VOLLEYBALL 2012

Photos courtesy of Todd Dandelske
Congratulations to Erica Lindsay on being named to the 2012 Southern Connecticut Conference All-Quinnipiac Division Team.

Westies fall to Hamden
Disappointing loss drops WH to 1-7
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(October 3, 2012) –
 The West Haven volleyball team traveled to Hamden looking to pick up its second win of the year. The Westies are still searching.
Led by the play of Jocelyn Rivera and Taylor Mayes, the Green Dragons defeated the Westies 3-0 Wednesday evening at Hamden High. With the 25-19, 25-23, 25-18 loss, West Haven fell to 1-7 on the year.
“The bottom line is Hamden wanted the game more than we did,” West Haven coach Kate Coldren said. “We didn’t even really show up to play. There was little to no intensity from the entire team as a whole. Silly mistakes, lack of focus and no energy killed us.”
The Westies were in a battle from the start and had a hard time with both Rivera and Mayes. Rivera was a force on defense for the Green Dragons with 10 digs and did just as well on offense with 5 kills and 2 aces.
Mayes stymied the Westies by running the Hamden offense. Mayes dished out 20 assists.
The Westies were led by Yenny Bayas on defense with 7 digs. Erica Lindsay also played well on defense with 6 digs, while Sheila Carlson and Leah Morrissey each had 4 digs.
Lindsay ran the West Haven offense with 11 assists. Savannah Brown had 3 kills and 3 digs, Sarah Moran added 6 aces, 3 kills, 3 digs and 2 assists, and Kara Patterson had 3 aces, 2 kills and 2 digs.
“Sarah Moran played well and very consistent,” Coldren said. “If the rest of the team could have fed off of her energy, we would have been in good shape.”

Not Enough   
Westies fall to Mercy
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(September 28, 2012) –
 The West Haven volleyball team has shown signs of breaking through. While the Westies have played better as of late, they knew they would need an exceptional effort against an undefeated Mercy team Friday afternoon,
After a slow start to the contest, the Westies finally got going. In the end, it was not enough as Mercy defeated West Haven 25-10, 25-19 and 25-22 at West Haven High. 
"Eliminating the first game, we played very well," West Haven coach Kate Coldren said. "I am seeing huge steps towards improvement and team cohesiveness and they are really starting to come together.
"I am seeing a lot more fire, energy and urgency in their all around play. We seem to have figured out that no team that we play is going to just let us have the win. They have to work hard and fight."
WaverlyRose Brim played well defensively with 14 digs to go along with 4 blocks. Savannah Brown played well on the offensive side with 4 kills and 3 aces, while Erica Lindsay ran the offense with 10 assists and also added 7 digs. Kara Patterson had 5 digs and 3 kills. 
"Waverly (RoseBrim) and Savannah (Brown) played well," Coldren said."Waverly's defense and blocking got the girls pumped up and Savannah made some extremely smart plays at just the right time."
Senior Meghan Nelson led Mercy with 13 kills and 2 aces, while junior Jessica Hoops added 29 assists and 4 aces. Senior Nicole Kana chipped in 7 kills for the Tigers.
Mercy improved to 7-0, while West Haven fell to 1-6.

Titans Rule
Sheehan defeats Westies 3-0By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(September 25, 2012) –
 West Haven volleyball coach Kate Coldren was hoping for a better effort from her team following Monday afternoon’s lackluster loss to Amity. While the effort was there, the results were the same.
After playing a tough first game, the Westies fell to Sheehan 3-0 at Sheehan High. The scores of the match were 25-18, 25-14 and 25-12.
"We got a much better performance," Coldren said. "We just need to put it all together. 
"The defense was phenomenal. They moved their feet. We could not get the offense going. We definitely played better. We had a lot more energy and enthusiasm than Monday. We just need to put it all together."
Sarah Moran led the defensive effort for West Haven with 8 digs. Yenny Bayas also played well on defense with 7 digs.
"Yenny Bayas played really well," Coldren said. "Leah Morrissey also played really well in the back row."
Waverly Rose Brim had a solid all around game with 5 digs and 2 blocks on defense and 3 kills on offense.
"I can see the progress," Coldren said. "Hopefully, this is something to build on. Even though we lost, we came to play. We were cohesive and we played with fire."
Meghan Gavin ran the Sheehan offense with 23 assists and Katie Read led Sheehan’s defense with 17 digs.

