’Hawks sweep Bar­low

The News-Times - - SPORTS - By David Fierro

New­town High School boys vol­ley­ball coach Sandy Doski re­ceived a per­fect gift for her 27th wed­ding an­niver­sary Fri­day night.

The Nighthawks gave their coach plenty to cheer about, win­ning their sec­ond straight SWC cham­pi­onship and keep­ing their per­fect sea­son go­ing in the process.

Top-seeded New­town swept an­other op­po­nent, this time in the cham­pi­onship match, de­feat­ing vis­it­ing Joel Bar­low 3-0 for an­other SWC ti­tle.

Ardi Kod­zodziku, who was se­lected as the MVP, recorded 15 kills, 12 digs, seven ser­vice points and two aces to help power New­town to a 25-22, 25-11,

25-14 vic­tory.

“It feels amaz­ing, be­cause not only’re we the new­est pro­gram to do this twice. We all work so hard,” Kod­zodziku said. “It was a well-fought bat­tle to get here and we’re all su­per happy to end the tour­na­ment this way.”

Rob­bie Mor­rill, also a se­nior, posted 11 kills, 10 ser­vice points and seven digs, while se­nior Eric Moore tal­lied 14 digs and six ser­vice point for the

22-0 Nighthawks. Se­nior Rob DiSibio added eight kills and five blocks in the win­ning ef­fort.

DiSibio im­me­di­ately no­ticed the team­work the squad ex­hib­ited upon join­ing the team this spring.

“This is my first year play­ing, and for me to be able to come in this year as a se­nior with th­ese guys proves that the chem­istry is

some­thing spe­cial,” DiSibio said.

Ju­nior James Belden had nine digs, seven ser­vice points and two aces, while ju­nior Max Wrage added 20 as­sists, six digs and six ser­vice points for New­town, which kept its mo­men­tum for the ma­jor­ity of the match.

“We’re only a five-year pro­gram, so to win back-to­back SWC ti­tles — we’re mak­ing his­tory here with boys vol­ley­ball,” Doski said. “We kept the mo­men­tum with our serv­ing, hit­ting and pass­ing. They know when to when to hit the ball, when to tip. They know ev­ery time it doesn’t have a hard kill. This was some an­niver­sary gift for me.”

Bar­low (17-5) re­ceived 12 kills from se­nior co-cap­tain Thomas Lu­cido and 22 as­sists, eight digs and two blocks from se­nior co­cap­tain Sam Bartro.

“For us, es­pe­cially this year with a re­ally young group, pre­dom­i­nantly sopho­mores, and un­der­class­men and with our se­nior cap­tain go­ing down a cou­ple of weeks back, I was very proud of this group be­ing here and com­pet­ing in the man­ner that they did re­gard­less of the re­sult,” Joel Bar­low coach Chris Lovelett said.

Finn McCaf­frey, also one of Bar­low’s cap­tains, was the key player that got in­jured in one of the team’s reg­u­lar-sea­son matches against New­town. Three of Bar­low’s five losses came against New­town, which also beat them in the fi­nals of the 2018 SWC Tour­na­ment.

Trail­ing 16-10 in the open­ing set, Bar­low closed to within 22-20 on Lu­cido’s kill. New­town closed out the first game be­hind strong serv­ing from Wrage. DiSibio helped pace the home team with solid play at the net in the first set.

In the sec­ond set, kills by DiSibio and Moore helped the Nighthawks seize a 9-3 ad­van­tage. An ace by Kod­zodziku made it 12-4 and later in the game, con­sec­u­tive aces from Mor­rill put the home team on top, 20-10.

The third and fi­nal game saw New­town lead through­out en route to claim­ing its sec­ond con­sec­u­tive con­fer­ence crown.

“Our goal is to not only win this, but go far­ther in states,” Kod­zodziku said. “This is the hard­est we’ve fought all year in terms of com­pe­ti­tion, so it feels nice.” QUOTABLE

“From Day 1 that was their goal, to win SWCs, and they worked hard all sea­son long to make that come to be to­day,” Doski said. “Our se­niors were re­ally big fac­tors in this.”

Said Lovelett: “Not only are they (New­town) a tal­ented group who play with a great tempo, they’re in con­trol, they’re ex­pe­ri­enced, they’re good kids and I wish them noth­ing but con­grat­u­la­tions.”

UP NEXT

New­town will com­pete in the Class L tour­na­ment, where it is seeded sec­ond and has re­ceived a firstround bye. The Nighthawks ad­vanced to the semi­fi­nals in 2018.

“We have been work­ing to­ward win­ning the SWC and the state ti­tle,” DiSibio said. “Those are our main goals.”

Bar­low plays in the Class M tour­na­ment and is seeded third.

“I’m re­ally proud of how well we’ve played all sea­son,” said Lu­cido, who along with sopho­more Lo­gan Par­adise helped pace the team. “New­town is a re­ally tough team to play. They’re ex­pe­ri­enced and they do a great job of stay­ing com­posed.”

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