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  • Greg Lederer

Matos Pitches Second Softball No-Hitter, CHS Baseball Rallies To End Slide, Boys' V-Ball, Boys' Golf, Boys' Tennis, And Track And Field Teams Shine

On Wednesday, Jenica Matos pitched her second no-hitter for Cheshire softball. Photo by Greg Lederer.

by Greg Lederer

Cheshire Sports Media

On Wednesday, Cheshire High School softball (12-1) pushed their win streak to eight games, winning 5-0 over host Daniel Hand (4-8) at Polson Middle School in Madison. Sophomore Jenica Matos recorded 12 strikeouts in pitching her second no-hitter.

CHS went up 2-0 in the first inning and then added runs in the third, fourth, and fifth. Junior Tai Byrd contributed two doubles and two RBIs, while classmate Erin Hersh had two singles and an RBI.

Senior Karla Carangelo (RBI) and sophomore Ava Pearson added singles.

On May 6, CHS hosts West Haven (6-9) at 4:15 p.m. On April 15, the Rams beat the Blue Devils, 4-1, on the road.

Boys’ Volleyball (9-3)

Cheshire won 3-0 (25-16, 25-16, 25-11) over Kolbe Cathedral (4-10). In the first set, Kolbe cut the deficit to 11-10, but senior Will Allen served on a 6-0 spurt and then clinched the frame with a kill.

After Kolbe won the first point of game two, the Rams answered with a 9-0 run to take the lead for good.

The Rams utilized their depth from start to finish and took the third set to get the sweep.

“We got to work out some kinks that we had in our last game,” said junior Matti Lilback, a tri-captain with Allen and senior Connor Hayes.

Lilback finished with 11 kills, three blocks, three digs, two assists, and an ace against Kolbe. Allen earned eight kills, five digs, three blocks, and two aces.

Junior Jacob D’Addona joined Allen with eight kills and also supplied six digs and three aces. Classmate James O’Connor secured five kills, four digs, two blocks, and an ace. Hayes recorded four kills.

Juniors Bryan Rochefort (16 assists, two digs) and Jake Tierney (six assists, two digs, kill) and sophomore Bradley Fang (12 assists, three digs) distributed the ball.

Fang has recently emerged as the team’s starting setter.

“Bradley has been doing a really nice job,” stated Head Coach Sue Bavone. "He has got to learn some things. There is definitely a lot of room for growth with him, of course. What is nice with him is that he is so quick to the ball. His movement away from the ball is what is driving him starting.”

Wednesday’s match was a bounce back effort after Cheshire had a six-match win streak snapped in Monday’s 3-2 loss at unbeaten Joel Barlow in Redding.

“Honestly, we were really proud of how we played,” reflected Lilback. “There a great team and I think we showed how we can put up a fight. I think Joel Barlow was expecting to get out a 3-0 win and we showed that we are a really big team now.” 

Bavone feels that defense has been the difference in her team winning seven of their last eight matches.

“We have definitely picked it up much on our defense,” said Bavone. “In the beginning of the season, I was very, very concerned if balls were just going to drop (on the floor). I knew we had offense and could hit, but I was very concerned about are we were going to keep the ball in play? Are we going to be able to transition defense into offense? We have gotten so much better at that. Guys are moving better. We’re talking better.”

Bavone believes that improved defense has helped the Rams absorb their missed serves.

“That is the next thing we have to tackle,” stated Bavone. “We are missing a lot of serves and there is really no reason for it. We just need to reign that in a little bit and if we can get our serve percentage up a little and continue to develop our defense and coverage, I think we are trending in a very good direction.”

On Friday, CHS makes a road trip to play Daniel Hand at 5 p.m.

Volleyball player Will Allen put down a kill to clinch the first set against Kolbe Cathedral.

Matti Lilback is a versatile player for CHS boys' volleyball. Photo by Greg Lederer.

Baseball (3-10)

Down to their last three outs and facing a 6-4 deficit, the Rams rallied to snap a seven-game slide. Cheshire scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to rally for a 7-6 victory at West Haven (7-7).

WH went up 2-0 in the third. CHS tied the game in the top of the fourth, but the Blue Devils scored in the bottom half.

Cheshire took a 4-3 lead in the sixth, however, WH put up three runs in the bottom half to take their 6-4 advantage. Six errors hampered the Rams, but in the seventh, the team answered with their three-run rally capped by a two-run double by senior Chris Kobylanski.

Along with his double, Kobylanski singled twice and finished with three RBIs. Junior Nick Giampietro singled twice and scored two runs.

Senior co-captain Kyle Cyr (run) and juniors Jackson Enders (run) and Kaden Weinberg had a single and a walk. Junior Bennett Crerar doubled and came around to score a run.

