Jonathan Law spikers fall in SCC playoffs
After losing to Hamden twice during the regular season, Jonathan Law was hopeful the third time would be the charm when it played host to the Green Dragons in the Southern Connecticut Conference playoffs on Saturday.
While the Lady Lawmen made things interesting, 10th-seeded Hamden prevailed in five sets 25-18, 23-25, 25-21, 21-25, 15-10.
Hamden defeated No. 7 Law, 3-1 and 3-0 in the regular season.
“We played better than they have in-season against them,” Law coach Stacy Loch said. “We played better as a team. Communication is what helped us play that much better on the court.”
Katie Eighmy logged 19 kills. Pam Ellison compiled 30 digs. Olivia Kowalski and Eryn Mower had 14 and 11 assists, respectively.
Eden van Waveren had four blocks. Madilyn Lula had five kills. Alexis Neider contributed three kills and a block. Katie McNellis added seven digs.
After losing game one, Law, now 16-6 and seeded 11th in Class M, came back late to pull out the two-point win in game two. Eighmy’s tap concluded the scoring and evened the match at a game apiece.
In game three, Law appeared poised to win. A pair of aces by Emily Morey and cross-court kill by Eighmy pushed the lead to 9-3.
But Hamden (13-9) clawed back and finally tied things at 17.
The teams traded points until Hamden took its first lead on a Maya Epps ace, making it 22-21 Dragons. Another Epps aces made it a 23-21 game.
A Law timeout couldn’t stop Hamden’s run of points. The Dragons closed the game on a 5-0 run.
In game four, Hamden seized a 5-0 lead and went up 10-3 before the Lady Lawmen called timeout and rallied.
After chipping away behind a combination of Hamden errors and kills by Lula, Eighmy and Neider (n the middle), the Hamden lead was trimmed to one at 15-14.
The Green Dragons pushed their lead to three, but Law closed out on an 11-4 run. An ace followed by a service point by Mower tied things, then gave the Lady Lawmen their first lead at 19-18.
Hamden went ahead 20-19, but Law went back up a point when Eighmy dropped in another spike. A booming cross-court kill by Eighmy extended the lead to 24-20. Hamden stayed in it with a point, but then lost on a service error.
Game five started out with a multitude of service errors and violations.
Hamden took a 4-1 lead. Law got to within 4-3 and 7-5, but no closer. Down 12-6, the Lady Lawmen got two straight points. After a Hamden service error, McNellis had a sliding save, before Eighmy had a winning spike for the point.
Lula had a late-game kill, answering a Hamden point to make it 13-9, but Hamden responded to advance to play at Shelton in the quarterfinals.
“They can let a lead go, but they come back and fight for every single point,” said Loch, who was pleased with her team’s competitiveness.