VOLLEYBALL Staples sweeps Greenwich
GREENWICH — Winners of the 2018 FCIAC and Class L boys volleyball titles, Staples has certainly shown no signs of slowing down this season.
Despite graduating most of its starting players from last season’s championship squad, this new look Wreckers team seems poised to find its own niche.
The first week of the season couldn’t have gone any better for Staples, which upped its mark to 3-0 by sweeping host Greenwich, 3-0, Friday, in an FCIAC matchup.
Senior Logan Carstens was a force throughout the match for Staples, registering 10 kills and 17 assists. Teammate Luke Roehm recorded a team-high 14 kills, to go along with 10 digs for the Wreckers, who won the match, 25-20, 25-18, 25-15.
“We lost a ton of guys from last year, six out of our seven starters,” Staples senior co-captain Theo Gabor said. “From the get-go, we wanted to prove that we are still on top. We’re hungry for a championship,so we are playing every game as hard as we can — we want to put it all out there.”
Greenwich (0-4), which also lost to New Canaan and Trumbull this week, had its moments during the match, especially in the opening set.
“That was the best performance that we had all season so far,” GHS junior tri-captain Nick Bueti said. “I feel like if we played like we did today we could have beat the teams we played in the past. We showed how we could come together as a team and utilize our skills.”
Sophomore Whit Courage posted eight service points, 13 digs, six kills and two aces, while Bueti had eight kills, four digs, four service points and one block for the Cardinals.
“They are last year’s FCIAC returning champions in my opinion, Staples is the team to beat,” Cardinals coach Peter Georgiou said. “They are a top team, but I’m really pleased with how e came out mixed our offense around. That was one of the best performances we had so far.”
In the second set, after Greenwich closed to within, 19-14, a kill by Matt Epstein gave the visitors a six-point advantage and they held the momentum the rest of the set.
“In the first set, we actually came out a little flat, they needed some time to get themselves together and really dig down to bring it, because Greenwich came out 100 percent,” Staples coach John Sedlock said. “The second set, we carried the momentum we had at the end of the first set.”
A kill by Pat McMahon helped Staples take a 4-0 advantage in the third game. Carsens and Roehm also paced the Wreckers in the final set, while Greenwich was led by Courage and senior tri-captain Chris Mark.
“They came out really hard, but we want to be a contender, so we came out with a lot of intensity,” Courage said. “The first set went down hill the last five points, but even though they beat us I’m really proud of the team. We got some great blocks on their really good hitters and the passing was good. Staples the better team today and this was a learning lesson for our team.”
Mark had four kills and three blocks, while Luis Mercado had nine kills for GHS.
Staples will look to extend its unbeaten record when it hosts Stamford on Monday.
“We won FCIACs and states last year and I want a repeat so bad, especially being a captain this year,” Gabor said. “It would be the highlight of my volleyball career.”
Said Sedlock: “It feels good going into the weekend 3-0 after the first week of the season.”