Mustangs Challenge The SWC's Best
After winning its first six matches — all by 3-0 scores — Immaculate of Danbury’s girls’ volleyball team faced a pair of tough South-West Conference tests in succession, and fell by 3-0 scores to Weston and Newtown, September 25 and 27, respectively.
Although any team prefers a win, improvement is an objective as well, and Immaculate Coach Cait Van Camp likes what she has seen out of her group as the season has unfolded, these recent defeats included.
“We’re getting better every game we play. They’re doing what I ask of them,” Van Camp said of her players. “We play in a very competitive league and the teams push each other.”
In the Newtown match, the Mustangs certainly pushed the Nighthawks and made things a lot more competitive than the final score indicates.
Newtown prevailed 25-19, 25-17, 25-15. The Mustangs clawed to within 21-17 and threatened to get the match even in game two before a 4-0 Nighthawk run put the hosts ahead two games to none.
In game three, the Mustangs kept things interesting throughout. After Alissa Brugnatelli’s kill got Immaculate within a point at 8-7, Newtown built a five-point lead only to see the Mustangs chip away.
Diving plays by libero Gigi Chapleau and Diana Divesta kept the ball alive and led to a point, making it 12-8, and side out. Alex Box followed with a kill at the net. An ace by Emma Mortera helped the Mustangs get back to within a point at 14-13, and Box answered a Nighthawks point to cut the lead to 15-14. Newtown, however, seized control and pulled away to remain unbeaten in South-West Conference play.
Immaculate’s defense was anchored by Chapleau, and Gabby Rynne, Brugnatelli and Box led the way at the net.
Last year, Immaculate doubled its win total of the previous campaign, and logged 10 victories. This year, the team appears to be well on its way to another double-digit victory effort.
“They’ve improved tremendously,” said Newtown Coach Tom Czaplinski, whose team has reached the SWC title match each of the last three years.