Central volleyball’s historic CCC run ends with runner-up finish to Southington

Caption: The Bristol Central girls volleyball team made it to the first CCC final in program history. The Rams fell to top-seeded Southington, but it was still an incredible run. (Photo credit: BC volleyball, Twitter)

The Bristol Central girls volleyball got a chance to host the Central Connecticut Conference tournament championship match on Saturday.

The result didn’t go the way the sixth-seeded Rams would have liked as they fell to top-seeded Southington, 3-0. The set scores were 25-17, 25-19, 25-17. Central fell to 18-6 overall.

Does the loss in the final take away from the run the Rams had to get there? Not at all.

Central hosted No. 11 Tolland in the first round and swept the Eagles, 3-0 (25-14, 25-10, 25-13). In the quarterfinal round, the Rams met up with upstart Newington, the No. 14 seed, which upset third-seeded Windsor. Central swept Newington, 3-0 (26-24, 25-10, 25-23).

The semifinals were hosted by the Rams on Friday. It was Central’s turn to pull an upset as the Rams took down second-seeded RHAM, 3-1 (25-23, 12-25, 25-21, 25-15). The win secured Central’s first-ever trip to the CCC final.

Southington knocked off No. 16 Enfield (3-0), No. 8 Simsbury (3-1), No. 4 Farmington (3-0) and Central to win the championship.

In the championship match, Central lost the first set, but caught up to Southington in the second set, 11-11, on blocks by Alex Rivera and Ella Pratt. When Emily Fontaine’s serve skidded off the top of the net and fell over for an ace, the Rams had a 12-11 lead. The Blue Knights stole the momentum back and led, 23-18, before a Fontaine block got the Rams to within 23-19. That was as close as Central got in the second set, and Southington went on to take the third set and sweep the match.

Of note, Rivera passed the 2,000 career assist mark during the tournament. Rivera, Grace Higgins, Lily Kirk and Daigelis Figueroa were named to the All-CCC South squad.