Moments after the Darien High boys volleyball team stormed the Xavier High basketball court and lifted the Class L state championship trophy, Enfield junior Ery Chavez could only smile.
“Honestly, it’s not even a big deal,” Chavez said. “I’m so proud of the guys. We had a 19-2 season. I’m so proud of playing with every single one of them. They’re my best friends. Second place is awesome, we made it this far. I just can’t be more proud of this team, either way.”
Top seed Darien topped Enfield 3-1 in the Class L championship. After the Eagles won the first set, 25-18, the Blue Wave — state champs in 2017 as well — won three straight, 25-17, 25-22 and 25-16 to win their fourth overall title. Second-seeded Enfield, playing in its fourth state championship game, did not break through and win its first title. But the Eagles had pride.
“To get to where we are, it just tells us what kind of guys they are,” Enfield coach Judy Joslin said. “They just worked so hard, I’m really proud of them.”
The Eagles went 15-1 in a regular season marred by COVID-19 shutdowns, in which they were quarantined for four total weeks. They played six games in eight days, from May 14-21, and lost just once in that span.
“We didn’t let up,” said Enfield junior Drew Rancourt. “I love this sport, we all love this sport ... quarantine only stopped us, but it made us stronger, it made us want more.”
Rancourt had 12 kills and four digs for Enfield, while Chavez had 12 digs. Senior Tyler Simmons led the Eagles with 12 kills and six digs, while classmate Alvey Blier had 33 assists and 10 digs.
“We’ve been playing five to six days a week,” Joslin said. “I have three brand new kids on the varsity team who have never played volleyball before. Our setter is a first-year setter, and how far we’ve come is just amazing, especially with the lack of practices that we had.”
Shawn McFarland can be reached at email@example.com.