Top-ranked Greenwich sweeps past Ludlowe to win Class LL championship

EAST HAVEN — In the end, it was destiny for the Greenwich girls volleyball team.

Ranked No. 1 in the state the entire season, the Cardinals delivered a near-perfect performance as they captured the Class LL championship with a 3-0 win over Ludlowe Saturday in East Haven.

Greenwich, the second seed in the playoffs, won all three sets by at least eight points, and held off the No. 12 Falcons 25-15, 25-12, 25-17.

It was a tour de force by the Cardinals, who impressed their coach Steve Lapham.

“All the things we try to teach and practice about life and succeeding and being tough mentally and having an open mindset — all that stuff somehow sunk in,” Lapham said. “Now they can enjoy it and I can stop coaching and enjoy it, and say hey you guys are the best in the state.

“To come out like they did tonight shows character. Everything you want in a student-athlete, they showed it tonight.”

It was the third state championship Greenwich (26-1), with all three coming since 2010. That season, the Cards defeated Ludlowe 3-0 in the final, and they scored another title with a 3-1 win over Amity in 2017.

Ludlowe and Greenwich also met in the 2015 Class LL title match, with the Falcons winning in three sets.

The Falcons (19-7) had a remarkable tournament run, knocking off three higher seeds — No. 5 Naugatuck, No. 4 Conard and No. 1 Cheshire, which had been undefeated — to reach the final. But they couldn’t find their footing on Saturday.

“We’re disappointed, but to get to this level being ranked the No. 12 seed is amazing,” Ludlowe coach Tina Rembish said. “I’m super proud of them for making it this far. We really thought we could come home with a state championship, but we just didn’t have it.

“The mistakes were all around. It wasn’t one or two people, all of the girls had a tough time staying in system.”

The Falcons had been one of just three teams to take a set from Greenwich this season. The Cardinals dropped just eight frames, two of which came in a five-set win over Ludlowe on Sept. 30.

That game was fresh in the minds of the Greenwich players.

“The last time we played them it went to five sets, so this time we focused on playing clean volleyball and playing our best because it’s the last time we’re all going to play together,” said senior co-captain Adele Sotgiu, who was named the tournament MVP. “This is the best feeling in the world, I’m just so happy.”

Greenwich’s lineup was in sync from top to bottom, as the Cardinals served well, received well and just kept the pressure on the Falcons from start to finish.

“We came out with the serve and it was putting them on the back foot, if it wasn’t an ace, it was way out of the court, and they were out of their system most of the evening,” Lapham said. “I’m so impressed and proud of our serving tonight and then on our serve-receive, we were keeping everything in the front court. We were solid.”


Adele Sotgiu, Greenwich: The senior co-captain was in a zone during the state playoffs and was named the tournament MVP. She had seven kills in the final — one of four Cardinals to have at least seven.


“I don’t feel like it’s over in a way. It still feels like we’re in the beginning of the season. Just having a group of girls that I love and trust so much really helped us tonight. When that final ball dropped, I was just so happy to be there in that moment with those girls. I couldn’t imagine it with anyone else.” — Greenwich senior Liana Sarkissian; @dstewartsports


LUDLOWE 15 12 17 — 0

GREENWICH 25 25 25 — 3

Greenwich: Adele Sotgiu 7 kills; Liana Sarkissian 7 kills, 2 aces; Maggie Saleeby 8 kills, 1 ace; Sophie Jones 7 kills, 3 aces; Lucia Spanjol 30 assists; Lana Korsun 2 aces.

Ludlowe: Jane Ransome 6 kills; Gabby Price 12 assists; Olivia Leal 8 digs; Caitlin Finnegan 4 kills; Madison Roman 3 kills; Tatum Holdereid 3 blocks.

Records: Ludlowe 19-7, Greenwich 26-1