Four matches into its season, the Greenwich girls volleyball team certainly has plenty to pleased about.
The Cardinals received contributions from numerous sources in their first three matches and Tuesday they continued their impressive trend.
Efficiently running its offense, Greenwich improved its record to 4-0 with a 3-0 victory against visiting Westhill in an FCIAC West Region matchup.
“We’re definitely getting comfortable with the new rituals,” Greenwich senior tri-captain Lilly Saleeby said, referring to the safety guidelines put into place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re getting better at pacing ourselves, which is super important. We are pacing ourselves with the masks, taking breaks when we need them and just listening to our bodies. That’s what we’re getting used to and it’s really benefiting us.”
Saleeby once again helped lead Greenwich in hitting department and added three aces. The Cardinals won the match by game scores of 25-10, 25-16, 25-17.
“Our middle play at the net was strong,” Cardinals coach Steve Lapham said. “It was a good win.”
Junior middle hitter Liana Sarkissian registered eight kills, senior middle hitter/tri-captain Cornelia Roach posted 10 kills and two blocks and sophomore outside hitter Adele Sotgiu had three aces and four kills in the winning effort.
“This was a fun game, because there was super high energy and now we’re used to playing with masks on and it feels like normal volleyball again,” Roach said.
Senior Vana Servos had 14 digs and nine assists, while senior Maddy Bautista had 13 digs, two aces and four service points to pace Westhill. Freshman Joshelyn Garcia tallied eight digs and four kills for the Vikings.
“As the match went on, we started becoming more vocal and picking up defensive balls and less errors in our serve receive,” Vikings coach Marianna Linnehan said. “We’re a young team and it’s a learning experience and they’re an amazing team. Just keeping it neck-and-neck in game three was an accomplishment.”
Kills by Sarkissia senior setter Addie Leder gave Greenwich a 9-2 lead in the first game. Later in the game, a Sotgiu kill put the Cards on top, 17-7.
Roach closed out the second game with a kill. The Vikings closed to within 15-14, but a Sarkissian blocked increased Greenwich’s lead.
“Our middle blocker Liana had a great match today,” Saleeby said. “She is coming into her own and is dominating at the middle position. She really shined today.”
Strong serving from senior tri-captain Chelsea Cleary enabled Greenwich to pull away in the third set, after Westhill forged a 14-14 tie.
“I think Westhill showed us they had really amazing serves, they kept us moving on our toes in serve receive,” Cleary said. “So this game was a good learning experience. We were really clicking and we are going to try to take these skills forward for the rest of the season.”
Leder had 14 digs and 30 assists, while Gia-Rose Greschner had three aces for the victors, who travel to Stamford on Thursday.
GREENWICH BOYS, GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY
Greenwich’s boys and girls cross country team were each victorious against New Canaan in an FCIAC West Region meet held on Tuesday at Waveny Park in New Canaan.
The Cardinals’ boys team defeated New Canaan, 25-34. Greenwich’s girls squad posted a 22-35 victory.
In the boys race, Greenwich junior Zachary Jelinek won the 5,000-meter race in 17:02.43. Seniors Luca Palamenti (17:08.19) and Alessandro Malagoli (17:27.99) placed second and third for the Rams.
The Cardinals received fourth- and fifth-place finishes from senior David Levine (17:49.06) and freshman Christian Zawislack (17:49.59).
Also pacing the Cardinals were senior Ryan Djurkovic (seventh place,17:53.07), junior Quinn Collins (eighth place,18:10.20), sophomore Jack Briode (ninth, 18:12.20) and senior Danforth Fales (10th, 18:12.20).
In the girls race, Greenwich senior Mari Noble crossed the finish line first in another competition. Noble won the girls race with a time of 14:22.41.
Cardinals senior Grace Collier was the runner-up in15:06.80. Elizabeth Anderson, a sophomore, was fourth for the Cardinals in 16:06.48.
Junior Ana Catarina Gaspar placed seventh (16:25.32), while Greenwich teammate Esme Daplyn, a freshman, took eighth (16:27.66). Cardinals senior Eadaoin Clarke (16:32.53) and junior Amelie Daplyn (16:33.70) were 10th and 11th.