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The second-seeded and host Newtown High School girls’ volleyball team beat No. 3 Stratford 3-0 (25-7, 25-19, 25-16) in the South-West Tournament semifinals, on November 1.
With the win, the Nighthawks will take on top-seeded Joel Barlow of Redding in the Friday, November 3, championship match. The pinnacle contest will take place at Pomperaug High in Southbury, beginning at 7 pm.
Strong serving was key to Newtown’s victory over Stratford. Kim buttery had six aces and 33 assists, Zoe Beals had five aces and seven kills, and Rachel O’Grady added three aces and two digs.
In the regular season, Newtown split a pair of five-game matches with Barlow.
On the soccer field, the third-seeded NHS boys’ soccer team lost 1-0 at No. 2 Masuk of Monroe in SWC tourney semifinal-round play, also on November 1.
The game was scoreless until a shot by Masuk’s Aiden McShane deflected off a Newtown defender and changed directions on Newtown goalkeeper CJ Trivers, with only 3:27 remaining in regulation.
“I don’t think we deserved how it ended,” Newtown Coach Nick Booth said.
Newtown controlled the play for much of the night and Booth was pleased with his team’s effort which, for the most part, stymied Masuk’s typically high-scoring offense.
“If we defend like that and get a little bit of luck in the final third I think we can win states,” Booth said.
The state tournament seedings will come out on Friday, November 3.
Masuk Coach Antonio Viscuso, a Newtown resident, credited Booth for doing a great job in taking his team this far in his first season as head coach of the Nighthawks.
“Newtown played a great game. They played beautiful soccer, they like to possess the ball,” Viscuso said. “I always root for them, except one game every year.”