Darien volleyball wins battle of unbeatens in Greenwich
DARIEN -- This wasn't a typical lopsided 3-0 victory for the Darien girls volleyball team.
In a matchup of 8-0 squads -- which had combined to lose only four games in their first 16 matches -- it was the Blue Wave emerging with win No. 9.
Darien, the perennial FCIAC preseason favorite, was well aware it was up against a very worthy opponent in host Greenwich.
"They're definitely a great team; they were undefeated too," Darien's Riley Sousa said. "We won, but definitely did not dominate the entire game. It was nice for our team to know that we can come together in all those little moments during the game."
In Game 1, Darien jumped out to a 4-3 lead and built a lead as high as 19-13, but Greenwich rallied and took its second lead at 24-23. However, Darien quickly regrouped to win the next three points and captured the game 26-24. Sousa was instrumental in the quick recovery, making a touch volley to give her team a 25-24 lead and notched an ace for the clinching point.
"We were so pumped all day just to play them because we do know that we do have the power that it takes to beat them. They were just a little bit more consistent and they kept putting power on every ball," Greenwich's Ebba Mark said. "It's a matter of keeping our energy up and that comes from everyone being on top of their game."
Darien took Game 2 by a 25-21 margin for the commanding 2-0 lead, as Kelly Kosnik recorded five of her 10 kills, and Brittany Osborn was strong at the net.
Darien built a quick 8-4 lead in Game 3, prompting Greenwich to call a timeout. The result was the Cardinals taking the next six points for a 10-8 lead. Greenwich's Jennie Cespedes' and Xanthi Katsigiannis were instrumental in sparking the Greenwich rally, and it was Darien's turn to call a timeout.
"We just had to regroup, refocus and get our energy back and be the aggressor," Kosnik said. "It's nice to win anytime, and going 3-0 is great too."
The Blue Wave then went on a 17-7 run to close out the game at 25-17, giving them a sweep of the Cardinals, a team they could very well see again in the postseason.
"I think we can beat them next time, and we're looking forward to it," Mark said. "We've just got to be a little more aggressive at the ball."
Darien 3, Greenwich 0
DARIEN 26 25 25--3
GREENWICH 24 21 17--0
Records: Darien 9-0; Greenwich 8-1.
Highlights: D -- Celia Martzolf had 12 service points, 33 assists and 5 digs. Riley Sousa had 9 kills, 9 digs and 6 service points. Kelly Kosnik had 10 kills, 7 service points and 12 digs. G -- Ebba Mark had 10 kills, 2 aces and 11 digs. Jennie Cespedes had 12 service points and 5 aces. Liza Johnson had 10 kills.