West Hartford’s Conard High School girls volleyball team beat Trumbull in five sets on Thursday, and the team is headed to the quarterfinals.
Down 9-3 in the fifth set, the Conard girls volleyball team rattled off a 12-2 run over the final 14 points to claim a five-set victory (25-19, 25-11, 21-25, 23-25, 15-11) over Trumbull on Thursday night in the second round of the CIAC Class LL Girls Volleyball Tournament.
The fourth-seed Chieftains, now 18-2 overall on the season, move on to the quarterfinal round on Saturday. Conard will host No. 12 Fairfield-Ludlowe.
Comebacks were the story of the night for the Chieftains. The fifth-set run helped preserve the victory but it was the first set that may have set the tone for the night.
Conard trailed for most of the set, including 19-15 late, before a run of 10 straight points led to the 25-19 set win. Junior Zahara Quraishi served the final nine points for the home team as they took a 1-0 lead.
“A great comeback,” head coach Kerry Roller said following the match. “We really had to dig deep and work hard to pull out the win. The team fought through adversity all week long to come together and be ready to play. We were led by the three seniors who refused to let tonight be their last match. They were relentless in their play.”
The second set started with a 6-1 lead for Conard, led by a pair of blocks from Quraishi and a kill from senior captain Izzy Pincince. It was 11-6 Conard after a block and a kill from junior AJ Sharpe.
After a Trumbull timeout senior captain Nyssa Park served a pair of aces and Sharpe posted another block followed by a kill and Conard led 15-6. The scoring run for the Chieftains reached 10 points for a second time in the match as the lead reached 18-6 off another ace from Nyssa Park. A block from sophomore Danielle DiGiacomo and Park ended the second set, 25-11.
Trumbull took control of the third set early and led 8-2, forcing a Conard timeout. The Chieftains climbed back within two points on three separate occasions, including 20-18 following another kill from Quraishi, forcing a Trumbull timeout. A quick 4-2 Trumbull run gave the visitors a 24-20 lead and they grabbed the third set 25-21.
A close fourth set began with a pair of aces from sophomore Lily Nguyen and a kill from Quraishi made it 3-0. A pair of kills from Pincince gave Conard a 6-3 lead, but Trumbull battled back to take a 12-10 advantage.
Park’s ace and a kill from DiGiacomo cut the Trumbull lead to 17-16 before another Trumbull timeout. They came out of the timeout and built the lead to 21-16 before a kill from senior captain Kallie Guerraz made it 21-20. The Eagles responded to win the set 25-23.
The fifth set was all Trumbull for the first 12 points. Conard, however, rallied for their third five-set victory of the season. A pair of errors from Trumbull and another solo block from Quraishi made it 9-7. Trumbull went up 10-7 but a kill from Guerraz, an ace from Quraishi and a block by Sharpe and Park gave Conard the 11-10 lead.
Another ace from Quraishi made it 12-10, followed by a kill from Guerraz and the 15-11 fifth-set win.
The senior class (Guerraz, Park and Pincince) helped pace the victory for the Chieftains. Park finished with 29 assists, eight digs and the three service aces. Guerraz had nine kills and 12 digs while Pincince added nine kills and nine digs. Quraishi finished with nine kills, four service aces and four digs.
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