Ridgefield boys volleyball downs Darien in state quarterfinals

The Ridgefield High boys volleyball team won the final two games to defeat Darien, 3-1, in a Class L state tournament quarterfinal match Friday afternoon at RHS.

The third-seeded Tigers now play unbeaten second-seed Newtown (20-0) in the semifinals on Monday at 6 p.m. at Fairfield Warde. The winner of that match faces either top-seed Staples or fourth-seed East Hartford in the Class L finals next Thursday (7 p.m., Shelton High School).

Ridgefield's quarterfinal victory was its fourth triumph over sixth-seed Darien this season. The Tigers also beat Darien twice during the regular season and in the FCIAC semifinals.

Darien had defeated the Tigers in the FCIAC finals and the state quarterfinals last year.

Ridgefield dominated the first game Friday, winning 25-13. But the Blue Wave came back to take the second game, 25-18, and tie the match.

The Tigers reasserted control after that, rolling to a 25-18 triumph in the third game and a 25-15 victory in the fourth game to end the match.

Seniors Christian DeVivo and Andrew Knachel were Ridgefield's catalysts. DeVivo, an outside hitter, had 26 kills, eight digs and five service points while Knachel, the team's setter, finished with 38 assists, 12 service points (six aces) and six digs.

Also making notable contributions for the Tigers were Chris Knachel (12 digs, 10 service points), Thomas Groves (six kills, five blocks) and Will Hunter (15 digs).

Tyler Herget led Darien (18-6) with 26 kills and eight digs. Jackson Leone added 35 assists and Piers Roofthooft had 11 kills.

Notes: Ridgefield is one win away from reaching the Class L finals for the fifth time in the last seven years. The Tigers lost in 2012 but then won three straight state titles from 2014 through 2016.

Darien defeated Ridgefield in last year's quarterfinals before going on to win the Class L championship.