Greenwich High girls volleyball wins its first FCIAC championship

The Greenwich High School girls volleyball team poses for a photo with the FCIAC championship, after beating Staples 3-2 earlier tonight. — Paul Silverfarb photo

The Greenwich High School girls volleyball team poses for a photo with the FCIAC championship, after beating Staples 3-2 earlier tonight. — Paul Silverfarb photo

The long wait is over for the Greenwich High School girls volleyball team.

For the first time in school history, the Lady Cardinals can hang an Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference championship banner in the gymnasium, as they beat Staples High School earlier today at Fairfield Ludlowe High School in a thrilling 3-2 (25-14, 17-25, 25-20, 24-26, 15-5) victory.

“They are gutsy kids that hang in there,” Greenwich High School head coach Steve Lapham said. “No ball is dead until it’s over and the whistle is blown. That’s the way we’ve been playing all year. I am proud of them. It’s a first for the program and a long time coming. We’ve been here three or four times and to finally get one feels great. You can never take this away. It’s a championship in one of the best leagues in the state. With how deep the league was this year, I’m elated. We beat everybody in the league this year.”

Greenwich was led by Mirei Kato, as the GHS senior finished with 17 kills, 15 digs, six assists, three blocks and three aces. For her hard work, Kato was also named the FCIAC tournament Most Valuable Player.

“This is an amazing feeling right now,” Kato said. “I have been trying to get here all the time I’ve been in high school, so to do it is amazing. We really pulled together and I am so glad we can do it. We have been playing so well as a team and working really hard in practice. All this hard work paid off.”

In addition to Kato’s performance, Big Red had a bunch of other athletes with big games. Fellow senior Xanthi Katsigiannis finished with 29 aces, 18 digs, four kills and one ace. Senior Jessica Schelz added 13 kills and two blocks, while teammate Heather Desino pitched in with nine digs, five kills, one assist, one ace, and one block.

Senior Catherine Cabano netted five kills and 4.5 blocks, while senior Ashley Rispoli added 10 digs, three kills and one ace. Sophomore Jaraira Guerra took home six aces and seven digs.

To read more on Big Red’s first FCIAC championship in girls volleyball, including much more quotes from Lapham and other GHS athletes, check out Thursday’s Greenwich Post.

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