Amity too much for Westies
West Haven falls to1-4 with 3-0 loss
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(September 24, 2012) –
 The West Haven volleyball team was looking to right the ship Monday evening. Faced with some sporadic play as of late, the Westies were hoping to turn things around.
Unfortunately for West Haven, the opponent was not in a giving mood. Playing from behind almost immediately, the Westies fell to Amity 3-0 Monday evening at West Haven High.
The scores of the contest were 25-12, 25-16 and 25-17 and the loss dropped the Westies to 1-4 on the year. .
“We played with very little energy and little to no enthusiasm,” West Haven coach Kate Coldren said. “Quite a few unforced errors seemed to take the life out of us.
“I am very disappointed because we didn’t show any pride or spirit. It’s frustrating watching a team not give 100 percent and not play to their potential.”
Despite the loss, Erica Lindsay continued to play well. The West Havensetter ran the offense with 13 assists and had 3 kills. Lindsay also had 7 digs on defense.
“Erica works hard in every game,” Coldren said. “Every game, she hustles after every ball and is a positive leader on the court. It was no different.”
Waverly Rose Brim led the offense with 8 kills, while also adding 2 aces. Savannah Brown had 4 kills and Sarah Moran had two kills. Defensively, Sydney Mursko had 8 digs, Moran had 6 digs and Leah Morrissey had 5 digs.
Allison Denny led Amity with 13 kills.

Sacred Heart tops Westies
Loss drops WH to 1-3
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
Senior Matt Olenick contributed to this article
(September 21, 2012) –
 After starting Friday evening’s match againstSacred Heart Academy with a thrilling victory, the West Haven volleyball team was looking to keep the momentum.  Such was not the case.
Rallying from a 29-27 loss in the opening game, Sacred Heart came back to defeat the Westies 25-14, 25-11 and 25-10 in the final three games as West Haven fell to 1-3 on the year. Sacred Heart improved to 4-0.
"We had all the momentum and confidence," West Haven coach Kate Coldren said. "Unfortunately, we didn't use it to our advantage.
"Losing just the next game took our energy, but dropping the third was pretty much the last straw. We lost focus and the mistakes snowballed."
Erica Lindsay had a solid game for West Haven as she was all over the court with 9 digs, 8 assists, 6 aces and 2 kills.
Yenny Bayas had 9 digs, Leah Morrissey added 7 digs and Kara Patterson chipped in 6 digs and 3 kills in the loss. On the offensive side, Savannah Brown had 6 kills to go along with two digs.
The opening game saw West Haven take leads but Sacred Heart continually came back. A pair of kills by Brown gave West Haven a 9-5 lead but the Pacers rebounded to even the game at 10 on a pair of aces by Rachel Good.
A kill by Sheila Carlson and another by WaverlyRose Brim sandwiched two Pacer errors for a 14-11 lead. Lindsay then served three straight aces to increase the margin to six points.
West Haven needed just 7 points to close the game but the Pacers rallied and got as close as 18-17 on a kill by Alexis Iannone and three aces by Jamie Falcha.
Carlson’s ace extended the lead back to three, but a 6-2 run by the Pacers had West Haven trailing 23-22. Brown’s kill evened the game at 23 and the two teams alternated points until three straight Sacred Heart errors gave West Haven a 29-27 win.
The Westies opened the second game in trouble as Sacred Heart used three aces from Falcha to take a 7-1 lead. The lead increased to 10-4 for the Pacers before West Haven made a move.
With Sarah Moran on the service line, the Westies cut the deficit to 10-7. An ace by Lindsay got West Haven within 13-11 but Falcha’s serving increased the lead to 19-13.
A pair of kills by Iannone increased the margin to 21-13 and Iannone’s final kill of the game had Sacred Heart on top 24-14. When West Havencommitted a net violation, the Pacers evened the match one game apiece. 
West Haven started the third game in fine fashion, using three consecutive aces by Lindsay for a 3-0 lead. Falcha responded with two aces of her own as Sacred Heart went on an 8-3 run.
An ace by Brim brought West Haven within 8-7, but the Pacers went on a 9-0 run to put the third game away. The run by the Pacers included six aces.
West Haven never got closer and watched as Falcha closed the game out at the line. Two aces and a West Haven error gave Sacred Heart a 13-point victory. 
"I am very disappointed with the loss and I know the girls are too," Coldren said. "The goal this week is to regroup and refocus. We have three dificult games next week and we need to get our act together.
"I thought we played better in the first game. There were very few mistakes and there was lots of confidence and cohesiveness. As the match went on, it just seemed to dwindle away. We just need to keep all of that together for more than one game."
The losses took the energy out of the Westies as Sacred Heart started the fourth game quickly and never looked back. The Pacers used six aces by Cameron Maselli to take a 9-0 lead. 
Falcha added four more aces to increase the lead to 16-1. Kills by Patterson and Brown cut the deficit to 18-4 but Sacred Heart ended the match quickly with the final three points. 

