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‘Dig Pink’
The Centaurs volleyball team dressed appropriately for “Dig Pink” night at The Woodstock Academy Oct. 10. The Centaurs celebrated with a 3-0 win over Fitch. Photos courtesy of Brenda Orlowski

A long three-day Columbus Day weekend.
A one-match week.
And SAT testing prior to the match Oct. 10 against Fitch.
All conspired to make the Woodstock Academy volleyball team’s effort in its only official match of the week a little less inspired than coach Adam Bottone had hoped for.
“They just came back out-of-sorts,” said Bottone. “I don’t know if it was because they were away from volleyball for so long. I think it was just the mindset. It was a long weekend, everybody’s tired. The seniors are worried about SAT’s and applications for college. I think it was everything piled on. It was a little much; kind of out of our groove and our routine.”
Still, the Centaurs had only a little difficulty with the Falcons.
They raised their record to 14-0 with a 3-0 victory, taking the three sets, 25-15, 25-19, and 25-17.
The win also raised Woodstock Academy’s Eastern Connecticut Conference Division I record to 5-0 and guaranteed it at least a share of the regular season title.
“That’s always a really good thing. We’re happy about that,” Bottone said.
Junior Paula Hernandez celebrated “Dig Pink” night in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a 26 kill, 23-dig performance to lead the Centaurs.
Senior Sammie Orlowski added 29 assists and seven digs while classmate Maddy Gronski had 21 digs.
“It was nice to get a 3-0 win,” Gronski said. “I know three people on that team who start so it’s always interesting to see former teammates and fun to play against them. We made eye contact across the court and were having a good time.”
Gronski added a couple of other reasons for the sluggish performance.
She and, at least one other teammate, were a bit under the weather and the Centaurs really had not been challenged recently.
That changed over the weekend.
The Centaurs took part in the Connecticut Fall Brawl Oct. 13 at RHAM High School in Hebron.
It was a glorified scrimmage that included the host Sachems, Conard, Greenwich, Bristol Eastern, Avon, E.O. Smith, Norwich Free Academy, Griswold, Fitch, Lyman Memorial and Hale Ray,
The nice thing about it was that there was no pressure.
No match will count toward CIAC standings.
“It helps because we have had three games a week since school started. It’s nice to kind of have a week off. I think the Play Day on Saturday helped. We’re got to see better teams there,” said Gronski.
The Centaurs have only two games a week until the ECC and state tournaments begin.
Next week, they played host to Killingly Oct. 15 and travel to East Lyme Oct. 18.
They need to defeat East Lyme to take the ECC Division I title all for themselves.
“Since my freshman year, we’ve had trouble beating East Lyme. We always play them the first game of the season. The only difference is that we beat them this year. Hopefully, that gives us an edge, but we are going to East Lyme and their fans tend to be a little loud. It will definitely be a change from the very quiet games we’ve had lately,” Gronski said.
Bottone just hopes his team is in a little better frame of mind that it was against Fitch.
 I think that for us to clinch (outright) we’re going to have to step up the performance from (Wednesday). I’m happy that we won, but we were very sluggish,” Bottone said.
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director
The Woodstock Academy


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