Lady Lawmen have perfect match to advance
MILFORD —Jonathan Law played almost a perfect match when the No. 4 seeded Lady Lawmen dispatched No. 5 seed Daniel Hand, 3-0 (25-12, 25-11, 25-7) in their SCC quarterfinal match at the James Richetelli Sr. Gymnasium on Tuesday night.
The flawless performance was honed three nights earlier, when coach Stacy Loch’s squad was taken to the limit by No. 13 seed North Haven in its 3-2 first-round victory.
“We worked so hard for this, coming off our match on Friday, where we played up and then we played down,” said Loch, whose team will play at No. 1 seed Guilford in the semifinals on Thursday at 5:30. “It was about making smart plays, which we did tonight.
“We worked on (ball) placement and being smarter on the court. Our communicating was good, and on Friday that is something we didn’t do.”
Coach Ally Johnson’s Tigers had advanced to the quarters with a 3-1 win against No. 13 seed Sheehan.
It was 8-6 Law in game one, when the home team sent Alexis Neider to the service stripe. Seven points, including two aces around a Tiger timeout later, the Lady Lawmen were in control at 16-7.
Law’s Eden van Waveren was a force in the middle during this stretch, with a pair of blocks.
“This means so much, we move on to semifinals,” van Waveren said. “We work so, so hard in every single practice we really give our all. And this year especially, we’ve been great with team bonding and everything. It’s so exciting.”
Eryn Mower added a five-point run with an ace. van Waveren had two more resounding blocks.
“Eden got us a lot of crucial points,” Loch said. “She was active. Her ability to keep the ball in play to extend the point was important.”
Kylie Corniello had two service points for Hand, but Law’s libero Katie McNellis had a rousing dig in the midst of a long rally that resulted in a side out.
Caroline Chesson ended the set with a kill.
“This was a huge win for us against a dangerous team,” Chesson said. “It was one thousand percent about us playing better than we did in the first round. This is our history we are putting together as seniors. This season has been so rewarding.”
Four of Hand’s losses came the top two seeds in the SCC, so it was no surprise that Johnson’s Tigers came out composed for game two.
Allie Nelson started things off with one of her handful of kills. She added a side-out earning point with a spike through a block attempt.
That put Corniello in serve. Brooke Meeker, Gabby Pildner and Nelson took the net by storm and Corniello had five winners for a 7-2 advantage.
McNellis began the climb back for Law with a five-point stay, including an ace.
Chesson’s six-point run, built on digs against the hard-hitting Tigers, saw Neider come away with three spikes before Emily Thornbury got a side out with a kill.
Neider’s left-handed tip to an open space gave her the serve. It took another kill by Thornbury to stave off game point, but Maddie Lula’s ringing spike off a blocker completed the 25-12 win.
Emily Morey’s heavy serves had already earned her a pair of aces, so it wasn’t a surprise when the senior strung three together in a six-point stay at the stripe. That took the score to 12-5.
Chesson then served eight winners, with Lula accounting for four of those points with her spikes.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Liz Kowalski had 18 assists for Law. She distributed the ball well, with three teammates earning more than 10 kills. Kowalski also had a couple of saves at net.
“It was one thousand percent about us playing better than we did in the first round. This is our history we are putting together as seniors. This season has been so rewarding.” — Law’s Caroline Chesson
LAW 3, HAND 0
HAND 11 12 7—0
LAW 25 25 25—3
Law: Carline Chesson 10 kills, 10 digs, Maddie Lula 13 kills, 10 digs, Eryn Mower 10 digs, 3 kills, Liv Kowalski 18 assists, 3 digs, Alexis Neider 12 kills, 2 aces, Emily Morey 6 aces, 5 digs, Eden van Waveren 5 blocks, 3 kills, Kate McNellis 12 digs. Hand: Kylie Corniello 10 assists, 8 service points, 1 kill, Emily Thornbury 3 kills, Allie Nelson 5 kills, 1 ace, 1 block, Brooke Meeker 2 blocks, 1 kill, Sara Wohlmuth 14 digs, Rose Wallace 3 digs. Records: Hand (15-6); Law (18-3)