Westies fall to Guilford
Mistakes costly in loss
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
Senior Matt Olenick contributed to this article
WEST HAVEN (September 19, 2012) -
 West Haven coach Kate Coldren is looking for her team to improve in each match to start the season. Coldren is well aware the team needs time to jell with plenty of fresh faces on the court.
Through two matches, Coldren has seen mixed results. A lop-sided loss to Lyman Hall was followed by a thorough victory over Hillhouse. 
Looking for the team which played so well against Hillhouse to show up, Coldren got that from her squad. Unfortunately for the Westies, the effort was not enough as Guilford defeated West Haven 25-22, 25-23 and 25-19 at West Haven High Wednesday evening.
“We played very well,” Coldren said. “We started strong in all three games. We just made mistakes at the wrong times. I don’t know if it was inexperience or lack of focus. We need to be mentally tougher.”
The tone of the contest was set in the opening game as West Haven held a 19-14 lead but could not close the game out. The Indians closed the game on an 11-3 run, including two West Haven errors to close the game.
“I am disappointed because we played well Friday,” Coldren said. “We played well today but we just made those mistakes at the wrong time.”
The Westies again led in the second game before Guilford rallied to win by two points. With Leah Morrissey on the line, an ace and a Guilford error evened the second game at 16. 
Taylor White served three points, all on West Haven errors, to give Guilford a 20-16 advantage. Aces by West Haven’s Kristen Ginise and Kara Patterson and a kill by Savannah Brown evened the game at 22 before the Indians closed the game with a mixture of defense and solid serving. 
The third game saw West Haven use an ace by Patterson to give West Haven a 7-6 lead. Guilford scored the next eight points, including four aces by Sam Grinold to take a 14-7 lead.
Chipping away, West Haven finally evened the game at 18 on an ace by Sheila Carlson. West Haven never took the lead and Guilford closed the game on a 7-1 run to win the match.
“We need to finish,” Coldren said.
WaverlyRose Brim led the Westies with 4 kills, 5 blocks and 3 digs. Yenny Bayas played well on defense with 7 digs, while Morrissey had 2 aces and 3 digs. Erica Lindsay played well with an ace, 4 digs and 9 assists, Patterson had 2 aces, 2 kills, 1 block and 4 digs and Ginise added an ace and 3 digs. 
“WaverlyRose played very well,” Coldren said.

In the Win Column
Westies blank Hillhouse
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(September 14, 2012) –
Starting the season with a 3-0 loss against Lyman Hall, there were numerous areas for improvement for the West Havenvolleyball team. The Westies took a positive step forward Friday afternoon when they traveled to New Haven to play Hillhouse.
Looking to take a step in the right direction, the Westies did so with a 3-0 victory over the Academics. The final scores were 25-17, 25-13 and 25-17. 
"Picking up our first win was a great confidence boost for the girls," West Haven coach Kate Coldren said. "Hopefully, they keep the momentum going because we have three tough games in four days this week. 
"We played extremely consistent and smart volleyball which is what we were lacking in our first game. We passed the ball very well in serve receive so we were able to run our offense. I was extremelly pleased with the adjustments we made from Tuesday's game. Even when things got a little frantic on the court, we stayed calm and steady and played very good volleyball."
Savannah Brown led the offense for West Haven with six kills. Waverly Rose Brim had six aces and six kills and Sarah Moran added three aces, three kills and three digs. 
"This confidence boost was exactly what we needed right now," Coldren said. "We shook off the Lyman Hall game and came out strong and ready to play. Now, the girls see they can do it. More importantly, they see what they need to do to win. 
"I really have to hand it to all of them. All ten players on my team stepped up their game and came together to get this important win."
West Haven improved to 1-1 with the win.

