The Greenwich High School girls' volleyball team came into Thursday's semifinal matchup with Fairfield Ludlowe confident they could return to the FCIAC finals once more. Unforced errors and a stingy Ludlowe defense quickly evaporated that confidence as the Cardinals missed the FCIAC finals for the first time since 2006, losing only their second game of the year, 3-1 (25-17, 21-25, 23-25, 21-25).
"It was a fight and they came out on top," Greenwich head coach Steve Lapham said. "We just had too many instances where we hit the ball out or just weren't picking a good spot to hit it."
Greenwich came out strong, winning the first set. Michelle Vogt and Kimberly Lo led the Cardinals in kills with 17 and 15, respectively. Xanthi Katsigiannis racked up 40 assists. Despite the excellent stats for Greenwich, things unraveled early in the second game.
Leading 10-5, Ludlowe won a nearly three minute volley and changed the momentum for the rest of the match. The Falcons went on an 8-0 run and never looked back. Greenwich kept game three and four close, but Ludlowe clearly had the game in hand from that point on. Falcons co-captain Madison McCaffrey was a thorn in Greenwich's side, coming up with one defensive stop after another. She finished the night with 21 kills.
"This game was all about momentum," Lapham said. "It was a bunch of battles. It was a nice match to watch. You just didn't want to be on our end."
Greenwich will try to reverse its fortunes in the state tournament as the number four seed. It received a first-round bye and will play the winner of Conrad and Simsbury on Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. at Greenwich High School.
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