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Members of Newtown High School’s boys’ volleyball team didn’t let the closeness of each game get to them on the way to a 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-20) win over visiting Masuk of Monroe, on April 4.
The Nighthawks erased a six-point deficit in game one, went back and forth to the tune of ten ties and ten lead changes in game two, and saw the Panthers claw back from eight points down in game three to force four late-match ties.
“I’m very, very enthused as to how they’re coming along. We’re working really hard on mental toughness as well as the physical aspects of the game. The team that’s mentally prepared can overcome any obstacle,” Newtown Coach Sandy Doski said.
In the end, it was a deceptive showing of dominance in that this match went the minimum three sets, and Newtown’s third win in as many contests to begin the season. The Nighthawks improved to 3-0 overall (2-0 in South-West Conference play).
Ardi Kodzodziku had 12 kills, six digs, 11 service points, and two aces; Eric Moore compiled 15 assists to go along with one block, and seven service points; Liam Jones registered 12 assists, seven service points, and four digs; Robbie Morrill had five kills, two digs, four service points, and one ace; and Silas Decker had five kills and a block.
“It’s obviously nice to win just because it’s an SWC team. These games are important games for the season. Hopefully we can go far,” said Newtown’s Jacob Duffy, who had a kill as part of Newtown’s fast start in game three.
The Nighthawks jumped out to a 4-0 lead, and were ahead 15-7 before the Panthers went on a 9-1 run to tie things at 16 in the final game. Newtown reclaimed the lead following Masuk knotting the score four times, twice on errant Masuk hits, and two more times on kills by Decker and Kodzodziku. Newtown finished the game, and match, with six of the last seven points.
Newtown had closed out game two with a 6-1 run as well. Clinging to a 19-18 lead in the middle game, the Hawks ran off five straight points sparked by a Decker kill, and strong serves by Morrill, one of which led to a point, and another that went for a point with an ace just inside the back line. After a Masuk point, Decker’s kill ended it and put the Hawks up two games to none.
Doski likes what she is seeing from her team.
“Everybody gets a lot of touches — it’s a full team effort,” the coach said.
The Nighthawks defeated visiting Danbury, of the FCIAC, 3-1 (23-25, 25-20, 25-18, 25-15), on April 9, picking up their fourth win in as many matches.
Kodzodziku compiled 29 kills, nine digs, seven service points, an ace, and three blocks; Moore accumulated 39 assists to go along with nine digs, two kills, eight service points, and two aces; Decker logged a dozen kills, eight service points, once ace, and a block; and Danny Schreiber had nine digs, and ten service points.
“It’s a nice feeling to see what Newtown is capable of. We know we’re capable of doing a lot more this year. I still think we can push ourselves more. We haven’t played to our full potential yet,” Kodzodziku said after the win over Masuk.
Newtown, after hosting Kolbe Cathedral of Bridgeport on Wednesday, April 11, will host Xavier of Middletown on Friday, April 13; both matches are set to start at 6 pm. NHS will visit SWC foe Joel Barlow of Redding on Monday, April 16, starting at 4 pm.