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Senior Finn Sheehan and the Hand boys’ volleyball team took a 3-1 loss against Cheshire in the SCC Tournament final on May 24. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source | Buy This Photo)
Jeremy Long handed out 31 assists when the Tigers lost to Cheshire in the SCC championship match last week. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source | Buy This Photo)
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One year after winning its first SCC title, the Hand boys’ volleyball squad returned to the conference final for a rematch against Cheshire last week. While the Tigers were vying for the repeat, they took a 3-1 loss against the Rams in the championship match at Cheshire High School on May 24.
Following a 10-win regular season, Hand earned the No. 2 seed in the SCC Tournament and posted a 3-1 victory over No. 3 Shelton in the semifinal round. Three days later, the Tigers went up against Cheshire in a battle for the conference title and, despite winning the first set, Hand dropped a 3-1 (25-27, 25-17, 25-13, 25-18) decision to the Rams. The Tigers moved to 11-8 as they get ready to compete in the Class M State Tournament this week.
“I am pretty proud of them to get back to the SCC final for a second year in a row, so I told them to keep their heads up,” Head Coach Marc Figlar said. “It’s tough to play at Cheshire, and they really used the energy from their crowd to get them going after that first set. It’s always a battle with them.”
Senior Finn Sheehan had 15 kills to go with two blocks and an ace for the Tigers in the SCC final. Senior Matt McSweeney added nine kills and four blocks, while senior Zach Cifarelli dished out 31 assists. McSweeney and Sheehan both made the All-SCC First Team, and senior Jeremy Long earned All-SCSecond Team recognition for Hand this season.
The Tigers raced out to a 9-5 lead in the opening set, before Cheshire (18-4) went on a run to cut it to 15-14. Hand had a set point lined up with a 24-22 advantage, but the Rams scored two-straight points to tie the score. Hand followed by scoring three of the next four points to win the opening stanza by a 27-25 margin.
The second set was deadlocked at 11-11 when Cheshire went on 6-0 spurt to take control of the frame, ultimately winning it by the score of 25-17.
In the third set, the Rams stormed out to a 10-2 advantage and led throughout on their way to a 25-13 victory.
Hand and Cheshire were knotted at 8-8 in the fourth set. The Rams went on a 13-4 run to take a 21-12 lead, but the Tigers wouldn’t go away and scored six-straight points to trim the deficit to 21-18. However, Cheshire came back by winning the next four points to take the set 25-18 and claim the conference crown.
Previously, in the SCC semifinals, Hand notched a 3-1 (30-28, 21-25, 25-23, 25-19) victory against Shelton in a home match on May 21.
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