Girls volleyball: Shelton advances in SCC with 3-2 win

The Shelton High girls volleyball team advanced to quarterfinal play on Saturday by coming back twice from deficits to defeat Mercy of Middletown, 3-2, on the Gaelettes’ court in a Southern Connecticut Conference play-off match.

Shelton, who will meet top-seed Amity Regional of Woodbridge (18-1) on Monday at 4:30 in Woodbridge, trailed by 1-0 and 2-1 set scores, but took the fourth and then deciding set for the victory, pushing its record to 13-6.

The Tigers took the opening set, 25-20, dropped the second 25-21, before rebounding for a 25-22 victory.

Facing elimination, Shelton won game four, 25-17 before putting the match away with a 15-6 victory.

Outside hitter Mackenzie Bures’ kill proved to be the match winner. She had three of her team-high 12 kills in the fifth game.

It was the first time this season that the two squads had met and the second time this year that Shelton was forced to go five sets. It dropped a 3-2 decision to Jonathan Law back on Oct. 1.

“I had a feeling that this would go that way (five sets),” said Shelton head coach Liane Bianchine. “So, yesterday in practice we set up a five-setter where we trailed 5-0 from the start.

“Our kids didn’t start out well today, but once they took a deep breath and calmed down they played very well, especially in the last two sets.”

In addition to her 12 kills, Bures had nine digs, as Shelton's defense stiffened up in the final two sets. Casey O’Connor added 10 kills and Vicky Demko had nine. Kendall Kreager contributed six. Setter Grace Tokarski had 28 assists and 10 digs.

Mercy, the ninth seed, is 12-8.