Ridgefield boys volleyball advances to state semis

The Ridgefield High boys volleyball team is one win removed from playing for a fourth straight state championship.

The Tigers moved closer by defeating sixth-seed Staples, 3-1, in the Class LL quarterfinals Friday evening at RHS.

Ridgefield, the third seed, will now face another conference opponent, second-seed Darien, in the semifinals next Monday or Tuesday, at a site to be determined. Darien swept seventh-seed Shelton, 3-0, in another quarterfinal on Friday.

Darien (23-1) and Ridgefield (21-2) have played three matches already this season. The teams split during the regular season, and the Blue Wave beat Ridgefield in the recent FCIAC finals.

The Tigers topped Darien in the last two Class L championship matches, after losing to the Blue Wave in the conference finals both years.

Ridgefield had swept Staples twice during the regular season, but the Wreckers played better on Friday, winning the second game to tie the match at 1-1. The Tigers then took the next two games to close out the victory by scores of 25-14, 18-25, 25-16, and 25-19.

Christian DeVivo had a triple-double for Ridgefield, finishing with 12 kills, 11 digs, and 13 service points.

Henrik Liapunov added 39 assists, three kills, eight digs, and five service points, while Nick Laudati contributed 16 kills and eight service points, and Jack Lincoln had 15 kills and nine service points.

Myles Peckham and Josh Verdejo each had three kills, and Andrew Knachel added 14 digs and six assists.