MERIDEN — There is serving, and then there is SERVING.
The Platt volleyball team engaged in a heaping helping of the latter in sweeping New London in the opening round of the CIAC Class L tournament on Monday night.
Of Platt’s 75 points, 23 came on aces.
It added up to a 25-17, 25-9, 25-15 rout of the No. 20 Whalers that sends the No. 13 Panthers (13-7) into a second-round date with No. 4 Naugatuck (18-2) on Thursday.
“The girls came in prepared,” Platt coach Lou Gianacopolos said. “I will sit back a lot of times and see body language that doesn’t necessarily look great, but today it looked good. So I was very pleased.”
Also pleased with Monday’s first-round results were the area’s two Class LL qualifiers, Southington and Cheshire.
No. 23 Southington upended No. 10 Newington on the road 25-15, 22-25, 25-16 and 25-19, while the No. 9 Rams swept No. 24 Simsbury 25-15, 25-10 and 25-22 on their home court (see related story).
Southington got 10 kills from Rachel Possidento, nine from Veronika Gorski and seven from Brooke Cooney, who also served six aces.
Era Pasha’s 24 digs paced the defense. McKenzie Coppola got to 10 digs while dishing 32 assists. Bella Myrick was good for nine digs.
Now 10-10, the Blue Knights return to the road on Thursday to face No. 7 Fairfield Ludlowe (17-3) in the second round.
Maloney and Sheehan, meanwhile, were ousted on Monday. The Spartans, seeded No. 25 in Class L, were swept 25-12 , 25-19, 25-9 at No. 8 Woodstock. The Titans, No. 21 in Class M, fended off a sweep by No. 12 Weston before falling 25-14, 25-9, 24-26, 25-11.
Maloney finished its season at 9-12, Sheehan at 9-13.
In the Platt-New London match, the host Panthers were never in trouble. Platt bolted to a 20-9 advantage in Game 1 behind a pair of aces from Mylashia Armour and Victoria Talento.
Jazmir Hudson added a pair of aces in the opening set and finished with a match-high nine.
“It’s good to help to team the win,” Hudson said. “It feels pretty good.”
Hudson was red-hot in the second game, serving a 12-0 run as the Panthers went up 17-2 on New London (8-8). After smacking a collective seven aces in the opening set, Platt totaled nine in the second.
“We served very strong today,” Gianacopolos said. “We hit all of the spots that we were calling all evening long.
“Sometimes I would give them a spot to a better passer just to get the ball back to see how we would react,” the coach added. “Going into the next round we are going to be facing Naugatuck. Out of the top teams, it is a really good opportunity for us. I’m looking forward to it.”
Caitlyn Hart was the unlikely leader in kills from the setter position. The senior collected eight, most of them well-placed push kills.
Hart also had 17 assists and four aces.
“This game was important to me as a senior,” Caitlyn Hart said. “I wanted to win this game. I was talking to the girls at breakfast and I said we have to win this game.”
Aaliyah Burnley chipped in six kills and Hudson added five. Emily Hart had a team-high 11 digs.