Slow Start
Westies struggle in loss to Lyman Hall
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(Senior Matt Olenick contributed to this article)
(September 12, 2012) –
 Graduating a bulk of the starters from a season ago, the West Haven volleyball team knows it will have to gain experience quickly. With little returning as far as varsity experience, the Westies will have to learn on the fly. 
Those growing pains came through Tuesday evening against Lyman Hall. Unable to put together any runs, the Westies were defeated by the Trojans, 25-18, 25-8, 25-8 in the season opener for both teams at West Haven High. 
"We were never able to get into a flow or use our offense because we couldn't get a pass up," West Haven coach Kate Coldren said. "We know what we need to work on and we will most certainly do it and improve. It's early in the season and there is always room for improvement."
West Haven played close in the first game but could not get on track in the final two games. Other than a poor serve by Lyman Hall’s Melanie Schanke to even the game at one, West Haven trailed the remainder of the opening game. 
An ace by West Haven’s Savannah Brown brought West Haven within 10-8 before two West Haven errors, an ace by Ally Hackett and a block by Emily Williams helped Lyman Hall to a 14-8 lead. 
Waverly Rose Brim’s kill got West Haven going at 14-9 and two aces by Erica Lindsay brought West Haven within 14-12. An ace by Sarah Moran had West Haven within 19-16, but Lyman Hall closed the game on a 6-2 run.
"I could tell the girls were nervous for the first game of the season," Coldren said. "It (first game) was their best game of the evening but still not their best effort. The passing was a little better that game so we were able to use our hitters. As the match went on, Lyman Hall stepped their game up and we didn't."
The Westies were outplayed in the final two games. In the second game, Lyman Hall’s Hackett opened the game with a pair of aces for a 3-0 lead but an ace by Leah Morrissey drew the game even. 
Behind the play of Williams, who had a kill and two aces, Lyman Hall took a 7-3 lead. Four West Haven errors combined with the serving of Schanke ended any hopes of a West Haven victory in the second game. Schanke served five aces in arrow for a 20-6 lead and the Westies never recovered. 
The Westies opened the third game with a kill from Brim, but that was the lone bright spot early on. With Stephanie Napierkowski on the service line for nine consecutive points, the Westies trailed 12-3. 
Five aces by Hackett then had West Haven on the ropes at 22-7. West Haven handled the ball more than three times for a Lyman Hall point and Hackett closed the game with a pair of aces to seal the victory.
 "In the second and third games, it seemed we lost confidence and just couldn't pass the ball on serve receive. We let the other team serve up to ten points in a row. That obviously can't happen if we want to win.
"I am extremely optimistic. The girls are very willing to work hard and they want so badly to improve and be successful."
Kara Patterson led West Haven with three kills and three digs, while Lindsay had 11 assists, three digs and two aces. Hackett led Lyman Hall with 12 assists, nine aces and two digs, while Schanke added eight kills and six aces.

Right Mix  
Chemistry key to 2012 team
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
With a 6-12 record last season and losing six seniors to graduation, one would think the West Haven girls’ volleyball team would be scuffling to find the right combinations. Such is not the case.
Despite some inexperience, coach Kate Coldren has been pleasantly surprised with her team thus far in the preseason. Great chemistry on and off the court has also helped.
“The chemistry of this team is outstanding,” Coldren said. “They communicate really well. That is going to be huge.”
With plenty of new players on the court, it will be up to the veterans to lead the way. That group of veterans will follow the lead of senior tri-captains Kara Patterson, Erica Lindsay and Shiela Carlson.
Patterson is an outside hitter, Lindsay will run the offense from her setter position and Carlson is an outside and right side hitter.
“They are all really great kids,” Coldren said. “They have really stepped up. They have shown what they want to do. There is really good chemistry this year. A lot of that has to do with them.”
The Westies will also turn to seniors Savannah Brown and Waverly Rose Brim to help on the offensive side. According to Coldren, both will make an impact as both are middle hitters and Brim will also play on the outside.
“Obviously, we always want to make the states,” Coldren said. We want to improve the record of the year before. We are focusing one game at a time.”
Coldren is also excited about the play of senior Yenny Bayas and juniors Leah Morrissey and Sydney Mursko. Bayas will be the libero while Morrissey and Mursko will be defensive specialist from the back row.
Seniors Sarah Moran and Kristen Ginise will also contribute. Coldren has stated Moran has done a good job in the front row as an outside hitter and Ginise will play in the back row.
“We have to be able to run our offense,” Coldren said. “We have to use our hitters. If we can’t pass, we can’t run our offense. 
"As long as we get our passing, we will run our offense and be okay. We have some inexperience and that could hurt us. We will have to mature pretty quickly."

