centaurs pg 7 9-9-21

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Woodstock Academy seniors, from left: Annarose Avery, Aurissa Boardman and Lizzy Lovrien will lead the Centaurs. Adam Bottone photo.

Centaurs look
forward to
fresh start
The Paula Hernandez era ended in 2019. Eight more seniors graduated from the 2020 version of the Woodstock Academy volleyball team.
Only a few seniors remain who remember the state championship matches that the Centaurs played oh not so long ago.
It’s a chance to start over.
“Our team is young. It’s not about winning. I want to help build a good foundation for the teams still to come,” said senior outside hitter Aurissa Boardman.
Boardman is one of just three seniors on the 2021 squad, joined by Lizzy Lovrien and Annarose Avery.
“Our goal is to establish a new culture that is centered on hard work through discipline, I think if they can work hard every day and become more disciplined, the skills will come and the wins will come. They just have to be patient and work through it,” said coach Adam Bottone.
Bottone does have two great building blocks.
Like a guard/center combination in basketball, the Centaurs have an outside hitter/setter combination this season.
Boardman had 87 kills in the 8-3 season a year ago, most coming from the outside.
Avery had 68 assists from the setter spot which she shared with Tabby Bezanson.
Boardman played for Husky volleyball over the summer and also took in training sessions with one of the Husky coaches who worked with her on passing from the back row.
She and Avery have been playing together for the last four years.
In addition, Lovrien has been a defensive specialist for the Centaurs for the last three years.
Junior Leila MacKinnon added 10 kills a year ago.
Outside of those players, varsity experience is hard to come by.
“The core of what we have is so young that I expect to take some lumps this year. That’s OK. It’s part of the growing process,” Bottone said.
Another source of optimism comes from the athleticism on the team.
Sophomore Reegan Reynolds and junior Bella Sorrentino are standouts in other sports for the Centaurs.
The Woodstock Academy coach also has kept three freshmen on the varsity roster.
Cassidy Chabot, Liliana Bottone and Sophie Gronski have all showed promise early.
The Centaurs will play a “normal” schedule which means two games each against Norwich Free Academy, E. Lyme and Fitch as well as matches against some of the other better ECC teams.
In addition, Woodstock Academy is scheduled to play Darien, one of the better Class LL programs in the state, as well as Coventry, Newtown and Conard.
“The state says we have to do what we have to do. A lot of the research says that kids are breathing in a lot of carbon dioxide with masks on. Last year, we were just happy to play. Now, we’re the only (fall) sport that still has to wear masks and we will just have to be aware of it. I’m not a fan of it,” Bottone said.
He is hoping that teams will be allowed an extra time out and will also get a mask break. “It’s difficult especially when your mask gets sweaty and it’s hard to breathe. At least, we get to play,” Boardman said with a shrug.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy

Volleyball schedule: Thursday, Sept. 9: at Killingly, 5 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 10: at Darien, 4; Wednesday, Sept. 15: vs. Waterford, 5:30; Friday, Sept. 17: at Lyman, 5:30; Monday, Sept. 20: at Plainfield, 5:30; Wednesday, Sept. 22: vs. Coventry, 5:30; Thursday, Sept. 23: vs. E. Lyme, 5:30; Monday, Sept. 27: at Fitch, 5:30; Wednesday, Sept. 29: vs. NFA, 5:30; Friday, Oct. 1: vs. Ledyard, 5:30; Monday, Oct. 4: at Griswold, 5:30; Wednesday, Oct. 6: vs. Killingly, 5:30; Friday, Oct. 8: vs. Conard, 6; Monday, Oct. 11: vs. Lyman, 1:30; Wednesday, Oct. 13: at E. Lyme, 5:30; Friday, Oct. 15: vs. Fitch, 5:30; Monday, Oct. 18: at NFA, 5:30; Wednesday, Oct. 20: vs. SMSA, 5:30; Friday, Oct. 22: at Newtown, 5:30; Wednesday, Oct. 29: vs. Griswold, 5:30.


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