Fall sports

Greenwich High volleyball team finishes regular season with a strong week of victories, including Senior Day win

Photo by David Fierro: From left to right: Jennifer Andaya, Lana Korsun, Izzy Erceg, Katherine Ford, Lucia Spanjol and Maggie Saleeby gather following the Greenwich High girls volleyball team’s Senior Day triumph against Stamford.

As busy as the Greenwich High School girls volleyball team’s week was, that’s how highly successful it was.

The defending Class LL and FCIAC champion Cardinals played four matches this week, including three the past three days and registered a record of 3-1, including a victory on their special night Friday – Senior Night.

Greenwich celebrated its Senior Night in sensational style Friday evening, sweeping Stamford, 3-0, to conclude its action-packed four match week.

For the Cardinals, the week included a tough 3-2 loss on the road to Wilton, then home wins against St. Joseph, Masuk and Stamford. Coached by Marianna Linnehan, Greenwich defeated St. Joseph on Wednesday, 3-1, Masuk on Thursday, 3-0 and Stamford Friday, 3-0.

Photo courtesy of Cindy Saleeby: Lucia Spanjol sets up her teammates for a hit for Greenwich against St. Joseph.

In Wednesday’s victory against St. Joseph, Greenwich wore pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Senior tri-captain/outside hitter Maggie Saleeby recorded an impressive 18 kills to go along with 18 digs and three blocks to pace the Cardinals, who won the match 25-23, 25-19, 25-19, 25-18.

“We really had to fight for that match, SJ is a really good team,” Saleeby said. “We had to push through and find their weaknesses.”

Following consecutive losses against Trumbull, New Canaan and Darien, has won seven of its last eight matches and sports an overall record of 16-4. Greenwich has an 11-4 mark in the FCIAC and is seeded fourth in the upcoming FCIAC Volleyball Tournament. The Cardinals will host fifth-seeded Fairfield Ludlowe in Tuesday’s FCIAC Tournament quarterfinals.

“We have that unity now after losing a lot of great players (to graduation) now we have that connection after building it this year,” Saleeby said. “We found what our weak spots are and we have been working on them in practice.”

Photo courtesy of Cindy Saleeby: Greenwich’s Maggie Saleeby gets ready to hit the ball at the net for Greenwich against St. Joseph.

Katherine Ford, a senior outside hitter/tri-captain, helped power Greenwich’s offense against St. Joseph, posting 13 kills and 15 digs.

“We were picking up digs and hitting to good spots,” Ford said. “We were also blocking. We had some good blocks to put away their middle and that helps.”

The Cards recovered nicely after dropping the third set to the Cadets.

“That game we had more energy and we were able to stay on top toward the end and close it out,” Ford said. “The last game we were working to hit to spots and tip.”

Photo courtesy of Cindy Saleeby: Greenwich’s Hayley Dionis digs the ball up against St. Joseph.

Junior libero Hayley Dionis excelled defensively, tallying 22 digs, while senior setter/tri-captain Lucia Spanjol sparked the offense’s attack, producing 42 assists in the victory over St. Joseph.

Sophomore Alina Sarkissian also ignited the Cards, finishing with nine kills.

“I thought at first, with serve receive, we were kind of struggling,” Sarkissian said. “Then, as soon as we got the passes right, we were able to get the kills. We did really good blocking today and covering. They had good blockers too and it was hard, but we worked around it and were able to cover.”

Photo by Cindy Saleeby: Alina Sarkissian rises to post a kill during Greenwich’s matchup vs. visiting St. Joseph.

Indeed, the Cardinals believe they learned plenty from the losses they have experienced this fall and are battle-tested entering the postseason.

“Those losses make us realize how important the end result is,” Sarkissian said. “The losses is making us want to fight for these games.”

Said Linnehan: “I thought it was a very good match. St. Joe’s got a lot better from when we played them in the beginning of the season. We just need to stay consistent and stay strong from start to finish and we need to continue to work on that. I liked how we stayed aggressive and that we continued to move the ball around.”

Photo courtesy of Kathleen Bonney: Greenwich gathers after winning a point during its match against St. Joseph.

In a convincing 25-10, 25-17, 25-15 win against visiting Masuk on Thursday, Saleeby had 15 kills and 18 digs, while sophomore Joy Houdre had 10 digs. Spanjol notched 26 assists, while Sarkissian finished with 11 kills and three blocks.

Greenwich completed its successful week heading into the FCIAC Tournament by topping visiting Stamford on Friday, 25-23, 25-19, 25-13. Saleeby had 18 more kills, while adding seven digs. Ford registered eight kills and 10 digs, Spanjol had eight kills and one block and Sarkissian contributed eight kills and one block.

Stamford held an 11-8 lead in the second set, but Greenwich rallied behind several kills from Saleeby, senior Jennifer Andaya and Ford. The Cardinals recognized their seniors – Jennifer Andaya, Izzy Erceg, Katherine Ford, Lana Korsun, Maggie Saleeby and Lucia Spanjol – with a special Senior Night ceremony following their match against Stamford.

Photo courtesy of Kathleen Bonney: Greenwich’s Jennifer Andaya puts the ball over the net during a match against St. Joseph. Greenwich won the match, 3-1.

Photo by David Fierro: Greenwich swept Stamford in an FCIAC volleyball match on Oct. 28, 2022.

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