Over and Out
Season ends with loss to Sheehan
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
WEST HAVEN (October 25, 2012) –
 After defeating Hillhouse Wednesday afternoon, the West Haven volleyball team was hoping to close out the regular season with two straight wins. Unfortunately for the Westies, a Sheehan team preparing for the postseason was not compliant.
After losing the first game, Sheehan rallied to post a 3-1 victory over the Westies. The Titans won by scores of 20-25, 25-18, 25-18 and 25-16.
“We came to play tonight,” West Haven coach Kate Coldren said. “We took the first game with authority but just couldn’t carry it over into the next few games. We fought back hard in the second game to tie it up and then made some crucial mistakes at the wrong time.”
West Haven (3-13) showed plenty of fight in the first game. The Westies jumped out to a 10-6 lead before a kill by Ali Sperrazza brought Sheehan within 12-8.
Sperrazza served a pair of aces to cut West Haven’s lead to 12-10 before an ace by Shiela Carlson gave West Haven a 14-11 lead.
Sheehan continued to battle in the first game and used a pair of aces by Meghan Fekete and a West Haven error to give Sheehan a 15-14 lead. A block by WaverlyRose Brim put West Haven in front 17-16 before West Haven increased the margin to 21-17.
Sheehan battled back and got within 23-20 when Meghan Gavin served an ace and two West Haven errors brought Sheehan within 3 points. The Westies ended the game with a kill.
Sheehan paved the way to its victory as the second game began. The Titans jumped out to leads of 6-1 and 12-2 before pulling away for the win.
Erica Lindsay ran the West Haven offense with 13 assists. Brim had 7 kills, Kara Patterson had 5 aces and 3 kills and Savannah Brown added 5 aces.
“I’m so proud of the way these girls finished out this season,” Coldren said. “Although we didn’t have the record we wanted, we played with pride and integrity and I really couldn’t ask for more from them.
“The girls showed up day in and day out and they are an outstanding group of young women that were such a pleasure to coach.”
The Westies also played well on defense. Kristen Ginise led the way with 11 digs, Sydney Mursko added 9 digs and Leah Morrissey had 7 digs. Carlson finished with 5 digs and Patterson and Sarah Moran each had 4 digs in the loss.
“I want to congratulate all the seniors, especially Erica Lindsay, who made the All-Division team for the Quinnipiac Division in our conference.”

Top of the Hill
Westies pick up third win of year with 3-2 decision over Hillhouse
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(October 24, 2012) –
 West Haven volleyball coach Kate Coldren felt her team was playing its best volleyball over the past five games. Having only one win to show for it, the Westies were looking to close out the regular season with more wins.
West Haven did this Wednesday evening in a dramatic contest with Hillhouse. Trailing 2-1, the Westies rallied to defeat the Academics 3-2 at West Haven High.
The scores of the match were 22-25, 25-23, 24-26, 27-25 and 15-3. West Haven improved to 3-14 with the victory.
“It was not our best effort, but we are extremely happy with the win,” Coldren said. “We played flat, but we came together when we needed to. Hopefully, this win will give us some good momentum heading into tomorrow night’s game.”
The Westies battled throughout the contest and took control in the fifth game. Taking advantage of several Hillhouse errors in the fifth game, West Haven easily closed out the contest with a 12-point victory.
The first four games were back and forth, with each team never out of striking distance. The first four games were separated by no more than 3 points when the games were completed.
Erica Lindsay continued to have a solid season as the senior ran the offense with 30 assists. Lindsay also added 8 aces and 3 kills on offense and had 12 digs on the defensive side.
“Erica played very well and hustled after every ball,” Coldren said.
Waverly Rose Brim also played well on offense with 12 kills and added 5 blocks and 3 digs on defense. Sarah Moran had a big night on defense with 13 digs, while also adding 3 kills.
“Waverly was very solid on offense and continues to be a strong presence at the net,” Coldren said.
Defense was the key in this victory for West Haven. Savannah Brown had 7 digs on defense and 8 kills and 3 aces on offense, Sydney Mursko had 8 digs, Kristen Ginise had 6 digs and Shiela Carlson had 6 digs on defense and 7 aces and 3 kills on offense. Kara Patterson also played well with 7 kills, 4 digs and 3 aces.

