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Avon spikers sweep Bristol Central to secure first semifinal berth in 14 years

The Falcons beat Bristol Central on Saturday to earn a spot in the semifinals for the first time since 2005.

AVON, November 16 – The Avon High volleyball team gets another chance to beat RHAM.

The Falcon spikers will making their first-ever appearance in the Class L semifinals on Wednesday after beating Bristol Central, 3-0, Saturday, 25-19, 25-20 and 25-19.

No. 2 Avon (21-2) played the Sachems about a week ago in the semifinals of the Central Connecticut Conference tournament and dropped a hard-fought 3-1 decision. RHAM went onto to beat top seed Bristol Eastern to win the CCC Tournament for the second consecutive year.

Senior Emily Dempsey led the way with 14 kills and 11 digs while senior Baylee Braun had nine kills, 11 digs and three serves for an ace. Eliza Jones had six kills and five blocks.

Abby St. Onge also got it done on both sides of the ball. Offensively, she had 24 assists and three kills while defensively, she had five blocks. Noelle Powers had 10 digs and four serving aces. Sarah Jacobs added three blocks.

“The team played a great match today, both on offense and defense,” Avon High coach Curt Burns said. “We executed our game plan well. We are playing some of our best volleyball of the season and hopefully it will continue into the state semifinals on Wednesday.”

Avon is looking for their first-ever state championship appearance. They last played in a semifinal match 14 years ago in 2005.

RHAM (22-1) is no stranger to the Class L semifinals. The Sachems are 5-1 in the last six years in the semifinals. They’ve played in five of the last six Class L championship games, winning it all in 2017, 2016 and 2013.

The winner of Wednesday night’s semifinal at SMSA in Hartford at 6 p.m. will face the winner of the other semifinal between No. 8 Woodstock Academy and No. 5 Guilford. Woodstock outlasted top-seeded Bristol Eastern, 3-2 with a 15-13 decision in the fifth and deciding match to advance.

The Class L title game will be on Saturday, November 23, at 10 a.m. at East Haven High.

NOTE: Avon has made five semifinal appearances in Class M and S. In Class M, the Falcons lost to Seymour, 3-0 in 2005 and to Darien, 3-0, in 2002. In the Class S semifinals, the Falcons lost to Gilbert, 3-2 in 2000; were swept by Haddam-Killingworth, 3-0 in 1997 and Stamford Catholic, 3-0 in 1985.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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