and Kallie Guerraz set the tone offensively for the Chieftains on the front line. Roller credited them as standouts for Conard.

“They are most of our offense,” said Roller. “As long as both of them are hitting well, we’re going to do well. … [Theriault] brought a lot of energy in that fourth set at the end there.”

Amity tallied the first three points of the opening set, eventually leading Conard 12-8. The Chieftains tied the score at 24, but the Spartans scored the next two points.

Conard made late runs in the second and third sets to pull away and win each of them.

Conard will host Fairfield-Ludlowe in the quarterfinal round Saturday at 6 p.m. Theriault said the team is “ready for anything” as it progresses deeper in the tournament.

“I think the ceiling is through the roof,” said Theriault. “We definitely have high hopes, but this game really humbled us, so we know what to expect. … Now that we’re back into the grind, we’re ready for anything.”

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Marlon Pitter

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