Sey­mour downs St. Joseph

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) - - SPORTS - By Steve Geoghe­gan

SEY­MOUR — It had the feel of a cham­pi­onship match, only it was the quar­ter­fi­nals.

De­fend­ing Class M state cham­pion St. Joseph was locked in a match with Sey­mour that could’ve lasted all night if it was to be de­cided in sev­eral more games. Play­ers were fight­ing for just about ev­ery point and the mo­men­tum changes were dra­matic and pal­pa­ble.

When the dust set­tled, though, a top-seeded and re­lent­less Sey­mour side emerged vic­to­ri­ous over the gritty eighth-seeded Cadets 3-2 in the CIAC girls vol­ley­ball Class M state quar­ter­fi­nals on Fri­day night in front of a rau­cous crowd at Sey­mour High.

“They played great, they re­ally, re­ally did,” Sey­mour head coach Cathy Federow­icz said of her play­ers.

“They played a great team and they knew the only way they were go­ing to come out a win­ner is if they put it all to­gether and that’s what they did. We had to keep hit­ting on them in or­der to keep them on de­fense be­cause they (St. Joseph) have some great hit­ters, too.

“It was one of the best matches I’ve seen in a long time.”

Be­hind the play of their two big hit­ters, Faith Rousseau and Kolby Sirowich (44 kills com­bined), the Wild­cats came through de­spite fall­ing be­hind 2-1 in the match.

In the first, Sey­mour grabbed an early lead be­fore slowly pulling away. The tide turned on the strength of the serv­ing of set­ter Alyssa Co­sciello (39 as­sists) along with strong play at the net from Rousseau to earn a 25-20 win.

“Ev­ery­one just did a great job,” Co­sciello said. “We made great passes, good sets and great hits and over­all it was a great game. We started to get down (af­ter fall­ing be­hind) on our­selves a lit­tle bit but we ended up bring­ing the en­ergy back up and we knew we could come back.”

St. Joseph re­sponded by tak­ing the next two sets, 25-21 and 25-19. The Cadets took a 17-16 lead in the sec­ond and slowly pulled away, and in the third St. Joe’s never trailed and was aided by the serv­ing of Kait­lyn Paige along with sev­eral kills by Elena Ball and Lily Mat­ti­son.

“It’s just a cou­ple of lit­tle things ei­ther way and the mo­men­tum shifts were huge,” St. Joseph coach Jeff Babineau said. “Both vol­ley­ball teams were play­ing phe­nom­e­nal and kids were lay­ing out all over the floor. It’s just a mat­ter of one tip here or there that changed the game.”

Not want­ing their sea­son to end on their home court the Wild­cats re­sponded with a dom­i­nant fourthgame vic­tory, go­ing ahead 8-7 and never look­ing back and in the fifth, Sey­mour went up 4-3 and even though St. Joe’s tried to hang in there, trail­ing 8-6 at one point, the Wild­cats slowly chipped away and Rousseau put down the game point.

“It felt re­ally good to know we had fi­nally beat them be­cause we work so hard as a team to­gether,” she said. “We know what it feels like to lose (a loss to Kennedy in the NVL fi­nal) and we don’t want to have that feel­ing again.” 3 2

PLAYER OF THE MATCH

Faith Rousseau, Sey­mour — The ju­nior fin­ished with 28 kills to lead

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