The Darien volleyball team had a bit of a wake-up call with a first-set loss to the Hall Warriors in the opening round of the Class LL playoffs. In the end, however, the Blue Wave rolled on.
Darien responded to its brief deficit with three straight decisive victories and defeated Hall, 3-1, Monday in the DHS gymnasium. The Wave won two of the final three sets by double digits for a 21-25, 25-10, 25-17, 25-10 victory.
It was Darien’s first state tournament victory in three seasons, as the Wave had been knocked out in the first round by Trumbull and Greenwich respectively the past two years.
The win sets up an interesting second-round match-up, as the 12th-seeded Wave (15-7) will square off with No. 5 Newtown (16-4) for the third time this season. That match will begin at 6 p.m., Thursday, in Newtown. The Nighthawks had a first-round bye.
Newtown has won each of the first two meetings, but the Wave was tough in both. The Nighthawks won 3-2 on opening day, Sept. 6, in Newtown, and then came to Darien for a 3-1 decision on Oct. 8.
Against Hall, the Wave spread the stats around. Junior Elaina Cummiskey racked up 20 points, 7 aces, 10 kills, and 17 digs, while senior co-captain Lindsey Bennett had 12 points, 6 aces, 10 kills, and 15 digs.
Senior co-captain and setter Cristina Escajadillo had 36 assists, 9 points, 2 aces, 1 kill, 11 digs, and 3 blocks; and junior Hassana Arbubakrr collected 12 kills and 3 blocks.
For No. 21 Hall (9-11), senior co-captain Marissa Lazinski had 14 assists and 17 digs.