Die-hards lead spikers to state tourney

Emilio Renzulli, Josh Dow (above), Eric Thompson and Brandon Lopes give Fairfield four aggressive hitters (Photo by Bill Bloxsom)

Emilio Renzulli, Josh Dow (above), Eric Thompson and Brandon Lopes give Fairfield four aggressive hitters
(Photo by Bill Bloxsom)

It is difficult not to be impressed by the Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe boys volleyball team.
In all phases of the game, coach Garret Covino’s squad shows off its skill level, but one factor drew the attention of Trumbull High coach Tamara DeBerry after the Mustangs swept her Eagles on Monday night.
“They are the best team I’ve seen by far at keeping their heads in the game for every point,” DeBerry said. “That goes with experience, but also everyone accepting the challenge.”
Covino was pleased to hear what his counterpart had said.
“Communication is the key, and they all bring that,” Covino said after his team improved to 8-1 with its 25-7, 25-10, 25-16 win. “The more they do (talk on court) the more I know they’re focused.
“We get as many people in to get as many touches as possible, and we let them know there is playing time.”
Team play begins with senior captain Emilio Renzulli.
“Coming into the season we didn’t really know what we were made of,” said Renzulli, a complete player who excels as a hitter. “We played well early in the year, and that set the tone.
“We try to stay consistent, not only game to game, but point to point.”
Renzulli had double digits in kills versus Trumbull (2-7), and had plenty of help from among classmates Josh Dow, Eric Thompson and Brandon Lopes and sophomore Tim Beradino.
It is Fairfield’s defense that makes them most dangerous, led by libero Chris Sanfilippo, Lopes, Thompson, Mike Wagner and John Scarnavack.
“We emphasize a consistent passing defense,” Covino said. “They are die-hards at making our opponents play another ball again and again.
“I was telling Chris (Sanfilippo) last week that the libero is key to that, and he has taken ownership of the back row.”
Lopes had 31 service points versus Trumbull, including 10 straight to open game one.
With setter Alex Gropman in position for great passes, Renzulli accounted for three kills and Dow and Thompson added winning spikes during this stretch.
Gropman began game two with a six-point stay in serve, including two aces, and after a sideout, Lopes added nine more winners for a 16-2 lead.
Renzulli had a block to move things to game point, where Dow hammered home a kill after a fine pass from Sanfilippo.
Lopes had eight more winners in game three before Trumbull put together a 12-5 run of its own to close within 21-16.
That brought Lopes back to the stripe, where he served out the match.
Fairfield defeated St. Joseph of Trumbull, 3-1, on April 26. Renzulli had 17 kills and seven digs and Beradino had nine kills.
Fairfield defeated Danbury, 3-0, on April 24.
Lopes had seven kills, six service points and four digs.
Gropman had 28 assists, six service points and nine digs. Renzulli had 18 digs, four service points and four digs.
Fairfield has three matches this week: Staples of Westport (8-1), who won 3-0 on April 16, New Canaan (5-4) away Friday and Greenwich (7-2) home Monday at 5:30.
“With our win today we made states,” Covino said. “We’re third in FCIAC and vying for position for the playoffs (top four teams).
“From here on in, it’s all about positioning for leagues and getting a home match for states.”

About author

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© HAN Network. All rights reserved. Fairfield Sun, 1000 Bridgeport Avenue, Shelton, CT 06484

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress