Undefeated Ridgefield volleyball team tops Darien for second time this season
Updated 11:01 pm, Wednesday, May 8, 2013
DARIEN -- Putting its undefeated season on the line, Ridgefield defeated Darien for the second time this season with a 3-1 road victory.
The defending FCIAC champs spotted the Blue Wave Game 1 before rallying for three straight wins to take the match.
"I thought the first game we came out a little too relaxed," said Ridgefield coach Ridgefield coach Lidania Cibere, whose Tigers improved to 13-0. "We're the defending FCIAC champs and people want to beat us. The nice thing is we were able to rebound, not play our best game and still come out with the win. We picked it up those last two games."
Tied 17-17 in Game 2, the Tigers began to take control of the match, thanks in no small part to the presence of Griffin Jones at the net. Jones and company won eight of the next 10 points to close out Game 2 with a 25-19 win, evening the match at 1-1.
"We lost the first game, but we were able to get ourselves composed. We were able to gut it out in the end," Jones said. "(Winning the second game) was huge. Winning three straight games is one of the hardest things to do in volleyball, so you've got to win the next one and get a little confidence."
Tied at 22-22 late in Game 3, Ridgefield notched three consecutive points for the 25-22 victory and a 2-1 lead. A thunderous spike by Torres made the score 24-22 in Ridgefield's favor.
"We always have huge competition with Ridgefield. They're a really good team and they played their game, but we also held them back when we got the first game," Darien's Sean Lee said. "We've got to focus on every point and we were a little slow on that today. Games 2, 3 and 4 we fought hard, we were toe-to-toe and we just couldn't finish."
Ridgefield took a 16-15 lead in Game 4 and would not trail again. The Tigers won nine out of the last 12 points on one of the more dominant runs by either team. Ridgefield received big contributions from Paul Cooke and David Linder to close out the match.
"They started getting quiet and we started getting louder, so I knew that was a big turning point," Cibere said.
Darien (7-7), which lost to Ridgefield 3-0 back on April 8, ensured that it would not be swept again when it started the match with a 25-21 victory in Game 1. George Phillips played an exceptionally strong game for the Blue Wave, coming up with several spikes to help his team win the opener. Lee also keyed the win.
"The first game we had them on their toes and had them a little uncomfortable, but they came out with a lot of intensity in the second, third and fourth games, and they wanted it," Phillips said. "At times, we didn't match their intensity. Hats off to them, but we've got to come out and have more intensity."
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Ridgefield 3, Darien 1
RIDGEFIELD 21 25 25 25 --3
DARIEN 25 19 22 18 --1
Highlights: R -- Griffin Jones 16 kills, 2 blocks; Paul Cooke 11 service points, 46 assists, David Linder: 12 points, 12 kills; Karl Liapunov 23 digs. D -- George Phillips 22 kills, 2 points, 1 ace, 2 blocks, 12 digs; Sean Lee 29 assists, 14 points, 1 ace.