Trojans shut out Westies
WH drops 3-0 decision to Lyman Hall
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(October 22, 2012) –
 Looking to end the season on a positive note, the West Haven volleyball team was hoping to post a road victory against Lyman Hall. While the effort was there, the result was the same.
Unable to win a tightly played first game, West Haven fell to Lyman Hall 25-22, 25-18 and 25-17 in Wallingford Monday afternoon. With the loss,West Haven dropped to 2-14 on the year. 
"The past five games are the best we have played all season," West Haven coach Kate Coldren said. "We just can't seem to finish, with the exception of the Hamden game. 
"We make a couple of mistakes at the end of the game when we have been going point for point with the team the entire time and then that's the end of the game."
Erica Lindsay continued her solid play for the Westies as she had 10 assists on offense and 9 digs on the defensive side. WaverlyRose Brim finished with 8kills and 3 digs. 
"Defensively, the entire team played well," Coldren said. "They didn't let a ball hit the floor without getting at least one touch on it. 
"Offensively, Waverly (Brim) and Savannah (Brown) were on point. They played very smart. They knew when to swing and when to go with an off speed shot."
Ally Hackett ran Lyman Hall’s offense with 24 assists and the play of Melanie Schanke hurt the Westies as she finished with 12 kills and 15 digs. Emily Williams added 10 kills and 12 digs in the win for the Trojans.
West Haven had a chance to take the lead in the first game but could not pull out the victory. The first game loss was big as the Westies fell in the second game by 7 points and faced a must-win situation in the third game. 
"The girls worked very hard in that (first) game," Coldren said. "They never quit and hustled after every ball. I'm very proud of their effort."

Blanked
Westies fall to Guilford, 3-0
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(October 20, 2012) –
 Just one day after picking up its second victory of the year, the West Haven volleyball team could not sustain the winning ways. In a match which went just three games, West Haven fell to Guilford, 25-20, 25-21 and 25-18.
“We played okay,” West Haven coach Kate Coldren said. “It took a while to get our offense going, which can really hurt us since it is our strongest skill.
“It was disappointing, but we hung with Guilford the entire match. We were flat and seemed to be pretty tired. We were a half a step behind every ball and I know we were frustrated by that.”
The Westies hoped to sustain the momentum from Friday’s win but could not do so. The sluggish start allowed Guilford to win the first game by 5 points and the second game by 4 points. Once the offense got going, it was too late as Guilford was already in control.
Erica Lindsay led West Haven with 9 assists and 2 kills on offense and 8 digs on defense. WaverlyRose Brim had 3 kills and 2 digs, Sarah Moran added 3 aces, 3 digs and 2 assists, Sydney Mursko had 5 digs and Kara Patterson had 3 digs.
“Once our offense finally started up, Kara (Patterson), Savannah (Brown) and WaverlyRose (Brim) played well,” Coldren said. “They kept us in the match with their hitting and blocking.”
With the loss, West Haven fell to 2-13 on the year.

