Darien turns away Ludlowe with win in straight sets
Updated 2:59 pm, Thursday, September 22, 2011
FAIRFIELD -- The Fairfield Ludlowe girls volleyball team may have reached the CIAC Class title game the past two seasons, but the current team learned a valuable lesson Friday from perennial state titlist Darien.
The Blue Wave may have not played a perfect game, but its teamwork and on-court communication was the difference in its 25-12, 27-25, 25-13 win over the Falcons.
Trailing 5-4 in the second match, the Falcons took a 9-5 lead before the Blue Wave mounted a comeback of its own. Ludlowe took a 25-24 lead, but a pair of kills by Darien's Charlett Stevenson and a hitting error by Ludlowe gave the Blue Wave the game.
"When we lose those points we come together and shake it off," said Darien outside hitter Charlett Stevenson. "Just having a family atmosphere on the court really helps, and it really helps our motivation. When we win that point to tie it or go up one, we really try to put the nail in the coffin and then we just keep on going."
Darien used its game-two momentum to breeze to a sweep. But Stevenson said she was a little bothered that she and her teammates lost momentum after dominating in the first game.
"We were really pumped up after game one and I think that because we had so much energy on the court," Stevenson said. "It made us a little frazzled at times when they got on a run."
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Though Ludlowe was able to exploit Darien's weaknesses, Darien was able to rely on communication and teamwork to regain momentum.
"They're a great team, they hit the places that we need to work on, but we came through and we did a real good job working as a team," Stevenson said.
Ludlowe head coach Meghan Skelton said her team needs to work on its on-court communication and its consistency, and stressed that those lapses are a sign of its youth and inexperience.
"We're still a young team, we have all sophomores and juniors starting, a lot of girls that haven't played together," Skelton said. "In the first and third game, they needed to communicate better. There were a lot of balls with missed communications."
But Skelton was happy with the way her team bounced back in game two, despite coming out on the losing end.
"In the second game we were finding our niche and playing the way we should play," Skelton said. "It wasn't necessarily a burst of energy as much as it was finding our groove and getting going."
Stevenson had three kills, six aces, eight service points and eight digs. Brittany Osborn had four aces, nine points, four kills and seven digs for the Blue Wave.
Also, Katie Stueber led Darien with a match-high 11 kills, and Kelly Kosnik had six.
Kelly Rotondo had 22 assists, two aces and 15 digs for Ludlowe. The Falcons also got nine kills, six service points and 15 digs from Emily Nelson and nine service points, five kills and three blocks from Kedi Curley.