Wyvern Nation Sports Wraps - November 11, 2021

Cross Country
The Middle School Cross Country team traveled to the Hamden Hall Invitational on Oct. 27. This was the team’s first invitational with electronic timing and boys and girls races run separately because of the large number of runners. Very exciting for the team! Sophia Lazor ’27 was the only runner that placed (4th for girls), though KO did not have enough girls running to place as a team. Gordon Beck ’27 was our top place finisher for the boys in 13th place. The boys as a team placed 5th. While it was a bit disappointing for them in terms of place, they were proud of their individual times. And Leilani Moyano ’26 had her first race this season and impressively worked through an injury to finish the race.
 
The Middle School Cross Country team hosted a home meet at the reservoir against Independent Day School, St. Timothy’s Middle School, and Rumsey Hall on Nov. 3. It was a beautiful day with perfect conditions for the two-mile course through the woods at the West Hartford Reservoir with 75 runners total. The KO girls placed second overall as a team, and the boys placed third; their best race of the season! Sophia Lazor '27 and Anya Dausey '28 placed in the top 10, and Leo Kollen '26 was the top boy finisher for KO in 15th place out of 40. Betsy Mandell '26 and Natay Belachew '27 had a great first race of the season after recovering from injuries. It has been a solid season with good progress from all members of the team. Go Wyverns!

ESports
The League of Legends team played Peters Township HS, WV and came away with a 2-0 win. The KO League of Legends team was slightly modified this week with the substitution of Rocket Leaguer and captain Will Jacobs '23 joining Mason Goldschlager '22, Johnny Kung '23, Ben Baby '22, and Eason Tang '25 as the new support player in the bottom lane. The first game went quickly, with the Wyverns taking a faster loss than they anticipated. An unavoidable departure in game 2 meant KO went in at 4v5, a sizeable disadvantage. Despite this, though, the team put in a good effort in trying to solo each of the game's spaces, but they soon dropped game 2 though. When the match ended at 0-2 for the Wyverns, they packed up and went home.
Except, it wasn't over! In the time between reporting the match results and checking standings later in the evening, it was discovered that the team from Peters Township had cheated, with an unknown, unregistered player having played in the match for them. As a result of this violation, the league, PlayVS, overturned the match results and gave KO an unexpected - but not unwelcome - win! The Wyverns now stand as #21 out of 109 teams in the Eastern Regional League, with a 7-3 record.

 
The ESports Splatoon 2 team played Grovetown HS, GA and came away with a 0-5 loss on Nov. 2. The week after their big 5-0 sweep, the KO Splatoon 2 squad of Esther Arimoro '24, Alexa Prahl '24, Ella Chen '25, and Ray Chen '25 weren't able to repeat their performance in the opening week of Block 3 against Georgia's Grovetown High School. With a possible playoff berth on the horizon, the Wyvern Inklings played well together and put their recent experience to use, but it wasn't enough to counter the Grovetown anchor - an all-star, level 72 player with hundreds of hours of practice - in the game. Despite the loss, KO was very close to a 3-2 split. In the Game 1 Turf War there was less than a 5% difference in map coverage between the two, and in the Game 4 Tower Control matchup, the Wyverns were able to take the tower just shy of the penultimate checkpoint before being overwhelmed on all sides and losing the match. Playoff hopes are still on the table, but the Wyverns will need to put in strong efforts in each of the final two weeks. 