Westies Prevail
WH wins 5-game thriller against Hamden
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
WEST HAVEN (October 19, 2012) –
 The West Haven volleyball team has waited all year for a win like this. In what was an exciting match against Hamden, the Westies finally got the bounces and defeated Hamden 3-2 Friday afternoon at West Haven High.
The scores of the match were 27-25, 18-25, 25-23, 19-25, 15-8. With the victory, West Haven improved to 2-12 on the year. 
"The girls were extremely disappointed in themselves when they lost to Hamden the first time and they wanted to redeem themselves," West Haven coach Kate Coldren said. "They fought hard and with pride, which has been something we have struggled with this season."
In what was a complete team effort, Erica Lindsay led the way with 17 assists, 4 kills and 2 aces on offense and 6 digs on defense. Waverly Rose Brim also had a big game with 6 kills, 3 aces and 1 assist on offense and 2 blocks and 2 digs on defense.
Savannah Brown was equally impressive with 5 aces, 4 kills and 2 assists on offense and 3 digs and 1 block on defense, while Kara Patterson had 5 aces and 5 kills and Leah Morrissey had 7 digs. 
"It was awesome and the girls really fed off the energy in the gym," Coldren said. "They worked their butts off to win that (fifth) game. They wanted it and they showed that from the very first serve."
The Westies started the match on the right foot, winning the first game in thrilling fashion. Trailing 25-24, West Haven scored the final three points to pull out the victory.
The Westies were a bit sloppy in the second game and could not hold on to an early lead. West Haven trailed early in the second game and had to battle the whole way through.
The Westies took a 13-10 lead on a kill by Lindsay and an ace from Brown, but they could not hold on. Leading 16-14, West Haven watched as Hamdenscored the next 9 points with Ali Masso on the line. An ace by Ellenton Gbanyah closed out the second game for the Green Dragons. 
Erica Lindsay helped give the Westies an early 3-0 lead in the third game with an ace and Patterson added a kill. After Hamden even the game at 3,West Haven scored the next 5 points.
With Shiela Carlson on the line, Brim had a kill and a block and Patterson added another kill for an 8-3 lead.
Brim’s ace increased the lead to 10-4 and an ace by Patterson put the advantage at 12-8. Hamden cut the deficit to 17-15 before an ace by Lindsay got the lead back to 3. The Green Dragons finally came back to even the game at 23, but West Haven prevailed, scoring the final two points on a Hamden error and an ace by Sarah Moran. 
"The girls needed the win badly," Coldren said. "We were on quite a losing streak. It was great to see them happy and in good spirits. It gives them confidence that hopefully will carry them through the rest of the season.
"It was a true team effort. They all played well."
The Westies looked to close out the match in the fourth game but could not do so as Hamden jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. With the game even at 4 after a kill by Patterson, Hamden went on an 8-3 run to pull away. A kill by Patterson got West Haven within 9-5 but the Green Dragons forced the fifth and deciding game with a 6-point victory.  
The Westies jumped out quickly in the fifth game and won for just the second time on the year.

Westies fall to Branford
Hornets shut out Westies
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(October 18, 2012) –
 The West Haven volleyball team fell to Branford 3-0 at Branford High Thursday evening. In a contest which saw the Westies battle, the team came up short.
With the loss, West Haven fell to 1-12 on the year. The scores of the match were 25-15, 25-18 and 25-17. 
"It (inconsistency) surprises me quite a bit because we practice very well with a lot of energy and we seem to have fun," West Haven coach Kate Coldren said. "So my expectation is that they will carry that over into a game and when they don't, it's frustrating for me and for them.
"I truly believe they have some pride deep down and want to improve their record despite not making the playoffs. They are still working hard and trying hard." 
The Westies fell behind early in the match and never recovered. Branford rolled to a 10-point victory in the first game and prevailed after West Haven battled in the second game. The Hornets closed the match with an 8-point win in the third game.
Erica Lindsay led West Haven with 11 assists and 3 kills on offense and 6 digs on defense. Savannah Brown added 6 kills on offense and 4 digs and 4 blocks on defense. 
"Once again, Savannah played very well," Coldren said. "She has become one of my most consistent players. She was very tough at the net and made the Branford hitters think. 
"Leah Morrissey has also become very consistent in the back row. Both her serve receive and defense are on point."
Waverly Rose Brim had 9 digs and 2 kills, Kara Patterson added 5 kills and 4 digs, and Leah Morrissey had 10 digs on the defensive side.
Lauren Kuhn led Branford with 17 assists and 4 aces, while Anna Atkinson had 11 kills and 3 digs.

Westies fall to Mercy
WH drops to 1-11 with loss
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(October 15, 2012) –
 The West Haven volleyball team has been playing better of late. Head Coach Kate Coldren hoped that trend continued Monday afternoon when the Westies traveled to play Mercy in Middletown.
Unfortunately for Coldren, her squad did not keep the pace as the Westies were easily defeated by the Tigers 3-0 to drop to 1-11 on the season. The scores of the match were 25-4, 25-14 and 25-12.
“I was extremely disappointed with our effort,” Coldren said. “All I want is for them to play to their potential. I have seen glimpses of it but not a strong, consistent effort.”
West Haven never got going in the match as the quick first game ended withWest Haven scoring just four points. After putting up a better fight in the second game, West Haven fell by 11 points.
“We played with no enthusiasm or energy,” Coldren said.
The match ended in the third game as Mercy again controlled play. West Haven managed just 12 points in the quick contest.
Erica Lindsay led West Haven with 10 kills while Savannah Brown had 6 digs and Sydney Mursko had 5 digs.
Mercy (12-1) was led by Grace Brodeur with 11 kills and 2 aces and Louisette Davilla with 5 aces and 6 digs.    

