BOYS VOLLEYBALL Barlow sweeps Warde
FAIRFIELD — With only two seniors on its roster, there was a question of what the 2019 season might bring for the Joel Barlow High School boys volleyball team.
Well, the short answer is the Falcons are soaring. Joel Barlow improved to 8-1 overall Tuesday after posting a 25-22, 25-12, 25-16 road victory over Fairfield Warde.
“I’m happy with where we’re at. We’ve been grinding out results,” said Joel Barlow’s veteran coach, Chris Lovelett. “We’re a young team blessed with great leaders. That’s a factor so important to having success.”
It was the sixth consecutive win for the Falcons and second against an FCIAC opponent.
“We love playing FCIAC schools,” said Lovelett, who took his squad to preseason scrimmage playdays at Ridgefield High and Darien High. “It’s good competition that will get us battle-hardened for the challenges throughout the season.”
Game 1 served as the best battle of the afternoon. It was a seesaw affair all the way to a 22-22 tie.
From there, Barlow senior co-captain Finn McCaffrey put his stamp on the proceedings. His kill and service ace lifted Barlow to a 25-22 triumph and the early match edge.
That put Warde (4-4 overall) back on its heels. Behind the serving of senior co-captain Thomas Lucido, Barlow fashioned a 12-0 surge for a 21-5 lead in Game 2. The Falcons closed it out at 25-12.
Barlow was efficient on its serving. Lefty Sam Bartro served a 6-0 run for an 18-10 advantage in Game 3. A kill by McCaffrey completed the sweep at 25-16.
WARDE FINDING ITS WAY
The Mustangs, who graduated three seniors and have six returnees from last season, are still searching for consistency this early in the year.
On Tuesday, Warde was a different team when 6-foot-6 middle hitter Owen Edminister was on rotation in the back row.
Defensively, the Mustangs did not generate many blocks. Especially when both Barlow senior co-captains McCaffrey and Thomas Lucido were on the court together.
Since opening the season by topping Greenwich and intratown rival Ludlowe, Warde has also beaten Ridgefield and Stamford. The Mustangs’ losses have come at the hands of New Canaan, Oxford, Staples and Barlow.
The toughest issue going forward for Warde is the Mustangs play four of their next five matches on the road. Overall, eight of Warde’s final 11 regular-season clashes are on the road.
JOEL BARLOW 3, WARDE 0
JOEL BARLOW 25 25 25—3
WARDE 22 12 16—0
Records: Joel Barlow 8-1 overall; Warde 4-4 overall. Highlights: JB—Barlow has a six-match win streak.