Spikers Earn Wins, Seek Improvement

Newtown High School’s girls’ volleyball team coasted to a 3-0 (25-12, 25-8, 25-21) win over visiting Notre Dame-Fairfield on September 23, improving to 4-2 overall.

Newtown Coach Tom Czaplinski has been able to get everybody plenty of playing time throughout the season. In fact, not only did all ten varsity team members get into the match against now 1-6 Notre Dame, but junior varsity call-up Jamie Calandro also earned some varsity time.

“It’s very important,” Czaplinski said of getting his substitutes into matches. “We’re a junior- and senior-laden team this year. To get more experience for some of them is going to be extremely important for us going forward.”

Newtown’s entire varsity roster consists of juniors and seniors, and Czaplinski is hopeful that they all will be in position to continue to make contributions as his team looks to make some noise come playoff time.

Against Notre Dame, Mylis Post has seven service aces, Kayla O’Grady added five aces, Kyle Dandrea and Clara Whaley had six and four kills, respectively, and setter Meghan Logan compiled 13 assists.

The Nighthawks suffered a season-opening 3-2 loss to FCIAC standout Darien and a 3-0 setback to South-West Conference rival Joel Barlow of Redding. The Hawks have cruised to 3-0 wins over each team they have since faced.

Newtown blanked host Pomperaug of Southbury 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-19) on October 20. Post had nine kills and five aces, Mackenzie Lapp had six aces, Post and Logan both had eight digs, and Tonya Tucker provided six digs. Logan set up her teammates with 17 assists.

Czaplinski sees some positives in the early going, but believes his team has taken an overall step back since the loss to Darien, which he calls Newtown’s best-played match of the campaign.

“There’s definitely room for improvement,” Czaplinski said. “We’re serving well, we’re defending well, but we need to improve our passing and our hitting.” The coach added that Logan’s setting game has been exceptional and Post has also been very strong in that aspect of the game.

After taking in Brookfield and visits to New Milford and Kolbe Cathedral of Bridgeport, the Nighthawks stand to get a good barometer for their level of play in a rematch with Barlow. The Hawks host the Falcons at 6:30 pm on October 4. Czaplinski expects a better showing from his squad in the second go-around, although success certainly won’t come easily against a Falcon squad that remained unbeaten heading into this week’s action.

Another match to circle on the schedule is the team’s annual Dig Pink match, in which the Hawks and visiting Oxford will raise money for breast cancer awareness. The match will be held at 6:30 pm on October 11.

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