Greenwich Academy volleyball remains perfect by beating rival Sacred Heart, 3-1

The Greenwich Academy volleyball team was able to pull away from cross-town rival Convent of the Sacred Heart Wednesday afternoon, taking the 3-1 victory. — John Ferris Robben photo

The Greenwich Academy volleyball team was able to pull away from cross-town rival Convent of the Sacred Heart Wednesday afternoon, taking the 3-1 victory. — John Ferris Robben photo

Not too shabby for a team that appeared to be in rebuilding mode during the preseason.

With the loss of a bunch of seniors to graduation and a plethora of youth on the roster, head coach Christy Girard wasn’t sure what to make of her Greenwich Academy volleyball team as the losses piled on during the scrimmages.

The Greenwich Academy volleyball team was able to pull away from cross-town rival Convent of the Sacred Heart Wednesday afternoon, taking the 3-1 victory. — John Ferris Robben photo

The Greenwich Academy volleyball team was able to pull away from cross-town rival Convent of the Sacred Heart Wednesday afternoon, taking the 3-1 victory. — John Ferris Robben photo

On Wednesday afternoon, the Gators hosted cross-town rival Convent of the Sacred Heart in a highly-anticipated contest. The Tigers entered the contest with a record of 8-1, losing only to Hotchkiss School. On the other side of the net, Greenwich Academy came into yesterday’s contest a perfect 6-0.

At the end of the day, it was the Gators that kept its stunning season on the road to perfection, as they upended Sacred Heart 3-1 (25-20, 25-17, 20-25, 25-22).

“It was strange because we lost to them both times we played them in the preseason,” Girard said. “We had that in the back of our minds and we knew that Sacred Heart is always competitive. We knew we had to come at them pretty hard and we practiced all week for this game. There was a lot of build-up for this game and we didn’t back down.”

For GA, Kennedy Woods led the team with eight aces, 26 service points and five digs. Not to be outdone was Phoebe Morris, who added six aces and 24 service points. Tyla Taylor contributed with a team-high 16 kills, while Zoe Morris was tops on the team with 26 assists.

“Kennedy Woods is only a junior and she really came through with her serves,” Girard said. “She kept on getting big aces and either pulled us from behind or drilled an ace during a key point in the game. She had a huge contribution to the success of our team today.”

With Sacred Heart being such a talented squad, Girard said there were definitely some keys to the Gators’ success.

“I was really pleased with our serve receive and our defense,” Girard said. “I think the girls were terrific. When we lost a point on defense, it was because it was a well-driven shot and well-deserved. I was nervous about the game, but the girls played really well.”

The Greenwich Academy volleyball team was able to pull away from cross-town rival Convent of the Sacred Heart Wednesday afternoon, taking the 3-1 victory. — John Ferris Robben photo

The Greenwich Academy volleyball team was able to pull away from cross-town rival Convent of the Sacred Heart Wednesday afternoon, taking the 3-1 victory. — John Ferris Robben photo

Despite the victory, Girard said that there were still some areas that Greenwich Academy needs to improve on.

“We needed to get them to make as many unforced errors as possible and had to limit ours,” Girard said. “We had a high amount of serving errors today. We didn’t anticipate their defense being so good. Where we could usually end the point, we weren’t doing that against Heart. There were a lot of long plays today.”

With the victory, the Gators upped its surprising record to 7-0 on the season.

“We thought this was going to be more of a rebuilding year,” Girard said. “We lost a lot of seniors last year and this year we are starting a new setter. This is the best start we’ve had to any season since we’ve ever had here. We have been undefeated in the FAA before, but in order to keep this going, we still have to play some very tough competition throughout New England.”

One of the reasons GA is perfect so far is due to the chemistry of the volleyball team.

“These girls play hard and don’t get upset with each other,” Girard said. “They don’t point fingers at each other and that is our team’s strength. We have the support from the school and have the support from the parents. I run a strict ship over here, but it works. We pulled together as a team and that was our key to get this going in the direction we want to.”

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