Girls volleyball: Gaelettes post another three-game sweep

Shelton High’s girls volleyball team earned its fourth sweep of an opponent this fall, beating visiting Southern Connecticut Conference rival West Haven 3-0 (30-28, 25-21, 25-14) on Wednesday.

The Gaelettes improved to 7-2 and West Haven dropped to 2-6.

Shelton used its depth to pick up its second win in a row.

Emily Renkowsky attempted to return from an injury but a reaggravation led to her early departure. And with libero Sara DeMarco also sidelined due to injury, more of the bench would be utilized.

Back row player Lily Boles filled in to play libero for the first time and did an outstanding job of leading the defensive effort. Her twin sister, Grace Boles, played a phenomenal match according to Shelton coach LeAnne Bianchine.

“I was a little nervous, but I trust my teammates. Communication helps a lot,” said Lily Boles, who had 16 digs and also came up with a pair of aces. “You just have to go for everything.”

While she was digging balls to keep the play alive, along with Jess Jayakar (12 digs in addition to six kills, two assists and an ace), sister Grace Boles (10 kills) and Reem Abdel-Hack (eight kills) helped the Gaelettes pile up the points.

Abdel-Hack also had a block and two aces, and Grace Boles added a trio of aces.

Jessica Foss helped make many of the spikes for points possible, handing out 24 assists, also tacking on a kill and two aces.

Bianchine was pleased with the efforts of her entire squad, and the enthusiasm and support of the team members on the sideline.

“I like how we always play as a team,” Bianchine said. “I’m so proud of the people on the bench who stay in the game. It means a lot for the players and for me.”

Bianchine said her team put in a complete effort.

“We communicated, we covered well and we’re putting the ball down,” said Bianchine, adding that middle hitters Abdel-Hack and Clarissa Pierre lead the hitting attack at the net.

The first game could have gone either way. It went the distance and then some, with several extra points being played before the Gaelettes prevailed.

“Winning the first game is key,” Bianchine said.

“I think the first is an important step but with this team, thankfully, they don’t give up. Whether they’re down, up, they keep on playing, keep on fighting.”

“We’re always supportive throughout the game. We keep each other up which is crucial at the end,” Grace Boles said.

The Gaelettes hope the chemistry leads them to coming out on top at the end of the season. No matter how it turns out, this has been an enjoyable ride for the Gaelettes thus far.

“It’s a lot of fun. All of the girls are really supportive and great with communication,” Grace Boles said.