The ESports Rocket League team played The Pennington School, NJ and came away with a 3-0 win. Once is a fluke but twice is a trend, and this week, things were trending in the Wyverns' favor. At a strong 3-1 (10-5 overall) and placed in the top 25 out of 147 teams in the Eastern Regional League, the KO Rocket Leaguers (Cole Ellis '23, Will Jacobs '23, and Kodi Ezegbo '23 knew each successive victory would bring them head to head with stronger competition in the hybrid Swiss schedule. The team knew the match against The Pennington School would be a close one, as Pennington sits just behind KO in the rankings. What the team wasn't prepared for, however, were two players on the opposing team who were able to string together next-level passes and plays to leave the Wyverns - who lost 0-3 - behind. Despite the score, our drivers fought hard and kept each game close, avoiding blowouts. Frustrated, KO ended the match and set their sights on immediately scrimmaging intra-squad to practice as a team. But, once again, it wasn't over. On match review, Mr. Brodeur, the KO Esports coach, noticed that the registered roster for The Pennington School didn't match the roster of players who had actually played in the game. Only one of the three registered players competed against the Wyverns. Neither of the two players who had been putting together advanced passing and shooting combos were registered to play for Pennington in PlayVS, and Mr. Brodeur both reached out to the Pennington coach and initiated a formal dispute of match results with PlayVS. By the end of the night, and for the second time in one week, PlayVS determined that the two ringer players were not part of the Pennington team, and that due to an attempt to cheat, the Pennington win was invalidated. Again unexpected, but not unwelcome, the Wyvern Rocket Leaguers picked up a 3-0, moving to 4-1 (13-5 overall), and #11 in the rankings.

The KO Splatoon 2 team played against Urban Assembly Charter School for CS, NYC and came away with a 5-0 win. Despite the best efforts of the team to get ready for the Tuesday match against Urban Assembly Charter School for Computer Science (NYC), the match ended up canceled. The UACS players had an unexpected equipment issue, and had to forfeit the match, giving the KO Splatoon 2 team of Esther Arimoro '24, Alexa Prahl '24, Ella Chen '25, and Ray Chen '25 a third victory and a .500 record on the season. 

The KO League of Legends team played Hall HS, CT and came away with a 0-2 loss. The crew of Mason Goldschlager '22, Johnny Kung '23, Michael He '23, Ben Baby '22, and Eason Tang '25 were eager to take on a strong and veteran Hall High School team this past Tuesday afternoon. The Wyverns started out game 1 staying neck and neck with the Warriors, but by the midpoint in the match they found themselves being out-earned and on the losing side of multiple team fights, taking the loss. Game 2 went much the same, with Hall coming on strong just before the midgame to take multiple towers and put the Wyverns on their heels. KO lost, 0-2, and has taken their need for tower control into practice matches as they and their 7-5 record fight to keep their playoff spot headed into the last week of the regular season. 


Field Hockey
The Varsity Field Hockey team lost 0-2 against Frederick Gunn on Nov. 3. Frederick Gunn scored early in the first half and scored another late goal in the second half defeating KO 2-0. However, the score does not reflect how the girls played. The Wyverns were able to compete with great passing and turnovers. Abby McLaughlin ‘22 earned the game ball for her hustle on offense and strong defensive skills knocking away many balls entering the circle. 
 
The Varsity Field Hockey team lost 1-3 against Greens Farms on Nov. 6. KO played an exciting game against Greens Farms on their Senior Day. All the Seniors started on the field and showed great leadership and work ethic throughout the game. It is incredible to see how much the team has grown and improved this season. Greens Farms scored two goals in the first half. Arie Lang ‘22 answered back with a strong goal off a corner. Alyssa Pavano ‘22 earned the game ball appropriately on Senior Day for her leadership and pride on game day. 

The Middle School Field Hockey team capped off their season at home with a win against Hamden Hall 2-0 on Nov. 10. The KO team dominated from the first whistle pressing Hamden Hall into their own defensive circle. After several missed opportunities, Brigette Russell '26 intercepted a pass from a Hamden Hall defender and took it straight into the circle to score for KO. The team headed into halftime with a 1-0 lead. Determined to continue with the offensive push, the Wyverns came into the second half with the same intensity offensively. Abigail Wildstein '26 found a breakaway late in the second half to bring the score 2-0. Vivianne Beaule '26 had several nice shots on goal which led to corners and Taylor Benavides '27 was productive with her shots on penalty corners. Jane Morris '26 had 2 saves on the day and got her 4th shutout of the season. The Wyverns had a tough road to begin the season in their first 2 games going 0-2, only to respond with 4 straight wins, and no goals scored against them! A wonderful group of young players that have such perseverance and grit, and most importantly know how to have fun as a team!  Go KOFH!

