RHAM Falls to Rival Farmington

By Danny Atkinson, TheSportsdept.com
GLASTONBURY — It was only fitting that RHAM and Farmington girls volleyball ended up meeting in the Class L championship game. After all, the tournament’s top two seeds had been the only teams to defeat one another this season, and the second-seeded Sachems defeated the Indians in last season’s championship game. On Saturday afternoon at Glastonbury High School, the Indians vindicated that loss.

After losing the first two sets, top-seeded Farmington rallied to win the final three (22-25, 12-25, 25-11, 25-21, 15-9) and hand its CCC rivals a painful loss.

It was a reversal of last year’s final, when No. 2 seed RHAM defeated the top-seeded Indians in five sets.
“Farmington had t-shirts made saying “Unfinished Business”. The pressure wasn’t on us, the pressure was on them to finish the deal,” said Sachems coach Tim Guernsey. “My hats off to them, they played great.”

RHAM certainly got off to the start they wanted. It eventually gained the lead in a tightly contested first set and held the Indians off, and followed it up by dominating the second, building a 21-9 lead.

The keys to the Sachems early success were its crisp passing and serving and ability to make plays at the net. Throughout those sets, Farmington was clearly on its heels. Outside hitter Angelica Czercowy (18 kills) was the catalyst early, making a number of back-breaking plays.

“We had nothing to lose and just came out and played our game,” Guernsey said. “First game I felt that both teams were feeling each other out a little bit. In the second game, we were perfect.”

Any momentum RHAM possessed evaporated when the Indians dominated the third set. They got off to a big lead and continued to grow it, thanks to some strong ball movement and aggressive returns. The Sachems struggled to return the ball, and visibly lost some confidence.

After a competitive start, Farmington pulled away in the fourth set. The Sachems made a valiant comeback effort in the final set, but could not recover after falling behind early. They again struggled to set up plays on offense and with passing. Devon Michaelis (20 digs) helped the Indians win with her strong defensive play.

“When we stopped winning long rallies, I knew we were in trouble,” Guernsey said. “We just started passing the ball a little further off the attack line. We were having a hard time getting into rhythm, the offense slowed down.”

The Sachems end their outstanding season with a 24-1 record. They defeated Farmington (24-1) to win the CCC tournament title.

Megan Heline and had eight kills for RHAM, while Mckenzie Maneggia recorded 38 assists.

Guernsey was clearly extremely proud of his team no matter how the championship game ended.

“I told them afterwards that there was nothing to hang their heads about. This has been one of my best reams as far as staying together and having one another’s backs.”

To see more pictures of the match, visit http://thesportsdept.smugmug.com/Other-4 and click on the Class L Volleyball Championship 2014 photo gallery.

8.Katie Shea(23), MackKenzie Maneggia(10) and Megan Heline(12) wait for the ball in anticipation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *