Staples has been volleyball royalty for years, winning eight state titles and eight conference championships. This year, however, it was not to be. The Wreckers took home the runner-up trophy at the FCIACs and again in Friday's Class L state championship , losing 3-1 to top-seeded Cheshire.
Although disappointed, senior Danny Fishman chose to look on the bright side of things. "I'm proud of second place. I think we left it all on the floor. Obviously there were things we could have done better. But I acknowledge that not everyone makes it this far and I'm proud of where we got and how everyone played."
The Wreckers started off strong, breezing through the first game 25-12. Junior Jonah Ayelon led Staples in kills with 4 and Fishman in blocks with 3, including one over Cheshire's 6-foor-10 middle Nate Howard. In addition, seniors AJ Green, Drew Appleman and Andreas Bub each hammered down 2 kills.
Staples Coach Jonathan Shepro explained why, in the first game, Cheshire did not show it's "A" game. "They came out with a different lineup in the first game and weren't playing their best volleyball. But the second, third and fourth games were more the way they play and the way we play."
The second was a game of catchup for the Wreckers. Cheshire led nearly the entire game, but never by more than 4. Bub had three massive kills toward the end to tie 20-20, but the momentum he brought fizzled out and Cheshire won by the smallest margin possible, 23-25.
The third game was the turning point as Cheshire erased an early Staples lead, tying the game at 15. The score was tied 7 more times after that, as each team continued to match the other until Cheshire edged Staples 26-24.
Staples led for nearly the entire fourth set and was ahead 22-20 at one point. Then Cheshire stunned the Wreckers, taking the next five points and the state title.
Staples finishes the season at 17-4. It was the first appearance in the state playoffs for Cheshire, which capped an undefeated season.
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