Greenwich High

Greenwich defeats FCIAC boys volleyball foe Ludlowe, improves its record to 2-0

Photo by David Fierro: Charles “Whit” Courage is a senior captain of the Greenwich High boys volleyball team.

The season may be only two matches old, but the Greenwich boys volleyball team has already exhibited various positive signs.

Greenwich, which is aiming to climb the ladder of success in the FCIAC and state, followed a season-opening victory against Stamford on Monday, with another solid performance Thursday against Fairfield Ludlowe – a match in which it flourished in each of the sport’s fundamentals.

Impressive serving, passing and hitting, helped lead the Cardinals past visiting Ludlowe, 3-0, in an early-season FCIAC matchup. Greenwich, which won the match by set scores of 25-15, 25-15, 25-10, received four aces, five kills and one assist from senior outside/middle hitter Anthony Bueti and four aces, seven kills and 10 digs from senior outside hitter Charles “Whit” Courage.

“I liked our performance, I’ve been struggling with pulling a little bit of energy out of them, but I liked our energy the whole time today,” said Greenwich coach Emilio Renzulli, who is officially making his Cardinals coaching debut this season. Renzulli was hired to lead the squad in 2020, but the season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We passed pretty well, we served well and we hit better toward the end of the game, so overall, I am happy with the performance,” said Renzulli, who is assisted by Marianna Linnehan

Darien captured the FCIAC title in 2019, Staples won the conference championship in 2018 and the Blue Wave were champions from 2015-2017. This spring, the Cardinals believe they can be a postseason contender.

“We had a pretty good team two years and last year and we were sad we couldn’t play,” said Courage, a four-year member of the varsity team, who is serving as one of the squad’s captains. This year, we have a bunch of new players and everyone is getting better every day, so I think the sky’s the limit for us.”

Eight of the 10 players on Greenwich’s roster are seniors. However most members of the team do not have varsity experience, since the 2020 season was cancelled. Yet they seem to be learning the necessary skills to be successful at the varsity level quickly.

Photo by David Fierro: Senior Anthony Bueti is a captain of the Greenwich High School boys volleyball team.

“Except for me and Whit Courage, everyone is new to the team,” Bueti said. “We are teaching them how to pass it, set and serve and they are learning fast, which shows how good coach Moe (Renzulli) is. We’ve come far as a team in three weeks.”

Like Courage, Bueti is in his fourth season as a member of the Cards’ varsity team.

“Our seniors didn’t get to play out their senior year last year and it was really sad,” Bueti said. “This year, we just have to fight through it and not think about the past. Just play now and play hard.”

In Thursday’s match, Greenwich took the lead for good at 5-4 in the first game on an ace by senior Calebe Velozo, who also finished the day with four kills. A kill by senior Andrew Weinstein later in the set gave the Cardinals a 9-5 advantage and an ace by Courage extended the home team’s edge to 13-6 later on.

The Falcons and the Cardinals were tied during the early portion of the second game, as the stellar play of juniors Andrew Parent and Tyler Yoon kept the visitors in it, but Greenwich gained separation midway through the set, before sealing it.

Photo by David Fierro: Greenwich boys volleyball coach Emilio Renzulli instructs the team on Thursday, April 15, 2021.

“I see a lot of potential in our team,” Renzulli said. “Anthony Bueti and Whit Courage are the two big leaders on the team. Our setter Tomas Falcon (a senior) has really stepped into a big role as a first-year setter.”

The Cardinals’ roster also includes sophomore Holden Brown, senior Julian Chudy, freshman James Kovac, Rayhaan Rajput (senior) and Lopsang Syangbo (senior).

“Being a captain and being around these guys is great,” Courage said. “We are making friendship bonds between us, while playing the best as we can and having fun.”

Photo by David Fierro: The Greenwich High School boys volleyball team defeated Fairfield Ludlowe, 3-0, on April 15, 2021.

Greenwich visits Trumbull on Saturday, before hosting Danbury on Tuesday.

“We’re still aiming to make FCIACs, states and we hope we go far,” Bueti said.

Added Renzulli: “I think the sky is the limit if they want to come out and play, I’ll take them wherever they want to go. They have the skill, the potential. It’s just a matter of getting on the court and taking serious reps and getting better and better day by day.”

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