2023 FCIAC boys volleyball highlights: Darien’s dynasty continues

There was a fourth consecutive FCIAC championship, a third straight state Class L title, and a third straight undefeated season for this current dynasty that is the Darien High School boys’ volleyball program.

The exploits of the 2023 Blue Wave highlighted the FCIAC boys’ volleyball season, which included a successful season by a very strong Trumbull team which gave the Darien quite the upset scare in the state championship match.

Coach Laurie LaRusso’s Blue Wave boys extended their three-year winning streak to 76 when they culminated their 26-0 season with a 3-2 victory over Trumbull on June 8 in the championship match of the 2023 Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Class L Boys Volleyball Tournament.

That match was a re-match of the FCIAC championship match in late May which Darien won, 3-0, by the scores of 25-14, 25-18, 25-15.

The Blue Wave had lost just one set during the regular season and none in the postseason going into that Class L state championship match.

Darien advanced to the FCIAC tournament final with a quarterfinal victory over Warde/Ludlowe and a semifinal victory over Westhill. Trumbull also advanced to the conference tourney final with a pair of 3-0 victories – in the quarterfinals over Greenwich and semifinals against Ridgefield.

Trumbull won the first set of the state championship match, and then the Eagles won the third set to take a 2-1 lead before the Blue Wave rallied back for its 3-2 victory by the scores of 21-25, 25-19, 28-30, 25-21, 15-12.

Trumbull finished with a 22-4 record and lost only to Darien, twice in the regular season and twice in the postseason.

That 26th victory was a perfect way to end the fabulous three-year career of Trevor Herget, Darien’s 6-foot-3 outside hitter. Herget, who has committed to Brigham Young’s men’s volleyball team, had 412 kills in 673 attempts during his senior year for a 61.2 kill percentage in the statistics updated June 9 on the maxpreps website. He amassed an astounding 1,264 kills in his career.

Herget, who did not play as a freshman because all spring sports were canceled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, was selected to the All-FCIAC Boys Volleyball First Team all three years since his sophomore year in 2021.

Trumbull’s Eagles were also led by a superb senior star, Brennan Cutter, who racked up 463 kills in 831 attempts for a kill percentage of 55.7 this year.

Cutter and Fairfield Ludlowe’s Kristap Priede joined Herget as the three repeat selections from last year on the All-FCIAC First Team.

Ridgefield’s Matthew Konopka, Warde’s Mitch Petrecca, and Westhill’s Matthew Skiendziel also concluded very good two-year runs this past spring by elevating themselves to All-FCIAC First Team after having made All-FCIAC Second Team last year.

Nic Limone of New Canaan and Trumbull’s Kieran O’Sullivan were also on this year’s eight-player All-FCIAC First Team.

The eight players selected to this year’s All-FCIAC Second Team were Denis Barahona and Jostin Barahona of Westhill, Griffith Crouse and Isaac McMullin of Darien, Trumbull’s Matt Cherfane, New Canaan’s Connor O’Donnell, Ludlowe’s Giuliano Paoletta, and Ridgefield’s Ian Swiatowicz.

Herget, Crouse, and Cutter were selected to the 2023 Connecticut High School Coaches Association All-State Boys Volleyball First Team. O’Sullivan and Skiendziel made the CHSCA All-State Second Team.

NOTES: It was back on June 6, 2019, when Darien lost its last match. In a see-saw thriller of a state Class L championship match, Staples defended its state title with a 3-2 victory (25-16, 26-24, 22-25, 20-25, 15-13) which avenged the Wreckers’ loss to Darien in the 2019 FCIAC Boys Volleyball Tournament championship match….  LaRusso, who usually prefers to defer credit to her players, no matter the season or the year, also guided her girls’ volleyball team to FCIAC and state championships this past fall.

Leave a Comment