Senior Max Bernstein (two RBIs) and juniors Drew Sargolini (RBI) and Daniel Hayden (RBI) also singled for Cheshire. Senior Jacob Jalowiec and junior Alex Convertito additionally scored runs.

In pitching four innings, senior co-captain Aiden Erickson gave up just four hits and posted two strikeouts. Sophomore Stephen Fitzmaurice yielded a hit in two innings.

Sophomore Dylan Scalice pitched the seventh inning, working around a hit and a walk to pick up his first win. The Rams won both regular-season meetings with the Blue Devils.

On Friday, Cheshire comes home to face Notre Dame-West Haven (5-7) at 4 p.m. In the first meeting on April 10, CHS posted a 5-1 victory at Quigley Stadium.

Baseball catcher Chris Kobylanski had three hits and three RBIs in Cheshire's 7-6 win at West Haven. Photo courtesy of Mike Kobylanski.

Boys’ Golf (5-2)

The Rams pulled out a 153-157 victory over host Notre Dame-West Haven at Racebrook Country Club in Orange. Freshman Touraj Rajabipour shot a 37 to earn medalist for the first time.

Senior captain Jack Brewster and junior Jack DeJoseph both shot a 38. Senior Josh Wildstein secured a 40.

On Thursday, the Rams take a trip to Madison Country Club to face host Daniel Hand at 2:30 p.m.

Outdoor Track and Field (Girls, 5-2-1; Boys, 4-4)

Cheshire teams competed in tri-meets. CHS girls improved to 5-2-1 by sweeping host Guilford (105-44) and Daniel Hand (123-27).

Senior Squirrel Lanz led the field in the 100- (15.62) and 300-meter (46.46) hurdles, along with the 100- (13.01) and 200-meters (26.61). Senior Alexa Ciccone captured the 1,600- (5:05.35) and 3,200-meters (11:22.31).

Seniors Mia Vientos (800-meters, 2:26.37) and Nicole Emede (shot put, 33 feet, 11 inches) and juniors Leah Farrell (400-meters, 1:02.32), Camryn Beeman (long jump, 14’6”), and Aubrielle Richard (triple jump, 30’8”) were also individual winners.

Senior Emma Rinaldi, Beeman, freshman Ava Hartunian, and sophomore Eva Morse clocked 54.23 seconds to win the 4x100-meter relay. Farrell, senior Julia Rubin, Beeman, and Vientos had the top time in the 4x400-meter race (4:22.13).

Farrell, Rubin, and Vientos additionally teamed with sophomore Ava Ciccone on the winning 4x800-meter squad (10:21.02).

CHS boys beat Guilford (88-62) and fell to Daniel Hand (92-58) to reach 4-4. Senior Tyler Caron claimed the 3,200-meters (10:07.04) and freshman Auritro Dasgupta sprinted to take the 100-meters (11.28).

Freshman Matthew Gajecki, sophomore Gabriel Njeim, junior James Boyd, and senior James Ferraro were the winning team in the 4x400-meter relay (3:40.03).

For Senior Day on May 8, the Rams finish the dual-meet season against Sheehan at 3:45 p.m.

Cheshire girls' outdoor track and field swept host Guilford and Daniel Hand. Photo courtesy of Rob Schaefer.

Track runner Tyler Caron won the 3,200-meters on Wednesday. Submitted photo.

Boys’ Tennis (11-2)

Cheshire picked up their fifth consecutive victory, 6-1, at Guilford (7-5). The Rams went 2-0 in the regular-season series.

Junior Ben Wu (6-3, 6-3), sophomore Brayden Stratton (6-3, 6-3), freshman Mark Laskin (6-0, 6-1), and senior captain Shawn Lawless (6-3, 6-4) swept singles. In the top-two doubles spots, junior Finn Hickey and sophomore Luke Hays (7-5, 6-3) and juniors Luke Hayden and Phil Dickinson (6-2, 7-5) were victorious.

On Friday, CHS visits Wallingford’s Doolittle Park to face host Lyman Hall (9-5) at 3:45 p.m. On April 10, Cheshire earned a 7-0 victory over the Trojans.

Remainder of Thursday’s varsity schedule:

Girls’ Golf (4-2)

CHS travels to play Berlin and Plainville at Timberlin Golf Course in Berlin. Start time is 3 p.m.

Girls’ Lacrosse (6-5)

Cheshire heads to East Lyme (3-6) to compete at 6:30 p.m.

Boys’ Lacrosse (10-1)

CHS takes their nine-game win streak to Fairfield University to play rival Fairfield Prep (10-1) at 7 p.m. 

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