Busy Week for Guardians Volleyball
GHS girls defeated Coventry and Platt in straights before falling to Conard in four sets last week, ending the week with an overall record of 10-5.
In the win over Coventry, Anastasiya Andriyashko had nine kills and four aces. Junior setter Sara Wild dished out a game-high 29 assists.
Wild added 20 more assists in the win over Platt and Kayla Valenches chipped in with six kills, three aces, and three blocks.
Kiley Feeney had 12 digs and 10 aces in the loss to Conard.
Field Hockey Downs Simsbury, Draws with Wilton
GHS field hockey welcomed a 7-1 Simsbury team to GHS last Wednesday and defeated the visiting conference rivals 4-1 behind four goals from senior forward Molly Harding.
After a scoreless 1st quarter, Harding scored her first goal in the second quarter to give GHS a 1-0 lead before intermission. The score stayed the same into the 4th quarter when Harding scored her second goal off an assist from fellow senior Kaitlyn Welsh. The Glastonbury lead was cut in half midway through the final period when McKenna Pennington scored on a breakaway for Simsbury. On the very next GHS possession, Harding and Welsh teamed up again, using a series of four give-and-go passes to move the ball down the field until Harding finished the play and netted her third goal of the game. Senior keeper Kaitlyn Parent made one save in goal for Glastonbury and senior defender Grace Boehning made a defensive save in the third quarter to keep Simsbury from cutting further into the GHS lead. Harding finished her day with a goal with about a minute left in the game when she scored off a rebound of a GHS penalty corner.
Three days later, the Guardians visited Wilton and tied the Warriors 2-2 in overtime. GHS jumped out to an early 1-0 lead half way through the first quarter on a nice scoring play from senior forwards Christina Guanci and Harding. Harding set up Guanci with a pass across the scoring circle, which Guanci collected on the left side of the goal and fired past Wilton goalie Emily Johnson. The score remained 1-0 going into intermission thanks to a glove save by Parent as time in the first half was expiring. After intermission the Guardians extended its lead when Welsh, a midfielder, scored on a penalty stroke. The stroke was awarded to GHS when a Wilton defender fell on a ball and prevented it from being played. Wilton scored twice in the fourth quarter to even the score, the first by Lizzie Kendra and the second by Charlotte Casiraghi. The game went to a 10 minute 7-on-7 sudden victory overtime period due in part to another late half glove save by Parent. During the overtime period neither team was able to score and the game ended in a tie. The tie moved the team's overall record to 7-1-2-1 on the season.
GHS Swim & Dive Wins Two More Meets
The Glastonbury High School Girls’ Swimming and Diving Team won two more meets last week, defeating South Windsor 93-79 and E.O. Smith/Tolland 95-75, improving to 7-0 this season.
Last Wednesday, the Guardians won 11 of the 12 events verse the Bobcats, improving their all-time record against SWHS to 11-0. GHS was led by triple winners Avery Kudlac and Annika Paluska. The double winners were Riley Kudlac, Rachel Davis and Brooke Sowka. The single winners were Belle Christensen, Riley Lord, Emily Booth, Jade Casey, Lauren Lord, Norell Paluska, Madelynn Booth and Julianne Lui. Amber Zeng from South Windsor secured their lone win.
The meet started with a 1-2 sweep in the 200 medley relay. The relay team of Belle Christensen, Riley Lord, Avery Kudlac and Annika Paluska won the event followed by the relay team of Brooke Sowka, Norell Paluska, Lauren Lord and Katie Papa.
The 200 freestyle was also a sweep with GHS going 1-2-3. Riley Kudlac was 1st, Evie Christensen was 2nd and Paeton Romero was 3rd. Riley was a new Class LL qualifier and her time was so good that she is now the 8th fastest 200 freestyler in GHS history.
The 200 individual medley was yet another 1-2-3 sweep by Glastonbury. Rachel Davis was 1st, Annika Paluska was 2nd and Vivian Nguyen was 3rd. Annika qualified for the Class LL Meet with her time. The “splash and dash” 50 freestyle was a 1-2-4 finish for GHS. Emily Booth was 1st, Madelynn Booth was 2nd and Sophie Redfern was 4th. The score entering diving was a lopsided 50-12 in favor of the home team.
Diving was a 1-4 finish for the Guardians. Jade Casey easily won the event by over 40 points and Anna Hilary was 4th. The 100 butterfly opened the 2nd half of the meet and GHS placed 1-2. Lauren Lord was 1st and Julianne Lui was 2nd. Lauren qualified for the Class LL Meet. The 100 freestyle was a 1-2-3 sweep. Avery Kudlac was 1st, Emily Booth was 2nd and Katie Papa was 3rd. The 500 freestyle would be the clinching event of the meet as GHS placed 1-2-4 making the meet score 93-32. Brooke Sowka won the event by over 30 seconds. Elizabeth Evans was 2nd and Hannah Kaufman was 4th. GHS would swim the last 4 events exhibition.
The 200 freestyle relay would see the Guardians sweep and touch 1-2. The relay team of Norell Paluska, Avery Kudlac, Riley Kudlac and Annika Paluska easily touched 1st and turned in the 10th fastest time in the 200 freestyle relay in school history. The relay team of Rachel Davis, Julianne Lui, Vivian Nguyen and Katie Papa touched 2nd.
