Being odd was a plus for the Ridgefield High girls volleyball team.
Winning the first, third, and fifth games, the Tigers edged 18th-seed Wilbur Cross, 3-2, in the first round of the Class LL state tournament Monday night at RHS.
Ridgefield, the 15th seed, won the match by scores of 25-16, 19-25, 25-18, 20-25, and 15-12.
“Wilbur Cross was scrappy,” said Ridgefield head coach Lidania Cibere, whose team will now play second-seed Cheshire in the second round Thursday night (6 p.m.) in Cheshire. “We were happy to win and survive.”
The Tigers controlled the first game, winning by nine points to take a 1-0 lead. But Wilbur Cross came back to take the second game and even the match.
“The first set was great,” said Cibere. “I don’t think we got comfortable in the second set, but we did take our game down a level.”
Ridgefield (13-8) regrouped to win game three before Cross staved off elimination with a victory in the following set.
“We should have closed it out [in game four],” said Cibere. “We made some mistakes — we missed a serve and sent a shot out of bounds.”
Wilbur Cross was within 13-12 in the fifth game when a service error gave a point and the ball to Ridgefield. The hosts then won the next point to end the match.
“Going into the fifth set, I told the girls to focus on us,” said Cibere. “We had seen what Wilbur Cross was like, so we just needed to worry about our own play.”
Mackenzie Wanicka had a double-double for Ridgefield with 15 kills and 11 digs. Julia Kocsis and Kara Macdonald each contributed four service points, while Kate Garson, Mathilde Verbitsky, and Kocsis had four kills apiece.
Joyce Li finished with 23 digs and Norah McNeece added six digs. Setter Isabel Voellmicke had 26 assists.