MERIDEN – Let’s hit hard today. We have a lot of yard to cover in a small box.
After all, isn’t that volleyball?
The race for Record-Journal Volleyball Players of the Year was drawn to four finalists for girls and boys.
It was tempting to just throw him six apiece and compete in full teams.
It may not be long. Greater Meriden is a fertile land for volleyball and is home to some of the best coaches in Connecticut.
Players too. Volleyball is unique in that it is the only sport that features two Record-Journal Players of the Year. Introducing Miss Savannah Bernabucci of Maloney and Mr. Tim Nugent of Cheshire.
As you may know, Nugent was the Southern Connecticut conference player of the year, and he became a member of the conference for the Rams. Cheshire’s Avery Mola was the SCC girl player of the year in the fall.
In both seasons, we worked on state tournaments. All 10 national teams – seven for girls, three for boys – qualified.
As we say, fertile land. Let’s serve. These children were murdered.
Starting with Savannah Bernabucci. The RJ girls player reigns supreme over the years as the most influential player in the watched history of Maloney volleyball.
Last fall, Bernabucci recorded 356 deaths. That’s a school story. So 560 killed him for his profession.
Bernabucci’s last season was featured on big nights against Berlin (28 kills), Sheehan (27) and Platt (24). He had 185 touchdowns and 82 aces and was named All-State for the second straight year.
The All-State Class LL team with Bernabucci was named Southington’s Morgan Birdsey. The only leader on the floor last fall for the Blue Knights, Birdsey led the team to an 18-6 record with 254 kills.
Birdsey amassed 121 digs and 46 aces. At the end of the season he played in the CHSCA Senior All-Star Game.
The big bopper is down at Lyman Hall – and he’s been the big bopper there for a few seasons. Mackenzie Grady. He returned to the All-RJ Team for the third straight year after a season in which he had a double-double with 288 kills and 251 strikeouts. Grady served a 105 ace high.
He was added a place on the All-SCC First Team and All-State Class L Second Team. Grady finished his career with 595 kills, 813 digs and 180 aces.
We don’t have the final business numbers for our four picks and the last girls. For his work was not finished.
Cheers in Cheshire for coach Sue Bavone and the Rams: Avery Mola returning for one final bout after a freshman season was considered the SCC Girls Volleyball Player of the Year.
Mola earned the honor by dropping 259 kills and 50 aces as the Rams went 19-0 in regular season, winning the SCC Tournament and reaching the Class LL state semifinals. Mola was named to the All-State Class LL First Team.
Our last four boys are All-Star caliber. The four only played in the Connecticut High School Coaches Association All-Star game.
Maloney had two men in the meeting: the 0-1-2 punch of Dev Patel a Adnel Torres. (Patel entered No. 0, Torres No.1, both 6-foot-2.)
The seniors led the Spartans to the state championship five years later. Adnel amassed a team top of 225 kills and Patel was second with 174.
They were both soldiers on the shield. Patel amassed an excellent team of 219 digs, while Torres amassed a team-high 29 blocks.
The service is still there. Patel produced a high team with 53 aces. Torres got the floor with 38.
The numbers were strong in Southington and Cheshire, where the elderly live Matt Morgan a Tim Nugent They are the centers of their organizations.
This is especially true for Nugent, the Cheshire developer. It all went through the RJ Boys ’top player of the Year, who played at the top spot with 675 assists.
Although the season was over before the Rams wanted it – they lost 3-2 to SCC Xavier in the M quarterfinals – Nugent went the right way, collecting 48 high assists. .
Like Nugent, Morgan went down with a swing. Also dig. He led the Blue Knights on both sides of the floor with 221 kills and 211 digs.
Also a football player, Morgan is Southington’s high school player for the 2021-22 school year. He is the Salutatorian of the class of 2022.
He is currently committed to UConn in the fall, where he studies mechanical engineering with a focus on aerospace.
On Deck: Boys and girls swim