St. Joseph girls crown volleyball season with trip to quarterfinals

Lily Mattison and Ava Tuccio led the St. Joseph attack.

Lily Mattison and Ava Tuccio led the St. Joseph attack.

St. Joseph Athletics / Contributed photo

St. Joseph’s girls’ volleyball team streaky season ended with a spot in the Class L state quarterfinals.

“I think we overachieved a bit,” coach Jeff Babineau said. “The first half of our schedule was moderate; the second half had top five FCIAC teams. We had a nice run at states.”

St. Joseph brought an 11-8 mark into the tournament, where it knocked off the No. 15 Jonathan Law and No. 2 Pomperaug before losing to Bristol Eastern.

The play of Ava Tuccio and Lily Mattison was paramount to the Cadets’ success.

“Ava played middle. She ended up collecting 273 kills, 71 blocks, she had 10 aces. Ava was a 90 percent server,” Babineau said of his Connecticut High School Athletic Association first team All-State and first team All-FCIAC selection.

“Lily was our outside one, she had 204 kills, 48 aces,” he said. “She was a great server (93 percent) with 161 points. Lily had 208 digs and was All-FCIAC second team.

Babineau praised his senior captains for how they mentored a young team.

“We needed Lily and Ava to teach our culture,” he said. “Most who started were sophomores and we even started a freshman. It was quite interesting. Our second middle hitter was sophomore Erin Lovett. She was injured and missed most of October.”

Sophomore setter Maggie Wetmore provided a steady hand and had 515 assists on the season. Libero Casey Mayglothling had 171 digs, 2.3 per set.

“Our second outside was Kelli Vinas,” Babineau said. She learned a ton as a freshman and helped us. Erin Lovett played half sets with 61 kills. Our right side was Grace Koonitsky, another sophomore. She blocks well, played defense, and kept the ball alive at net. Celi Galarza was a defensive specialist.

“The run in the states showed our senior promise. It will be tough losing Ava, who is 6-3, and Lily, who is 6 foot. You don’t find that too often.” Twitter: @blox354