Girls volleyball: Jonathan Law advances with 3-0 win in states

If you need to know how the Jonathan Law girls volleyball team won 15 matches in the regular season, all you had to do was attend the Lady Lawmen’s CIAC Class M state tournament opening round contest in Milford on Monday.

Coach Stacy’s Loch’s 11th-seeded team out of the Southern Connecticut Conference, defeated No. 12 Bethel High from the South-West Conference in three games at the James Richitelli Sr. Gymnasium.

Law (16-6) will visit No. 6 seed Prince Tech (16-4) in second round action in Hartford on Wednesday at 6.

“We played well,” Loch said after the 25-14, 25-12, 25-5 sweep of the Wildcats (10-11). “We had great practices this week...The girls gave heart and soul. They were ready for whatever was going to happen.”

Serving was a top priority and Law was on target.

Pam Ellison was 27-for-27 from the stripe with eight aces. A senior co-captain, Ellison had a 13-point run with three aces to take the game one score from 6-5 Bethel to 18-6 Law. She added seven digs from her post as libero.

Katie McNellis was right on all 17 of her service opportunities. A junior who was also active in the back row, McNellis put together a 13-point run with two aces in the decisive third set.

Establishing a dominant game in the middle was another highlight.

Law’s junior setters Olivia Kowalski and Eryn Mower took turns feeding sophomore Alexis Neider (7 kills) and junior Eden van Waveren (3 kills, 3 blocks), who in turn attacked the net.

“Olivia gives us a front row setter who can also block and hit,” Loch said. “Eryn takes a pass well and can set from anywhere. We worked on this as the season went along and they are both playing well.”

Law’s hitting was on top of its game.

Senior co-captain Katie Eighmy had eight kills, and chipped in with four aces.

Madi Lula, a sophomore, had seven kills and a block.

When Bethel, led by Jamie Breeland, Gabriella Mendonca and Allie Hermanson looked to mount a come back, Law’s Caroline Chesson and Emily Morey were there to make sure the ball didn’t hit the  floor.

“The girls have worked together to make this a great season,” Loch said. They have the mindset that they don’t want it to end.”