St. Joseph tops New Canaan, fifth straight sweep

Lily Mattison and Ava Tuccio captain St. Joseph's girls' volleyball team.

Lily Mattison and Ava Tuccio captain St. Joseph's girls’ volleyball team.

St. Joseph Athletics / Contributed photo

St. Joseph girls’ volleyball coach Jeff Babineau told his team that how it fared this week would tell a lot about them.

“I said that we’ll see if we’re good, average or need a lot of work. New Canaan is 6-1. Then we have Danbury in the middle of the week. Ludlowe comes to our gym on Saturday. That will be another huge test because they are really tall,” Babineau said.

The Cadets answered the first challenge with a 3-0 victory over New Canaan on Monday.

With its fifth consecutive sweep, St. Joe’s moved to 6-2.

Maggie Wetmore had 26 assists for St. Joseph in the 25-23, 25-17, 25-22 match. Ava Tuccio led the hitters with 16 kills to go with two blocks. Lily Mattison had seven kills and four aces.

Tuccio and Mattison are captains.

Babineau said: “Ava Tuccio is in the middle. She has 98 kills already. Sophomore Erin Lovett is our second middle. Ava is 6-foot-3, she commands her spot (blocking and hitting). Erin is an athlete like we had in Erica Ball - she is 5-10 and can get up well at the net.

“Lily Mattison is an outside hitter with 60 kills. We are starting a freshman, Kelli Ennis, also on the outside. Grace Koonitsky is our right-side hitter. She is a talented sophomore and hits well.”

Wetmore marshals the attack from her setter position.

“Maggie is another sophomore and has 188 assists,” Babineau said. “We had her working there last year and she won the spot over our tryout period. She is getting better every day.”

Mattison (22 aces) and Ennis (15 aces) lead from the stripe.

“We try to stay in the 90 per cent range getting our serves in. The girls are doing that which is wonderful. There is always room to improve,” Babineau said.

Casey Mayglothling is the libero.

“She is a good athlete,” Babineau said of the sophomore. “Casey saw some time last year but not a lot. She is learning quickly on a curve. She has 57 digs.”

St. Joe’s starters play throughout a rotation.

“The libero replaces the middles and everyone else we play all the way around,” Babineau said. “Celi Garalza and Aly Lombardo get time in the back row.”

St. Joseph has 14 varsity players with a 10-girls freshmen team.

“Our mantra since day one is passing. We work on it every day, like every team does. But is has a special focus, like our serving does,” Babineau said. “You never want to give points away (with service errors). We are not that good yet to have that margin for error giving points away at the service line.”

The next two matches will see in that margin swings in St. Joe’s favor.

Side outs: Maggie Wetmore had 25 assists in the 3-0 win against Warde...Ava Tuccio (7 blocks) and Lily Mattison each had 14 kills…Tuccio had 16 kills against Stamford. Mattison had 10 kills and led with eight service aces.

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354