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    Saturday, November 26, 2022

    Bristol Central overwhelms East Lyme in L volleyball semis

    East Lyme’s Addison Soleau (10) and Finley Wilson (2) block a shot from Bristol Central’s Grace Higgins (7) in the Class L Semifinals of the CIAC Girls Volleyball Tournament Wednesday, November 16, 2022 at Cromwell High School. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    East Lyme’s Meghan Nagle (12) bumps a ball in the Class L Semifinals of the CIAC Girls Volleyball Tournament Wednesday, November 16, 2022 at Cromwell High School. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    East Lyme’s head coach Jack Biggs talks to players on the bench in the Class L Semifinals of the CIAC Girls Volleyball Tournament Wednesday, November 16, 2022 at Cromwell High School. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    East Lyme’s bench reacts to a referees call in the Class L Semifinals of the CIAC Girls Volleyball Tournament Wednesday, November 16, 2022 at Cromwell High School. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Bristol Central teammates celebrates their win over East Lyme in the Class L Semifinals of the CIAC Girls Volleyball Tournament Wednesday, November 16, 2022 at Cromwell High School. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Cromwell – It wasn’t a happy bus ride home Wednesday night. But then there’s at least this much for East Lyme: There probably weren’t many shouldas, couldas and wouldas that often come with a loss in the state tournament.

    That’s because there wasn’t much more the No. 3 Vikings could have done against No. 7 Bristol Central.

    “That,” East Lyme coach Jack Biggs said of the opponent in the Class L volleyball semifinals, “is a really good team.”

    Indeed. East Lyme didn’t get its first lead until the third game during what would become a 3-1 (15-25, 15-25, 25-22, 17-25) loss at Cromwell High.

    That East Lyme even extended the match to fourth game impressed Biggs.

    “It showed the character the kids have,” said Biggs, whose program was bidding for its fifth finals appearance. “They have a desire to be out there, no matter the circumstances. When adversity hits, do you hide of show up? We faced adversity from the first point.”

    Bristol Central might have redefined the term “adversity hits,” too. There were times its players struck the ball with such velocity that players from East Lyme were knocked back or over.

    “We haven’t seen anything like that all year,” Biggs said. “They have a really quick working offense, too. Part of it is that our receive wasn’t where it needed to be. Part of it is they’re really good.”

    Skylar Bell had 28 digs for the Vikings while Addison Soleau had 10 kills and Shae McMunn 25 assists.

    East Lyme scored the first point of the third game took its first lead after consecutive 25-15 losses in the first two games.

    “When we started the season, we really didn’t know how things would turn out,” Biggs said. “But a lot of seniors stepped up and volunteered to play different positions. That says a lot about them. We had a freshman out there, too. Things started to click after a while because they believed in each other.”

    m.dimauro@theday.com

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