Amity tops Westies
Sweep drops Westies to 1-10
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(October 12, 2012) – 
Friday afternoon’s contest between West Haven and Amity epitomized the season for the Westies. Searching for consistency throughout the year, the match told the story.
After being trounced in the first game, the Westies battled back in the next two games. But, as has been the case all season, the Westies came up just short.
West Haven fell to 1-10 on the year with a 25-10, 25-23, 25-19 loss to Amity at Amity High. 
"I am much happier with the way we played," West Haven coach Kate Coldren said. "They just need to start off stronger right from the first point in the first game.
"Volleyball is agame where you have to be mentally tough and focus on every play and every point. We struggle with that and there are too many unforced errors."
After struggling in the first game, the Westies battled back in both the second and third games. In the end, Amity was just too much in the 3-0 win.
Savannah Brown led West Haven with 7 kills, while Erica Lindsay ran the offense with 14 assists and 4 aces. Kathryn Pisano led Amity with 16 assists and was also 14-for-14 serving with 4 aces.

Off the Pace
Westies fall to Sacred Heart, 3-2
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(October 10, 2012) –
 West Haven coach Kate Coldren has been looking for some fight in her team over the last few matches. Coldren finally got that fight Wednesday evening in Hamden.
Unfortunately for Coldren and the Westies, that fight was not enough as the Westies fell in five games to Sacred Heart Academy. After splitting the first four games, Sacred Heart won easily in the fifth game, 15-2 to take the contest 3-2.
With the loss, West Haven dropped to 1-9. The Pacers improved to 9-2.
“The girls played well, but there is still some disappointment to lose after all the work they put in tonight,” Coldren said. “It was good to see the fight in them. The fifth game was extremely frustrating. We stopped passing and they didn’t miss a serve.”
The Pacers, coming off a tough loss to Foran, opened the match in impressive fashion, defeating the Westies 25-10. West Haven started to show some of that fight in the second game, rallying and battling to a 25-21 victory.
Despite the resilient effort in the second game, West Haven fell in the third game 25-14, setting up a fourth game which the Westies needed to win. The Westies responded with a 25-17 win, but could not carry the momentum to the fifth game.
“Kara (Patterson), Yenny (Bayas) and Sarah (Moran) all played very well,” Coldren said. “They played very solid, smart and consistent volleyball.”
Erica Lindsay led West Haven on both sides of the ball. Lindsay ran the offense with 18 assists, to go along with 2 kills and 1 ace, while playing a major part on defense with 10 digs.
Waverly Rose Brim and Yenny Bayas also played well on defense. Brim had 15 digs and Bayas had 10 digs.
The solid defense continued with Sarah Moran, with 7 digs, Leah Morrissey with 6 digs and Sheila Carlson with 4 digs.
Kara Patterson and Savannah Brown played well on the offensive side as Patterson had 7 kills and 3 aces, Brown had 6 kills and Moran added 5 kills.

Not Enough
Westies fall to Branford to drop to1-8
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(October 5, 2012) –
 Looking to turn the season around, the West Haven volleyball team was hoping for a quick start Friday afternoon against Branford. While the Westies got that start, they could not sustain the momentum in a 3-1 loss to the Hornets at West Haven High.
The scores of the contest were 16-25, 25-15, 25-14 and 25-14 in favor of Branford. With the loss, West Haven fell to1-8 on the season.
“We played well in the first game but couldn’t carry it over into the next three games,” West Haven coach Kate Coldren said. “We finished each game strong but it was just too little, too late.”
Erica Lindsay continued to run the offense well with 18 assists. Lindsay also added 4 aces and 4 kills on offense and 1 block on defense.
WaverlyRose Brim had 8 kills and 2 aces on offense and added 10 digs and 2 blocks on defense. Kara Patterson also played well on defense with 9 digs and added 4 kills and 2 aces on offense.
Yenny Bayas added 7 digs, Leah Morrissey had 5 digs and Sarah Moran had 3 digs on the defensive side. Offensively, Savannah Brown had 6 kills and 1 ace, Moran added 3 kills and Sheila Carlson had 2 kills and 2 digs.
“Savannah (Brown) continues to play strong and consistent volleyball,” Coldren said.
The Westies jumped out to a quick lead by winning the first game in impressive style. Unfortunately, the Westies could not sustain the momentum and Branford got off to quick starts in each of the final three games to post the victory.  

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