Shelton falls to Amity in volleyball final

WOODBRIDGE — Top-seeded Amity defeated second-seeded Shelton 25-17, 25-8, 21-25, 25-18 in the Southern Connecticut Conference Division A girls’ volleyball championship at Amity High Friday evening.

Amity’s Zoe DiZenzo had 20 service points and four aces to take home Most Outstanding Player honors.

The Spartans and Gaels each came into the match looking for some SCC redemption as Amity had lost in the conference final in 2018 and Shelton followed suit last year.

Amity (11-3) set the tone of the contest in the first two games. With the first game even at eight, Amity closed with a 17-9 run. The Spartans then cruised in the second game for a 2-0 lead.

“We work really hard in practice on closing sets out, getting those last five points,” Amity coach Seth Davis said. “This was one of the hardest things. It was weird with the hybrid mode as you have half the kids in school and half out. You try to keep them together as a family. That was really tough but they kept at it. They never let down.”

Mari Dragan started the run in the first game with an ace, before Shelton went on a run to take a 14-10 lead on a kill by Jessica Jayakar. Amity then scored 15 of the next 18 points to close out the opening game.

“Amity is a very good team,” Shelton coach LeAnne Bianchine said. “I give them credit. But I also give my girls credit. They kept on fighting. We made it hard for them to get points. They had to find a way to score.”

Kills by Mya DiZenzo and Nyeela Miller started the run, before a kill by Dragan had Amity on top 18-14. Dragan then added kills for leads of 21-17 ad 23-17, before her final kill of the opening game clinched the victory.

The Spartans made sure the second game was no contest, jumping out to a 5-1 lead, increasing their lead to 16-5 and closing on a 6-0 run.

Shelton (10-4) was a different team in the third game and took a 21-18 lead on a kill by Alex Capalbo. A kill by Jayakar increased the margin to 22-20, and Jayakar closed the game with another kill.

“I could not be more proud of this team,” Bianchine said. “I give them all the credit. They fought hard all year.”

The Gaels could not sustain any momentum as Amity jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the fourth game and never looked back.

Shelton got as close as 12-8, but when Anastasia Prentiss recorded a kill, and Dragan followed with a pair of aces, the division title was within reach for the Spartans.

Dragan increased the margin to 24-13 with a kill, and after a 5-0 run by Shelton, it was only fitting Dragan ended the match with a blast of her own.