GHS girls volleyball won a pair of games last week, extending their winning streak to five matches. The team is pictured after winning 12 of 12 matches at The Glastonbury Volleyball Jamboree earlier this month.
Following a loss to RHAM in the season opener, the Glastonbury High School girls volleyball team has been flawless.
The Guardians have reeled off five straight games, including a three set win (25-14, 25-15, 25-3) over Maloney last Tuesday at GHS.
“We just found our groove; we found ourselves as a team and we really got to know each other,” senior captain Rebecca Lavoie said following the sweep of the Meriden-based Spartans. “We’re at our best when we are having fun on the court.”
Lavoie is captaining the Guardians ship with Amanda LeClair, who had a team-high eight kills in the win over Maloney.
“We only have three seniors this year, so we’ve had to step it up into those leadership roles,” stated LeClair. “We honestly just like each other and it’s so much fun being out of the court — it’s like one big family.”
Melissa Reynolds is parenting the “family” in more ways than one, serving as the team’s head coach and she is also the mother of starting sophomore setter Mckenna Reynolds.
“They worked a lot in the offseason,” Melissa Reynolds said of the young team. “Most players played some form of club or got in the gym with our strength and conditioning coach, and that makes a big difference.”
The second-year coach credited her two captains and fellow senior Samantha Edelheit for serving as mentors, stating,
“They have kind of been big sisters for the younger players.”
“I’m very happy with their leadership,” she added. “They have been really good with junior varsity and freshman players and they are bringing everyone together by communicating with the players beyond the practice and games.”
In the win over Maloney, Mckenna Reynolds shined by serving up 24 assists, adding four aces and a pair of blocks.
Following a slow start in which the Spartans scored the first three points, the home team found their footing, using a 15-5 scoring run to take over the opening set.
A pair of kills by LeClair on perfect passes from Mckenna Reynolds highlighted the rally.
LeClair said that the connection with Reynolds, who took over as the team’s starting setter as a freshman a season ago, is “stronger than ever.”
In the second set, a kill from Kara Shea followed by an ace from Lavoie sparked a 13-6 run in the second set, giving the Guardians complete control of both the set and match.
Lavoie took over as the team’s libero as a junior, leading the team in digs in 2022, and has continued that role this fall.
“There is a ton of support with everyone around us,” stated Lavoie. “We feel comfortable with each other on and off the court. We work really well together and love being it out there”
The Guardians left no doubt in the third set, scoring the first five points before cruising to a 22-point edge in the final frame.
Junior Lauren Mosca served out the final six points of the final set and a block by Melissa Reynolds polished off the match.
Following a 15-win season in 2022, the team graduated seven seniors. The departing seniors included Evelyn Brenton and Jordyn Mik, who are currently playing college volleyball.
Melissa Reynolds said that the returning players’ dedication in the offseason, combined with the development of the young talent has allowed them to come together so quickly. She credited a strong junior class that includes Shea, Mosca, Peighton Snyder, Alexandra Edgington, and Claire Ha.
Shea (51) and Edgington (50) lead the team in kills, while Mosca and Snyder are each averaging nearly two kills per set. Ha is tied for the team lead in aces with 13.
“They are playing more together as a team,” added Melissa Reynolds. “Even though they may have played on different teams in the offseason, they have come together and jelled in a positive way.”
The Guardians made it five in a row by closing the week with a sweep on New Britain (25-9, 25-12, 25-7) on Thursday.
Mckenna Reynolds dished out 14 more assists and added four aces, while Shea led the team at the net with five kills.
LaClair said that a key to the team’s success is the selflessness on the court, adding, “It’s rewarding to see everyone getting so excited after a big point.”
The Guardians wrap up a four-game home stand this Friday, Sept. 29 when they welcome Northwest Catholic to GHS for a match at 5 p.m.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin