In his second season at Rockville, Head Coach Jim Holt already has the Rams in the state playoffs in consecutive seasons. Now, after a 3-0 (25-18, 26-24, 25-15) win over Hall-West Hartford Friday, 10-3 Rockville has already eclipsed last year’s 9-9 record.
“We’re on pace to have an excellent season,” Holt said. “Being my second year, they are learning my offense and things are really starting to show. My system is fast-setting, fast-tempo. It took a year for them to do it and now, the speed of the game, they are more comfortable with it.”
The Rams swept their season series with the Warriors (7-4) behind 20 kills from Nate Schliphack.
“We knew Hall had a couple of good hitters coming into this game,” Schliphack said. “One of their hitters was injured. We kind of took advantage of that–going over the middle and getting our middles involved a lot.”
Hall was without middle blocker Kachi Onoh, who suffered a high-ankle sprain in a five-set loss to city rival Conard Wednesday. He should be out three-to-six weeks, according to coach Bing Liu. Alex Perdomo had a decent game for the Warriors to help fill the void with six kills.
The second set was the most critical of the match. The Rams trailed 5-1 early, but then Schliphack got on the serve.
“Serving for our team is one of our main focuses,” Schliphack said. “We’ve got a lot of guys doing jump serves this year and a lot of guys doing floaters–anything to keep the other team on edge.”
Rockville won the next six points and although Hall stayed around in the set, the Rams would ultimately win it 26-24 to take a commanding two-game lead.
“Pretty important win for us,” Schliphack said. “We’d like to get as high of a seed as we can so we can play a lower team in the playoffs. And, hopefully have a good chance at states this year.”
The Warriors are still one win away from clinching a playoff berth. If they beat Farmington Monday, they’ll advance to states for the first time since 2008.
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