Wyvern Nation Sports Wraps - October 28, 2021

Cross Country
The Middle School Cross Country team competed against Renbrook on Oct. 22 for their Hewett Day competition. Coach Repp said, “What a great Hewett Day race! It was a perfect temperature for running and the course was flat and smooth. We much appreciated all of the help from the Upper School boys and girls Cross Country Team. We couldn't have had the race without them!” Although the team lost to Renbrook, the score was very close and KO had Drew Dargati '26 and Sophia Lazor '27 across the finish line. KO had a number of first-time runners, who did a great job: Madison Brilliant '28, Nolan Pendergast '26, Jude Pendergast '28, Aureliano Applebee '26,  Ava Marseglia '26, and Ted O'Connor '26. In addition, Leo Kollen '26, Anya Daucey '28, and Sam Lewis '26 were in the top ten finishers. Go Wyverns!

The Varsity Boys’ Cross Country team hosted the runners from Wilbraham and Monson on Oct. 23 for the annual Hewett Day homecoming race. The race was held at the Farmington reservoir under partly cloudy conditions with the temperature in the 60s. Based upon the information collected from invitational meets held earlier in the season, KO knew this would be a close race. KO also celebrated senior day, highlighting the accomplishments of four runners who have been on the team since their third form year: Captain Sam Merkatz ‘22, Eli Johansen ‘22, Manager Aakash Gunturu ‘22, and Justin Rios ‘22. The team was motivated to notch the first win in a dual meet for the season. With good effort, the KO boys defeated the runners from Wilbraham and Monson by one point (27 to 28). First for the boys was Merkatz, who placed second overall with a time of 19:11 (a season-best performance). He was followed by Carson Zielinski ‘24 and Captain Sam Bromberg ‘23. Johansen had one of his best season races, coming in fourth for the team. Zielinski, Bromberg, and Johansen placed fourth, fifthth, and sixth in a pack to help bring the score in our favor. Rounding out the top seven were Sam Auclair ‘25, and Ted Simons ‘24, and Tommy Vumback ‘24. Auclair has an exciting finish, racing two runners from WM to the line. It was a courageous sprint, even though the surge left him one second behind the other two. Also having good season performances were Bassil Chugtai ‘24 and Charlie Simons ‘24 (the other half of the twin duo) and Ryan Zheng ‘24. Season-best performances were also turned in by Cameron Hart ‘25 and Sruthan Tokala ‘25. They, along with the other Form 4 runners on the team, represent a strong future for KO cross country. Rios also turned in one of his best times of the season. He has been a good senior leader on the team.

ESports
The ESports Rocket League team lost 1-3 against Scotch Plains-Fanwood HS on Oct. 26. Coming into Week 3 against a slew of undefeated teams, the KO Rocket Leaguers prepared themselves for a push towards a 3-0 start to the season. The all-Form 5 trio, led by team captain Will Jacobs '23 and rounded out by fellow juniors Kodi Ezegbo '23 and Cole Ellis '23, hit the field for what looked to be a tough match. The SPFHS team showed their stuff early, with back-and-forth play marking a Game 1 victory in the Wyverns' favor. That early 1-0 set lead wouldn't last, however, as KO's drivers found themselves playing catch-up through tough losses in Games 2, 3, and 4. Although they dropped the middle games and the match, each game was a tense five minutes, with goals being traded back and forth and SPFHS only coming out on top at the end. Although disappointed to pick up their first loss of the season, the Wyverns were able to take some pressure off themselves and look at specifics in their gameplay to practice moving forward.

Field Hockey
The Varsity Field Hockey team lost to Westminster 0-6 on Oct. 23. The Wyverns came out really strong on Hewett Day, facing an undefeated rival, Westminster. The Wyverns worked hard to find opportunities, but couldn't get past Westy's strong defense, losing 0-6. Chelsea O'Donnell ‘24, earned the game ball for her outstanding defensive block tackles, stepping to the ball and applying pressure in the KO defensive circle.  Coach Yates said, “ I am proud of our entire program for bringing energy, support, and pride on and off the field to Hewett Day.”
 
The Varsity Field Hockey team lost to Choate 4-3 on Oct. 20. There were many goals scored back and forth. Choate scored two goals early in the first quarter. KOFH answered back with a quick goal scored by Abby McLaughlin ‘22. Unfortunately, Choate scored on a stroke from an unlucky call by the refs. Arie Lang ‘22 found the back of the net on a strong corner, and Alyssa Pavano ‘22 contributed to another great goal. However, Choate was able to take the lead, winning 4-3. McLaughlin earned the game ball for her work ethic for the entirety of the game. 
 
