Girls volleyball: Stratford turns back Bunnell Lady Bulldogs

Stratford High defeated Bunnell High, 3-1 (25-10, 23-25, 25-17, 25-20), in a South-West Conference girls volleyball match on Wednesday.

Coach Lisa Buccieri’s Red Devils got the home fans fired up with a victory in the first set.

Samantha Perley had a six-point run in serve to push the SHS lead to 12-4.

Maddy Perley (31 digs) from her libero position and defensive specialist Brianna D’Aloia turned back side-out tries by Bunnell’s hard-hitting Maura Kelly and Kayla Sokunle.

The left-handed Julia Torreso (7 service points, including 3 aces) followed with a seven-point stay at the stripe for Stratford, highlighted by two aces and a pair of points from Sa’noma Smart at the net (block, kill).

Jackie DeCrescenzo completed the set with three winners, including a pair of aces.

“We have seven seniors,” said Buccieri, whose team opened its season a night earlier with a sweep of Platt Tech. “I told this group they would have to pull together and they did.”

The Lady Bulldogs, coach by Maite Mendizabal, countered in the second set by taking a 7-0 lead at the outset.

Junior setter Ava Almeida (21 assists, 9 service points, 3 digs) put the run together with key points coming from Lexi Kretvix and libero Mia Noisette.

Stratford got within 24-23 on an ace by Sam Perley.

But after a long rally that marked the entire match, Bunnell’s Adriana DeBernadro had a win at the net to keep the point alive.

Kretvix made a great return of a Samm Carbone spike and a Stratford hitting error gave the visitors a 25-23 victory.

“We are a very young team with only one starter back on the floor (Lexi Kretvix),” Mendizabal said. “They want to learn and I told them the best way to learn is on the floor by playing tough teams.”

Bunnell, which lost its opener 3-1 to Fairfield Warde, kept the momentum early in game three.

Aces by Kretvix (7 kills, 13 digs) and Noisette helping it to an 8-4 lead, with the last point coming on DeBernadro’s spike to the middle.

DeCrescenzo had two side-out earning plays, one on a sideline kill, and Grace Perez had another winning hit.

Carbone (22 service points) stepped to the stripe up 14-13 and reeled off 11 consecutive points.

Bunnell didn’t falter during the run, but appeared energized by the long rallies, as Amanda Zdru and Kelly starred defensively.

Torreso (11 kills, 3 blocks) accounted for two winners, on a tip and patented kill from the wing.

DeCrescenzo’s long cross net pass to Sam Perley took the score to 20-13.

BHS received a push around a block to get serve back down 24-14.

Noisette fought off three game points in serve, before Stratford netted the winner for a 25-17 win and a 2-1 lead in games.

DeCrescenzo served SHS to a 4-0 lead and Carbone (7 kills, 13 digs, 8 digs) had another four point stay from the stripe for a 10-4 advantage.

Kelly’s tip over a block regained serve and the senior had a pair of winners in serve, but Sam Perley got those back.

Seven sideouts kept Stratford in the lead at 17-12.

Perez had two winners, but Zdru got one point back.

Stratford closed out the match, and the 25-20 victory on a Bunnell hitting error.

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