On November 1st, the Woodland Junior-Varsity volleyball team traveled to Naugatuck for the annual JV tournament, determined to bring home another trophy. This is not an easy feat, yet it is one that Christopher Tomlin, JV coach, has accomplished many times over.
“We work all season perfecting our skill sets, perfecting the systems that we are running,” stated Tomlin. “It is our opportunity to compete against some of the best teams in the NVL all at once in double elimination and see how we stack up as a program.”
During Tomlin’s time as JV coach he has led his team to first place seven times and second place twice.
“It’s something that I’m incredibly proud of that, as the fourth JV coach, we can continue that level of expectation and that level of success throughout the program,” said Tomlin.
As time went on, Tomlin discovered a way of maximizing his victories: sending two teams. For the past two years he has entered Woodland Black and Woodland Gold, with Jenna Broadbent, First Year Team Coach, leading one of the teams. This was a remarkable idea, as Woodland returned home last year with both a first and second place trophy.
This year, both the Woodland Gold and Black teams were up for a challenge. Thirteen teams, ten schools, three courts, double elimination, and only one winner.
Woodland Black led by Tomlin started out strong with wins against Wolcott White (Wolcott also sent two teams), Oxford, and Torrington.
Woodland Gold, led by Broadbent, also started out strong with a forfeited win against Sacred Heart and wins against Naugatuck Garnet (Naugatuck also sent two teams), and Kennedy.
At 6:45 the most anticipated match for Woodland came–Black vs Gold. After a neck and neck match Woodland Black won. Woodland Gold on the other hand, was off to play Kennedy again, but this time in the loser’s bracket. Gold was overcome by Kennedy and took away an un-written third place.
“This is the third time that I’m aware of where two of our teams have placed. Black took first place, Gold took third place,” stated Tomlin. “It would have been nice if we’d been able to repeat last year’s Black versus Gold for first and second place.”
At 7:45 it was time for the finals. Woodland Black vs Kennedy for the big trophy. Kennedy took an early lead and won the set. Luckily for Woodland, the double elimination tournament meant that there was one more set and a fight to win. After a back and forth match, Woodland black took the win and with that, the big trophy.