The 100 backstroke would see GHS touch 1-2-3 once again. Brooke Sowka was 1st, Belle Christensen was 2nd and Lucy Boisoneau was 3rd. The 100 breaststroke was probably the best race of the afternoon as Norell Paluska would battle with both Amber Zeng and Jocelyn Niemczyk. 1.5 seconds separated these three at the finish as Amber Zeng got the hard fought victory. Norell was 2nd, Riley Lord was 3rd and Heather Newandee was 5th.
The final 400 freestyle relay would see GHS touch 1-2 to sweep the event. The relay team of Annika Paluska, Madelynn Booth, Julianne Lui and Rachel Davis would touch 1st while the relay team of Lauren Lord, Emily Booth, Vivian Nguyen and Riley Kudlac would touch 2nd closely behind.
Last Friday, the team took down E.O. Smith/Tolland’s co-op team. President Joe Biden was on the UConn campus adjacent to the Mansfield Community Center Pool, but was unable to stop by and watch the Guardians dominate the meet. You could hear Marine One land and takeoff during the meet. GHS won all 12 events, improving to 18-0 all-time against E.O. Smith, although one could argue that they are no longer E.O. Smith High School since they are a co-op with Tolland High School. Glastonbury was led by triple winners Rachel Davis and Riley Kudlac. The double winners were Brooke Sowka, Avery Kudlac and Lauren Lord. The single winners were Belle Christensen, Annika Paluska, Francesca Gionfriddo, Julianne Lui, Margo Zhang, Katie Papa, Norell Paluska, Teaghan Tarczali and Izzy Driscoll.
The meet started with a 1-2 sweep in the 200 medley relay. Belle Christensen, Rachel Davis, Riley Kudlac and Brooke Sowka won the event while the relay team of Paeton Romero, Julianne Lui, Lola Branson and Katie Papa placed 2nd. The score was 12-2 and E.O. Smith would never get any closer. The 200 freestyle was a 1-2-4 finish for GHS. Avery Kudlac was 1st, Norell Paluska was 2nd and Elizabeth Evans was 4th. The 200 individual medley was a 1-2-3 sweep. Lauren Lord was 1st, Riley Lord was 2nd and Margo Zhang was 3rd. The 50 freestyle was a 1-3-4 finish. Annika Paluska was 1st, Madelynn Booth was 3rd and Emily Booth was 4th. The score entering the diving event was 48-14.
E.O. Smith didn’t have any divers so GHS would turn in a 1-2-3 sweep by default. Francesca Gionfriddo was 1st, Anna Hilary was 2nd and Hailey Zimmerman was 3rd. Francesca improved on her 7th highest point total in school history for 6-dives with a fantastic 229.70 points. The 2nd half starts with the 100 butterfly and GHS would place 1-4-5. Julianne Lui was 1st, Lola Branson was 4th and Lucy Boisoneau was 5th. The 100 freestyle was a 1-2-4 finish. Rachel Davis was 1st, Vivian Nguyen was 2nd and Katie Papa was 4th. Rachel Davis qualified for the Class LL Meet with her time.
The 500 freestyle would be the clinching event of the meet as GHS turned in a 1-2-3 sweep to make the meet score 95-28. Riley Kudlac was 1st, Paeton Romero was 2nd and Evie Christensen was 3rd. Riley qualified for the Class LL Meet and also accomplished a rare feat. By qualifying for the 500 freestyle, Riley has now qualified for the Class LL Meet in all 8 individual swimming events. Records are not kept on this type of accomplishment, but I am pretty sure the last person to do this was Abbey Fusco in 2013. GHS would swim the last 4 events exhibition.
The 200 freestyle sprint relay would see GHS touch 1-2. The relay team of Rachel Davis, Margo Zhang, Lauren Lord and Katie Papa would just out-touch the relay team of Annika Paluska, Hannah Kaufman, Tali Horesco and Emily Booth. The 100 backstroke would be a 1-2-3 sweep. Brooke Sowka touched 1st, Belle Christensen touched 2nd and Natalie Koziol touched 3rd. The 100 breaststroke was a 1-2-4 finish. Norell Paluska touched 1st, Riley Lord touched 2nd and Julianne Lui touched 4th. The final 400 freestyle relay was a 1-2- sweep. The relay team of Avery Kudlac, Teaghan Tarczali, Izzy Driscoll and Riley Kudlac touched just ahead of the relay team of Lauren Lord, Elizabeth Evans, Heather Newandee and Annika Paluska.
In recent weeks, Glastonbury participated in some non-standard meets as they attended the West Hartford Invite where several schools competed in non-standard events. There were 50’s and 100’s of every stroke along with a 100 individual medley and no relays. The highlight of that meet was Rachel Davis improving on her 3rd fastest time in school history in the 100 breaststroke. She only trails Emily Maganvita from 2008 and Hannah Hummel from 2010. The Guardians also had a scrimmage against the 2019 Class LL and State Open Champions from Cheshire High School. There were no official scores kept at this meet but it is safe to say the Glastonbury was far and away the stronger team. That scrimmage might provide some promising predictions for the upcoming 2021 Class LL and State Open Meets. The upcoming schedule has a home meet and Senior Night against East Catholic on Tuesday, October 26th at 4 PM. Contributed by Steve Hoyt.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin