Shelton falls to Guilford in girls volleyball showdown

Shelton girls’ volleyball team was 7-1 going into its match with an 8-0 Guilford team on Wednesday night.

Guilford remained perfect, winning a 25-17, 25-20, 27-25 decision.

Shelton coach LeAnne Bianchine said, “You can’t get in a hole against a tough team and we gave them points off our serve. That said, Guilford is a very good team. I like the way we still had a push in us and won some big rallies, especially in the third game.”

Leading the Gaelettes were Sara DeMarco (18 digs), Elizabeth Casinelli (5 kills, 2 blocks, 2 aces), Jess Jayakar (10 kills, 17 digs), Jess Foss (33 assists) and Reem Abdel-Hack (7 kills, 2 blocks, 5 digs).

Sarah Ovesny and Natalia Wilson were all over the court for Shelton, making sideline saves and finding ways to get the pass to Foss. Clarissa Pierre was tasked with matching up with Guilford’s best at the net, along with Kelsey Radzion and Greta Gelumbikas.

Guilford, with a pair of standouts in Emma Appleman (18 kills, 12 digs) and Juliet Young (17 digs), made things difficult.

“Always one of our strengths has been keeping the ball in the air,” Guilford coach Laura Anastasio said about her stout defense. “Juliet Young makes Matrix-like plays from her libero position. When her teammates see that, they go after it the same way and get the ball to our front row.”

Bianchine was pleased with her team’s overall play.

“I tell anybody that will listen that Sara (DeMarco) owns the floor, she gets everything,” Bianchine said. “Jess Jayakar was good all over the court. We moved Liz (Casinelli) to the right side to change things up and she played well. Kelsey (Radzion) and Reem (Abdel-Hack) did a good job keeping the ball alive.”

The game was played in sauna-like conditions. The two squads were unrelenting, however, and there were more draining rallies in the third set than in the hard-fought first two games.

“We average 12 or 13 aces a game,” Anastasio said. “Tonight, we had one. Shelton’s court coverage was great.”

Side Out

“It was great to have the football team here to support us,” Bianchine said. “But the more they yelled at their servers the better they served. At the same time, we were having trouble getting our serve in 12 off the mark). I was going to call a timeout and go tell them to yell at our servers. Maybe that would have helped us.”