RHAM Wins CCC Volleyball Tourney    

By Matt Stevens

In order to be the top team in the CCC, RHAM had do to the one thing it hasn’t been able to do this season – beat Farmington. But that is what the Sachems did in exciting fashion Saturday, defeating Farmington 3-0 in the conference championship game.

Farmington entered the game undefeated at 21-0. RHAM was 20-1, with its only loss coming at the hands of Farmington on Oct. 7.

RHAM jumped out to an early lead in the first set and didn’t let Farmington get into any sort of rhythm. The Sachems won handily, 25-15.

The second set looked like it was going to be the same thing, as RHAM jumped out to a 9-1 lead, but Farmington found its missing pieces and roared back to within one point, 17-16, and then later tied the set at 22. RHAM forced miscues and served up aces to win the set, 25-23.

In the third set, Farmington looked more like Farmington. The Sachems held a slight edge, but a Farmington run took the lead – the first of the entire match – at 17-16. Farmington looked like it was going to take the set, going up 23-22 and then 24-23. The two teams were tied at 26, when RHAM got a quick point that set up the final play. After Farmington returned the serve it was pretty much a routine play. Senior libero Lauren Delissio fielded the hit, setter Alexandra Welch teed it up perfectly and 5′ 11” junior Alana Hruska powered a smash home for the game, set, match point, 28-26.

“It felt really good. I really wanted to kill that one,” Hruska said.

Coach Tim Guernsey said he was proud of Hruska, as well as all of his players for their superb play.

“She played great. Sometimes she tries to be too perfect. She doesn’t need to be. She’s been our go-to,” he said. “I feel like it was those other kids who stepped up around her, to allow her to get some blocks and open things up. It was all around great effort.”

The coach said the Sachems had no specific game plan for Farmington, except to play their best.

“We just wanted to be competitive, play hard, and play RHAM volleyball,” he said. “I think we’re both very evenly matched.”

“Since we lost to them the first time, we wanted to really get it this time. That made us play really hard,” Hruska said.

RHAM’s runs early on may have set the mood for the match.

“Us winning those long rallies at the beginning of the game were a huge difference in the feeling, the tempo, and the atmosphere in the gym,” Guernsey said.

When RHAM was down late in the third match, he said his players just kept doing their thing.

“They just fought through it,” Guernsey said. “That’s what you want this time of year.”
“It feels great,” Guernsey said. “The kids played great against a very, very good team. We played hard and never gave up. I feel like we were very composed. I’m super proud of every single one of them.”

Farmington and RHAM both have first-round byes in the CIAC Class L tournament. Farmington is the 1-seed and RHAM is #2, so the two could potentially play each other for a third time this season.

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