Glastonbury Falls in Thrilling Tournament Final

FARMINGTON-After losing to East Hartford twice this season, Glastonbury boys volleyball was determined to return the favor in Saturday afternoon’s CCC Championship match against the Hornets at Farmington High. While the Tomaahwks played well and gave East Hartford everything it could handle, the third time was ultimately not the charm for them.

After winning the opening game and two of the first three, Glastonbury could not hold of a rally, with the Hornets winning in five sets (25-22, 20-25, 22-25, 25-20, 21-19). The win was their second over Glastonbury in three days, and gave the program its first CCC title ever.

From the opening volley, it was evident that the match would come right down to the wire. After being edged in the opening game, star senior Shane Harasyko led the Tomahawks to impressive victories in the second and third games. East Hartford stepped up its play in the fourth, maintaining the lead the nearly entire time. In the fifth, the teams continuously traded leads before a Glastonbury error and kill by Jodie Holloway sealed his team’s win.

Gilbert Figueroa led the way for East Hartford, recording 32 kills, while Holloway had 11 kills and 2 blocks. Harasyko recorded 23 kills for Glastonbury, while Enrich Roman had 21 and Jon Abbott 15. Abbott had 11 kills, and Cody Schultz and Connor Johnson led the team with 69 assists and 26 digs, respectively.

“We are aware of the weapons they have. Gilberto is the one we know is going to get his kills and there is not much we can do to stop it,” Glastonbury coach Pat Ryan said. “But now there is Jodie Holloway. He is the second one in there when we slow Gilberto down, and he did a lot of damage today.”

Glastonbury’s record is now 18-4. It advanced to the finals with a semifinal sweep of Newington earlier in the afternoon. East Hartford (20-3) advanced by defeating Farmington, and has won 15 consecutive matches.

After dropping the hard-fought first game, the Tomahawks grabbed a 2-1 lead with triumphs in the second and third. They did a strong job of serving and setting up powerful shots and kills, and largely avoided frustrating errors. After a slow star in the third, Glastonbury grabbed control midway through and executed well down the stretch after a Hornets rally, winning five of the final seven points. Harasyko sealed the win with a booming kill on the final point.

Ryan praised his outside hitters (Harasyko, Abbott, Roman, and Colin Binette) for their play and said he was pleased that the Tomahawks received valuable contributions from the entire lineup at various times.

Harasyko praised the team for the effort and camaraderie it showed.

“I think our heart and hustle was very present, and I was proud of how everyone was going for the balls we sometimes don’t go for,” he said.

East Hartford grabbed control of the fourth game early, recording seven consecutive points to take a 14-10 lead. Glastonbury never got closer than three points from then on.

In the final game, the teams consistently traded points, with Glastonbury’s final lead coming at 15-14. The final five points were exciting, to say the least. After a booming kill by Abbot tied it at 18, Figueroa responded with an eight-catching skill. Abbott then smacked a gorgeous kill past a diving player to retie it. The Hornets regained the lead when Johnson hit the ball into the night, and Holloway sealed the win by pounding a cross-court winner from the right side, sending the fans into a frenzy.

“I think we could have worked on reading how the other team was playing and minimizing our errors,” Harasyko said. “We lapsed at times.”

“Volleyball is a game of adjustments,” Ryan said. “They made adjustments on us, we’re making them back on them — to me it’s the team that makes the last successful adjustment wins.”

“I thought we had identified everything that we wanted to and then when it came down we just missed a couple of assignments down at the end.”

Glastonbury has earned the 6th seed in the Class L Tournament. It will host 11th-seeded at home on Monday, and will face either Shelton or Greenwich if it wins. It advanced to semifinals last year.

Ryan and Harasyko are both confident that the Tomahawks can go on a tournament run.

“I think these matches have helped us a lot, especially facing East Hartford,” Ryan said. “We just have to focus on relaxing under pressure.”
“I think we absolutely have the ability to make a run,” Harasyko said. “We just need to play up to our potential and be more present and minimize our errors.”

Shane Harasyko prepares to smash the ball at East Hartford.

  Shane Harasyko prepares to smash the ball at East Hartford.

Tom Daly sets up a shot at the net for teammate Derek Ganci

Tom Daly sets up a shot at the net for teammate Derek Ganci

Erich Roman, Chris Reichart and Tom Daily line up to return whatever East Hartford throws at them.

Erich Roman, Chris Reichart and Tom Daily line up to return whatever East Hartford throws at them.

 

 

 

 

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