The Middle School Field Hockey team won against the Renbrook Hawks on October 22. The teams competed on the Hoffman turf in front of a crowd of spectators from both KO and Renbrook. The excitement was palpable! KO came out very offensively and quickly gained a 1-0 lead when Adrianna Cicchielo ‘27 crossed the ball to Brigette Russell ‘26 to put it into the net. KO quickly tallied another when Taylor Benavides ‘27 passed to Cicchielo. KO rallied to keep the ball to the sides and to pass sooner, all of which proved to be successful as the team scored the third goal on an unassisted shot by Russell to head into halftime leading 3-0. Renbrook headed into the second half with a game plan and put much more pressure on KO offensively.  Jane Morris ‘26 had several saves and the defense held strong led by a Lily Margolis ‘26. KO’s midfield kept the team’s lead by transitioning the ball effectively. Sierra Wells ‘27 and Linnea Knox ‘27 were tremendous in their transition play. Abigail Wildstein ‘26, Lila Wedeles '26, and Lucy Polk ‘28 completed several complete passes which initiated KO's offensive attacks! Holding strong all second half Morris got her second shut out and the team rallied a 3-0 win. 

Soccer
The Varsity Girls’ Soccer team played Choate on Oct. 20 and came away with a 1-5 loss. The girls’ fought hard and did not back down and held Choate scoreless in the second half.  A highlight was Georgia Louis ‘24 converting a penalty kick in the first half as well as some strong saves by both goalkeepers Kyra Dunnirvine ‘23 and Addisen Nicholson ‘25.
 
The Varsity Girls’ Soccer team lost to Westminster on Oct. 23, Hewett Day, with a score of 0-7. 
The girls were very excited to host and take part in the 69th Hewiet Day of Kingswood Oxford. While the outcome did not go in favor of the Wyverns, the girls’ played competitively for 80 minutes and walked away knowing they played their hardest and tried their best.  

The JV Boys’ Soccer team came away with a Hewett Day win on Oct. 23 against Marianapolis Prep with a score of 2-1. The boys started off strong playing a calm, composed possession game and creating numerous chances. On one of those chances, Jackson Balog ‘25 finally found the net with an accurate shot from the right. In the second half, the boys continued to pass well and created more chances, but their shots either missed the target or were saved. Then, with only six minutes left, the visiting team capitalized on the KO defensive mistake and scored an easy goal tying the game. Just when it looked as if the game was going to end with a disappointing tie, Aidan Ladewig ‘23 scored both the winning goal and the goal of the season: He bent a 25-yard free-kick over the goalie's head with the ball touching both the crossbar and the left post before ending up in the net!  
 
The Middle School B Soccer team lost 2-6 against Renbrook on Oct. 22. With music, lots of fans watching, and a great atmosphere, the B Soccer Team enjoyed their Hewett Day Game against Renbrook.  Even though the score was not in KO's favor, the team worked hard, learned how to play a faster-paced soccer game, and improved in both offense and defense. Ryder Stuvland ‘26 was injured in the first few minutes of the game, however, the offensive line regrouped and found the net twice. The first goal was scored by Henry Jacobs ‘27 assisted by Isabela Tippner ‘28 and Noa Taback ‘28. The second goal was a team effort by Kai Scranton ‘28 and Aaron Anstead ‘28, who worked hard together to place the ball in the back of the net. Noah Sadowsky '28 and Cole Gallagher ‘28 added to our strong offensive line with many runs on the Renbrook net. The four goalies, Kai Scranton ‘28, Duncan Burd ‘27, Connor Hudkins ‘28, and Jackson Ramsey ‘28 made some excellent saves in the net, each contributing in their own way to keep the score low.  Defensively Marco Ramirez ‘27, Aayan Anwar ‘27, Jacob Boghosian ‘27, Isa Rashid ‘27, Riley Mapp ‘27, Beckett Santopietro ‘28, Ansh Buduguru ‘28, and Eben Bauman ‘26 tackled well and stopped many Renbrook attacks. The midfielders, Dylan Albert ‘28, Saaya Maru ‘27, Ben Friedman ‘28, and Jason Chen ‘27 fought hard against the strong Renbrook midfield. The coaches said that they are proud and lucky to have coached this B team group of athletes, as it is clear that they love the game of soccer, are willing to work hard, and are eager to better their skills and knowledge of the game. They also thanked the Athletics Department and for putting on an exciting weekend. It was a fun way to end the season.  

