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Newtown High School’s girls’ volleyball team opened the season with a 3-0 (24-15, 25-23, 25-22) victory over visiting Darien, on September 8. This was a great way for the Nighthawks to begin the season, given Darien is historically one of the top programs in the state.
“Any time you can get a win from Darien it’s always a positive,” Newtown Coach Tom Czaplinski said.
“Darien is such a good program overall. It’s a great way to start the season,” said senior libero Tess Mubarek, who had nine digs in the win.
Senior Rachel O’Grady, who had a pair of digs in the opener, added, “After playing Darien it gives us confidence.”
Zoe Beals had eight kills and four digs; Kim Buttery logged four aces, five digs, and 25 assists; and Erin Mitchell added six kills and a pair of blocks.
Czaplinski said new starting setter Kim Buttery did a fantastic job of running the offense, and was pleased with the effort of the team on the whole.
“Communication was fantastic, whether it was the girls on the bench or the girls on the court. Everybody found something to say,” he said. “Everybody came prepared. Everybody was excited for the match,” he said.
The Hawks went on the road to take on another strong FCIAC team, St Joseph of Trumbull, on September 12. In a 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, 25-16) loss to St Joe’s, Newtown struggled to get things going.
“We had such a hard time serving and passing and unfortunately the game of volleyball is serving and passing,” Czaplinski said.
Mubarek said the Hawks also were overly aggressive at times and need to communicate better during action. “It’s an easy fix,” Mubarek said.
The Hawks, despite not being at their best, were competitive in the St Joe’s match.
“They’re a very solid team. It’s not like they were a team we should have beaten but they were a team we could have beaten,” Czaplinski said.
Read the complete article in the September 15 print edition of The Bee.