Yet there's no denying the New Milford High School volleyball team has been a joy to watch this autumn.

Coach Lisa Stein's Green Wave aimed high this season with its impressive array of talent and experience and, heading into this week's action, still harbored lofty goals in the South-West Conference and the state tournament.

The NMHS girls ripped past visiting Pomperaug on Oct. 19 (see photos) and proceeded to finish its regular season with a 16-2 overall ledger, the program's best since the halcyon Western Connecticut Conference title days of the 1980s

The Green Wave logged a 14-2 record in the SWC to earn a third seed for this week's league playoffs.

"As we head into the post-season," coach Stein reported, "we really need to work on making smart decisions. We can't have strings of bad plays where we have to come back being down points."

The girls haven't experienced that many "strings of bad plays" this season, as their record would reflect, but playing only top teams in post-season ups the ante immeasurably.

"The best way to do that is to control the pace of the game from the start," she added. "We can't wait for them to make the errors... we need to come out and go for it right away."

Coach Stein also stresses the big picture, appreciating how far Green Wave volleyball has come in several years to become an SWC power.

"We talk about [it] all the time... [it] keeps us motivated how far we've come," she remarked. "And it's not just how far we've come in the season but New Milford volleyball as a whole."

"The talk amongst everyone is how exciting it is to watch us," said the third-year coach with pride. "The fact that people get so involved and enjoy every minute of our games is just awesome."

The Green Wave players have very much enjoyed the ascendance, too.

"It's very motivating because all of the players know that they have been a part of something really great," concluded coach Stein. "They only want to make it better by succeeding more and more. I can't think of anything more motivating than that."


The third-seeded Green Wave swept past sixth-seeded Weston in three games on Saturday in the SWC quarterfinals and was slated to duel second-seeded Joel Barlow on Tuesday at Pomperaug High in Southbury in the semifinals.

The SWC title match will be played Saturday at Pomperaug.

Coach Stein and Co. will then turn their attention to the state class 'L' tournament,

for which it'll learn its seeding and draw today (Friday).