Graduation losses and other departures (due to various reasons) have taken a toll on the Ridgefield High boys volleyball team.
The Tigers dropped their seventh match in their first eight this season Monday, falling 3-0 to Staples in Westport.
The unbeaten Wreckers, who beat Ridgefield in last year’s FCIAC and Class L state finals, swept by scores of 25-12, 25-18, and 25-14.
Maxwell Stafford had 15 assists, six digs, and three service points for Ridgefield (1-7). Andrew Masciotti added four kills, six digs, and a block.
Shane Meyer contributed two kills and three blocks, while Chris Knachel registered five kills and two digs.
James Rudnicki had two kills, two digs, and a pair of blocks, and Tristan Mancini had four digs.
Fighting to keep the match going in the third game, the Tigers hung close for a while. They seized a 7-6 lead on Meyer’s kill and then tied the score at 9-9 and 10-10 on a pair of Masciotti kills.
Ridgefield answered another Staples go-ahead point when Harrison Konopka’s kill — which landed just inside the back row — knotted the score at 11-11.
But Staples then reeled off 10 unanswered points to take control.
Down 21-12, Ridgefield produced one of the match's best sequences. Masciotti dove to keep the ball in play, and Rudnicki followed with a block and a kill to give the Tigers the point.
“We’re not going to give up. We’re going to work hard, and that’s all I can ask as a coach,” Ridgefield head coach Lidania Cibere said. “We just have to clean it up. We can’t give up easy points ... we made a lot of unforced errors.”
Staples improved its record to 8-0 and has lost only two sets thus far — one during a 3-1 victory over Ridgefield earlier this season. After going 26-0 last spring, the Wreckers have now won 34 straight matches.
“They’re a good team. I think they have the best setter in the state,” Cibere said of Staples senior Logan Carstens, who finished with 17 assists on Monday.
“It’s been a tough early season because we’ve been playing all the good teams,” Cibere added. “We’re working hard. Every time we get on the court we are getting better. We just have to keep working hard.”