If the West Haven girls volleyball team is to get going this season, it will have to turn to its senior leadership. That leadership responded Monday evening.
Behind the play of Megan Paterson, Lexi Burzynski, Marianne Loo, Alyanah Bonilla, Tenzin Tsokey, and Danna Tortal, West Haven picked up its second win of the season with a 3-1 victory over North Haven at West Haven High.
The Westies improved to 2-5 with the 10-25, 25-18, 25-23, 26-24 victory.
“We got off to a really rough start, but we turned it around in the second game and pushed through to win three in a row,” West Haven coach Kate Coldren said. “This win feels really good. I saw a lot of hard work, heart, and enthusiasm tonight. We put it all together and played like I know we can. I am beyond proud of the team effort that I saw.”
Paterson was superb all evening as she ran the offense, allowing the Westies to win the final three games. The senior had one dig and one block defensively, but stole the show offensively with 32 assists.
Burzynski also chipped in defensively with two digs and one block, but made her impact with six kills. Tortal was solid on defense with five digs, Loo and Bonilla each had an ace and two digs, and Tsokey had one ace, one kill, and one dig.
Junior Nancy Tapia was solid with nine kills, seven digs, and four aces, Irene Ronan had nine kills and three blocks, and C.C. Condon played well defensively with six digs. Veronica Lynn added four kills, and Skylar Serenson chipped in three kills in the win.
“Nancy (Tapia) and Irene (Ronan) dominated at the net,” Coldren said. “All my hitters played smart and placed the ball very well, and they couldn’t have done it without the consistent sets from Megan (Paterson). Our defense had a tremendous game tonight. They were confident and determined to not let a ball drop. C.C. (Condon), Danna (Tortal), and Nancy (Tapia) led the team on defense and serve receive. Everyone did their job and did them well.”
Prior to the win over North Haven the Westies had suffered their fifth loss in six matches with a 3-0 loss to Hand of Madison Friday evening. The loss dropped West Haven to 1-5 on the season.
“We got off to a slow start in the first game, but by the second game, we were playing pretty well,” Coldren said. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t quite come up with the plays we needed to get a win. We are continuing to work on our focus and cut back on our unforced errors. I know the girls are frustrated with their mistakes but we have to move past it and play our best and smartest volleyball. I am hopeful for a successful week coming up.”
West Haven got going late in the game and could not catch up against the Tigers.
Ronan continued her solid play with six kills and four blocks, while Loo added six digs. Paterson continued to run the offense well with 14 assists, while Tapia had four kills, four digs, and two blocks. Burzynski added five kills, two aces and two assists, while Tortal added three digs and two aces.
“Marianne (Loo) had a really good night in the back row,” Coldren said. “She read the hitters well and worked hard to not let a ball drop. Irene (Ronan) had another solid night at the net. She is our most consistent hitter and blocker and continues to make a positive impact on this team.”
The West Haven volleyball team got in the win column in the fifth match of the season. Behind the play of Burzynski and Ronan, the Westies cruised to a 25-12, 25-12, 25-4 victory over Career last Wednesday evening at West Haven High.
Ronan continued her solid play with six kills, while Burzynski had four kills and four aces in the win.
“Irene (Ronan) and Lexi (Burzynski) did a great job at the net and hit around some pretty big blockers, and found the open spots on the court,” Coldren said. “Veronica (Lynn), Lexi (Burzynski), Megan (Paterson) and Tenzin (Tsokey) had some good runs at the service line and served tough at Career. Passing and setting were also more consistent and that’s very important to our success.”
West Haven controlled the match from the start, winning each of the first two games by 13 points. The Westies then closed the contest with a dominant third-game victory.
“It was a solid team effort and we played at our level,” Coldren said. “Our goal going into the game was to play with as few unforced errors as possible because that has been a continued problem. We were going to stay focused on every point and every play and not let any mistakes distract us. I think we did a very good job of that. We had a few too many service errors, but we’re still working on it. ”
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