NEWINGTON - The Newington boys volleyball team will certainly get plenty of tune-ups before it starts its run in the Class M state tournament.
The Indians have played in four consecutive matches with a fifth, the CCC Tournament final tonight, on the way.
Newington admitted to being a little fatigued after its quarterfinal win over South Windsor Tuesday, but head coach Curt Burns noted his team responded well in Wednesday’s semifinals win over East Hartford.
“They seemed fresher today,” Burns said. “They got it back together and sometimes you just need an extra day. It really made the difference. They were definitely fresher today and it was nice to see that.”
But with the conference final tonight, the Indians know if they have positive mindset going into the next match, the fatigue shouldn’t have as much of an effect as it did in the season finale against Southington and South Windsor, both of which went five sets.
“We need energy from the bench, we need energy from the crowd,” Newington senior setter Evan Metzgar said. “From the players on the court, we need energy. It all revolves around that.”
“That’s how we play,” junior outside hitter Leonel Caceres contributed. “We have skill, but we’re boosted 10 points with the energy.”
If there is silence on the court, the Indians can get out to slow starts at the beginning of sets, which can be costly in the middle of matches.
“In my opinion, we play better when we have energy,” junior outside hitter Louis Egbuna said. “It doesn’t just start on the court. It starts on the bench and in the crowd. That’s how we’re going to win, with energy.”
This season has been another successful year for Newington. The team is currently on an 11-game winning streak.
As they advanced to the tournament final, Newington will keep its focus on what has led to its success - that energy as well as the team’s chemistry.
“Our chemistry is at a 99,” Caceres said. “Other teams have on valuable player, but our team, we’re diverse. We have skill all around not just one position.”
“Building off of [Caceres],” Egbuna said. “South Windsor, Lewis Mills they have one good player. Our team, we have players all across the board and teams don’t know who to stop. That’s what separates us from everybody else.”
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860) 801-5096 or firstname.lastname@example.org