Volleyball
The Varsity Girls’ Volleyball team lost 1-3 against Worcester Academy on Oct. 20. It was a hard-fought battle that resulted in a tough 1-3 loss for the Wyverns (23-25, 21-25, 25-23, 17-25). In each set, the teams were neck and neck until the final moments. The first set began with some great blocking by Kata Mesterhazy ‘23 in the middle to shut down Worcester’s relentless outside hitting, and co-captain Keira Sullivan ‘23 led the Wyvern offense with well-placed, challenging attacks from the outside. Co-captain Mackenzie Caruso ‘22 showed how it was done on the service line and stayed consistent on a day when the team was having trouble finding confidence in their serves. Quin Kearney ‘23 helped the offense stay level with Worcester by demonstrating her adaptability and creative attacks on the right side. In the second set, back-and-forth scoring continued between the teams with longer points testing each team’s mettle. Lindsay Bailey ‘22 raised the Wyverns’ confidence at the net with timely tips and pushes that kept the opponent guessing, and Jill Plaut ‘23 laid the foundation for the offense with clean setting to all offensive positions for greater variety. Allie Arcaro ‘24 made some miraculous digs and saves towards the end of the set that kept KO energized and ready for the third set. In the third set, the Wyverns were ready to leave their mark on the match, producing an unstoppable offense at the opening of the set. Ava Cashman ‘24 held nothing back with six serves in a row to start KO off, and she followed up her serving with high passing and clever attacks from the outside. Mesterhazy and Bailey were eager to make quick put-aways at the net, and Arcaro and Caruso were ready to keep even the most challenging balls in play on defense. The team’s momentum was palpable, and it was an excellent display of resilience from the Wyverns. In the fourth set, KO kept up an impressive battle with the opponent, only faltering in a few key moments that gave Worcester the opportunity to clinch the set and the match. As always, the Wyverns will use this challenging match as a learning opportunity to come back stronger next time.

The JV Volleyball team advanced to 9-0 on Oct. 23, Hewett Day, against a talented and well-coached Kent School squad. It was a thrilling game, going to a full five sets (25-22; 21-25; 26-28; 25-23; 15-3), but JV pulled off the win in what will go down as the most memorable contest of the year so far. Every single player on the roster contributed, from those on the court to those on the sideline. Captain Eve Repp ‘23 won a joust in Set 1, helping JV carry the set, while Captain Lucia Martinez-Castro ‘23 played outstanding offense and defense throughout the game, putting up three points through serving in Set 3. Sophia Brunalli ‘23 broke a long volley with a great hit in Set 3, while Jhanvi Daddala '23 had a clutch tip in that set to keep JV in the game. Cici Freeman ‘24 adjusted very well defensively to Kent’s shovel-style offense. Sophie Glazier ’23 was outstanding in her serving, putting up nine points in Set 2. Alex Segal ‘25 serving in Set 4 and Set 5 was better than any other game this year, period. In the huddle, Charlotte Eberle ‘23 kept the team’s energy and emotion up, while Diya Mistri ‘24, Lucy Ybarra ‘24, and Els Morris ‘25 cheered their teammates on loudly through every single set. The entire team gave everything it had to win this game, and it showed. 

The JV Volleyball team won its game on Wednesday at Worcester Academy (25-19; 25-14), advancing to 8-0 for the season. Worcester’s squad played unconventional volleyball, sending balls back in sudden, often unexpected ways, so JV had to step up its defensive effort. Captain Eve Repp ‘23 led that charge, with several outstanding plays on right court, while Alex Segal ‘25 played impressively on the front line, including beating a taller player in a joust. Speaking of the front line, Charlotte Eberle ‘23 and Els Morris ‘25 assisted both offensively and defensively, each scoring a point with some great frontline play. JV kept its cool and played in system, which is a testament to the team’s focus.  

The JV Volleyball team earned another victory on Wednesday (25-15; 25-23), this time over Suffield Academy, moving the team to 10-0 for the season so far. JV’s serve receive was particularly strong this game. Charlotte Eberle ‘23 had multiple kills from the front line, while Els Morris ‘25 pulled off a wise backward bump on the front to break a volley and put a point on the board. Diya Mistri ‘24 also continued to improve her play, with a clutch tip in the second set. Abby Baier ‘23 proved formidable defensively, especially in fielding corner balls. KO's serving was also on point, especially in the first set; Sophia Brunalli ‘23 and Alex Segal ‘25 both had solid performances as servers. 