The JV Boys' Soccer team played their last game of the season on Nov. 10 against Williston Northampton School and came up short, losing 2-3. Despite playing a much bigger and more experienced team, our boys fought hard and played a well-executed game plan, pressing aggressively the opponent’s defense. On one of those plays, Leo Sussman '25 forced a turnover and passed the ball to Jack Neikrie '25 who was tripped in the box.  On an awarded penalty, senior Charlie Liu '22 calmly put KO ahead 1:0.  After the visiting team tied a game on a rebound, Alex Levin '26 put KO ahead again after being fouled in the penalty area and converting on another penalty kick.  In the second half, Williston Northampton started to dictate the game and threatened numerous times to tie the game, only to be denied by our goalie’s Mac Louis '23 acrobatic saves. Unfortunately, he could not stop two shots caused by our defensive lapses.  Despite the loss, the team should be proud of such a valiant effort against a formidable opponent!  The team’s overall record for the season was 5 (W) - 4 (L) - 1 (T). Congratulations, boys on a great season!

Volleyball
It was a special game night on Nov. 3 for the Varsity Volleyball team, with neighbors the Loomis Chaffee Pelicans on the other side of the court for the team’s Dig Pink game to raise awareness for breast cancer and to honor those who have suffered from breast cancer. The Wyverns knew that this would be a difficult match against the strongest team in the league, so they brought their “A” game to put up a spectacular fight (25-21, 13-25, 16-25, 23-25) but came away with a 1-3 loss. The first set was a battle on both sides. The opponent’s strong, variable hitting forced KO to start with a foundation of strong defense. Allie Arcaro ‘24 and co-captain Keira Sullivan ‘23 produced some unfathomable digs to keep the team afloat in the early points, and Kata Mesterhazy ‘23 and Jill Plaut ‘23 were vigilant at the net, pulling off crucial blocks of the opponent’s outside hitting. This solid defense allowed the team to move forward on offense. Lindsay Bailey ‘22 and Arcaro did a fantastic job with their serving in high-pressure points, finding spots that hindered the opponent’s development of offensive plays. Bailey’s clutch serving brought KO from a tied up scoreboard to being a single point away from taking the set. At the net, Ava Cashman ‘24 found effective ways to hit through the block from the outside. Also on the outside, Sullivan used powerful hitting to keep the opponent on their toes, which ended up being the decisive factor in many of the close points. Taking the first set 25-21 against such a talented opponent was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the season! In the second set, Loomis came back with a vengeance and forced the Wyverns to regroup. Bailey continued the team’s solid defensive efforts with momentous blocking against outside hits from the opponent. Plaut and Naomi Wong ‘22 helped lead some offensive pivots from the right side with well-placed hitting deep into the back of the court. Mesterhazy went on the offensive for key netballs by tipping at important moments. With all of these efforts, the Wyverns were met with a strong response from the opponent, losing the set and tying up the match. In the third set, the pressure remained on the Wyverns to respond, and despite losing the set there was a clear change in momentum for the team. Cashman supplemented her outside hitting with tipping to force the opponent to adjust. Bailey had an impressive run of smashed hits from the middle, as well. On the right side, Quin Kearney ‘23 was thinking on her feet to combine adaptive passing with hitting from the right side. The team mounted a comeback thanks to pinpoint serving from Arcaro and Sullivan, but Loomis eventually took the third set. In the fourth and final set, The Wyverns showed great resilience and brought the fight to the opponent for a nail-biting conclusion to the match. Sullivan produced clutch hitting to all areas of the court, which was backed up by Plaut’s clever attacks from the right side (including a surprise 1-2 punch hit off of the initial pass). Bailey was ready to put away any ball in the middle, and Caruso used accurate, consistent serving to bring KO back from a deficit in the middle of the set. Though it didn’t end up favoring KO, it was a fantastic match for the Wyverns that they can be proud of! To pull off that kind of performance in front of a home crowd and on a meaningful night like Dig Pink was even more special. 
 
The Varsity Volleyball team was ready to dig into their last away game of the regular season when they took on the Berkshire Bears and won 3-0 in hard-fought straight sets (27-25, 25-22, 25-13) on Nov. 6. The first set was back-and-forth for most of the points, with the Wyverns taking a while to settle into the set. Naomi Wong ‘22 helped the team get started on offense with solid hitting and followed up her attacks with great court coverage on defense. Kata Mesterhazy ‘23 had an early block in the middle that got the team going on defense. After KO fell behind in the middle of the set, effective pressure serving from Jill Plaut ‘23 and Ava Cashman ‘24 ensured a KO comeback, and Lindsay Bailey ‘22 was ready to rack up the points in the middle at the net, alternating between hitting and tipping to the sides. The show-stopping moment of the set was when Allie Arcaro ‘24 made a diving, one-handed pass to save the set. Her unbelievable effort allowed the Wyverns to claw back and take the set in extra points! In the second set, KO continued to deal with varied and adaptive hitting from the opponent, but the team held strong and pushed through another close set. Wong and Bailey were powerful offensive forces at the net, which kept the pressure on Berkshire to come up with strong plays to stay in the points. Co-captain Keira Sullivan ‘23 found her stride on the outside to secure several kills for KO, many of which she initiated with controlled passing on serve receive. In the third set, the team’s momentum continued. Sullivan gave the Wyverns a healthy lead with effective serving, and on defense, Jillian Alexander ‘24 energized the rest of the team with her drive to produce clean passes out of the most difficult situations. Avi Lohr ‘24 ramped up the team’s offense with strong hitting from the right side that earned her a spectacular kill and other tide-turning moments in key points. Cashman followed suit on the outside with ungettable cross-court hits for several kills of her own. In the end, the team converted points at the crucial moments of the match, delivering on the mental fortitude that they’ve spent so much of the season building.
 
The Middle School Volleyball team won against Hopkins on Nov. 3. (Set 1: 18 - 25 (Hopkins), Set 2: 26 - 24 (KO), Set 3: 16 - 25 (Hopkins), Set 4: 25-17 (KO), Set 5: 15 - 11 (KO). What a game! Ellie Gardner ‘26 scored an impressive 44 points just off of her serves alone. In the first set, she scored 12 points in a row and only missed one serve in the entire game. Annie O'Connor ‘27 saved two balls that were tipped over by Hopkins and successfully set them to another player to score two points for KO. Aliza Rashid ‘27 and Lia Prahl ‘26 were fearless in diving for the ball and trying to dig it out following some strong overhand serves from Hopkins. Ava Bonsignore ‘26 scored the game-winning point on her serve, continuing the middle school volleyball team's undefeated streak this season.
 
The JV Volleyball team ended its season strong on Wednesday against Cheshire Academy, winning in straight sets and finishing 2021 with a 12-1 record. Sophie Glazier ’23’s and Abby Baier ’23’s outstanding serving helped anchor the team offensively, while Cici Freeman ‘24 helped with quick defensive plays. Els Morris ‘25 and Diya Mistri ‘24 played wonderfully in unfamiliar positions due to an injury, while Charlotte Eberle ‘23 showed off her development with solid play on the front line. Jhanvi Daddala ‘23 also displayed her impressive development as a player this season with a series of smart decisions on the front line. This victory was bittersweet for the team, as it marks the end of the season, but what a season it was! Coach Quinn and Coach Cassidy could not have hoped for a more diligent and positive group of players. 
Back
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.
Copyright 2018. Kingswood Oxford.