The Varsity Volleyball team had a successful outing against the Kent School Lions with a 3-0 win and a three-set sweep (25-17, 25-12, 25-19) on Oct. 23 for their Hewett Day game. It was especially encouraging for the team to show their drive and consistency on Hewett Day, which was already bound to be a spirited occasion. In the first set, service runs from Lindsay Bailey ‘22, co-captain Mackenzie Caruso ‘22, and Allie Arcaro ‘24 ensured that once the Wyverns got the ball in their possession, they were ready to sprint into the lead. On offense, co-captain Keira Sullivan ‘23 began what would become a pattern of outside hitting calibrated to target the open spaces on the court (with some pretty unbelievable angles!). The Wyverns used aggressive offense to maintain the lead and take the first set. In the second set, a rough start for KO was reversed with momentous blocking from Kata Mesterhazy ‘23 and consistent serving from Jill Plaut ‘23 that brought the team even with the opponent after a trying start to the set. Ava Cashman ‘24 skyrocketed the team into an insurmountable lead with an impressive nine point service run that, combined with the team’s readiness to relentlessly defend every ball thrown at them, handed KO the set. In the third and final set, Sullivan continued to rack up points for the team on the outside, and Mesterhazy added to the offensive wave with her own hitting from the middle (including a spectacular deep ball that won set point for the Wyverns). Near the end of the set, Hailey Williams ‘23 had several well-struck outside hits that allowed the team to push ahead of the opponent and stay ahead for the rest of the set. On such a celebratory day like Hewett Day, it was a wonderful performance from the Wyverns on their home court in front of a supportive crowd. It doesn’t get any better!

The Varsity Girls’ Volleyball team took on the Suffield Tigers for the second time this season, this time away at Suffield on Oct. 27, and pulled off a spectacular 3-1 win (29-27, 21-25, 25-21, 25-22). After a highly competitive first meeting with Suffield, the Wyverns knew that they would have to maintain a high level of play throughout the match to succeed a second time, and that’s exactly what they did. The first set began with several long, competitive points that allowed each team to test the waters. It was back-and-forth scoring, with an impressive early block from Quin Kearney ‘23 and consistent setting from co-captain Mackenzie Caruso ‘22 until Suffield pulled ahead and KO needed a strong comeback. The Wyverns dug deep, and after several well-placed, intentional serves from co-captain Keira Sullivan ‘23 and some thoroughly struck hits from Ava Cashman ‘24 on the outside, the team navigated the pressure to even the score. As KO moved into extra points, Allie Arcaro ‘24 showed nerves of steel on the service line while KO was down set point, and the team was able to come together to claim the first set at 29-27. The mental fortitude shown in this set by all players, especially in front of an opposing team’s big home crowd, was a sight to see and helped the team move on confidently into the rest of the match. In the second set, both teams were making adjustments based on the first set, which led to exciting points that had players on both sides scrambling and adapting. The Wyverns had to battle to close a big lead by Suffield, and though KO came close, Suffield took the set with an elevation of their service game. The comeback in the second set reinvigorated the Wyvern offense, and they were ready for the third set. The third involved a demonstration of the variety and adaptability of KO’s offense, starting with Kata Mesterhazy ‘23 hitting and tipping from the middle to win some early points, and even pulling off a double block in a single point. Jill Plaut ‘23, when she wasn’t activating the offense as the setter, had great offensive approaches from the right side, which forced the opponent to spread their coverage thin. Lindsay Bailey ‘22 took charge at the net with alternating hits and tips that flew deep into the corners. It was another close-set, forcing KO to regain composure after some tough points, and we were able to get the job done. In the fourth and final set, the Wyverns kept the offensive train rolling and never settled into a predictable pattern for the opponent to respond to. Cashman made key adjustments of spin in her outside hitting and threw in some last-minute tips to throw off the opponent. Sullivan went all-out with her outside hitting and targeted key open areas on the right side of the court. On KO’s right side, Naomi Wong ‘22 forced the opponent to deal with deep topspin hits early on in the set. And in the middle, Bailey and Mesterhazy were ready to put away anything at the net. Until the very last point, the Wyverns played with the faith that their hard work in practice had prepared them for this match, and what a result! This was the team’s best display of consistency and mental fortitude yet, and it’s a great sign for the rest of the season!
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Located in West Hartford, CT just steps from Blue Back Square, Kingswood Oxford is a private school inspiring co-ed day students in grades 6-12 with a college preparatory curriculum. Empowered students become clear confident communicators, resourceful problem-solvers, and ethical leaders. KO: where unlimited potential meets endless opportunities.
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