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Home Care in Coventry, CT

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, sometimes they cannot live independently without someone by their side to provide care. Unfortunately, some older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live in the comforts or their home rather than in an assisted living community. Home care in Coventry, CT is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

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Home Care Coventry, CT

The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they age. We are proud to have helped tens of thousands of seniors to maintain a higher level of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home care services in Coventry, CT. Always Best Care is here to help.

How does In-home Senior Care in Coventry, CT work?

Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it's especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.

The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.

At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one ages, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 In-Home Care Coventry, CT

Types of In-home Care in Coventry, CT

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

 Elderly Care Coventry, CT

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes or Parkinson's or Alzheimer's.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming
 Senior Care Coventry, CT

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading

Respite Care Coventry, CT

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite activities and hobbies while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community Events and Social Outings
 Caregivers Coventry, CT

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy other activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress helps reduce the risks of caregiver burnout.

When it comes to non-medical home care, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible. If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

Benefits of Home Care in Coventry, CT

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Home Care Coventry, CT
  • Age in Place
    According to AARP, 9 out of 10 seniors prefer to age in place within the comfort of their own home. With in-home care, seniors have a way to stay at home, receive the care they need, and maintain a sense of independence, improving overall wellness.
  • Peace of Mind
    If you or a member of your family have assumed the role of caregiver for your senior loved one, you know how stressful the job can be. Between caregiver burnout and constant worry, being a family caregiver is hard. In-home care relieves your burden and gives you peace of mind knowing that your senior family member is in expert hands.
  • Socialization
    Unlike many senior care facilities where the staff and residents rotate frequently, seniors can foster new friendships and build bonds with their caregiver. Seniors who socialize on a regular basis are often happier, which fosters positivity and leads to increased wellbeing.
  • Personalized Care Plan
    No two seniors need the same kind of in-home care assistance. That is why each of our care plans are tailored to meet our client's individual needs. We offer plans that cover everything from light housekeeping to more involved duties like transportation to doctor's appointments. Our Care Coordinators will work closely with you to develop a personalized plan to ensure your senior's needs are exceeded.

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for clients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a unfamiliar assisted living community, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

 In-Home Care Coventry, CT

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

Comfort

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old. With the help of elderly care in Coventry, CT, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Healthy Living

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors. Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

Independence

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like an assisted living community. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

Cost and Convenience

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, can be less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

 Elderly Care Coventry, CT

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care in Coventry, CT gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

Affordable Care Plans

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

 Senior Care Coventry, CT

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

  • Veteran's Benefits: Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
  • Private Insurance: Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
  • Life Insurance: Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.

During your Care Plan consultation with Always Best Care, your Care Coordinator will speak with you about in-home care costs and what options there may be to help meet your budget needs.

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Coventry,CT understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

01

An assessment of your senior loved one

02

An in-depth discussion of the needs of your senior loved one to remain in their own home

03

Reviewing a detailed Care Plan that will meet your senior loved one's needs

Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

Latest News in Coventry, CT

Short band of storms spreads damage around northern Connecticut

HARTFORD, Conn. — A quick band of storms rolled through Connecticut on Friday afternoon, leaving lots of much-needed rain and damage from strong winds behind.A brief tornado storm warning was in effect in Hartford and Tolland counties for around 25 minutes during the afternoon, and most of the state was under a severe thunderstorm watch until 8 p.m. Friday.Stay up to date on the weather forecast with the ...

HARTFORD, Conn. — A quick band of storms rolled through Connecticut on Friday afternoon, leaving lots of much-needed rain and damage from strong winds behind.

A brief tornado storm warning was in effect in Hartford and Tolland counties for around 25 minutes during the afternoon, and most of the state was under a severe thunderstorm watch until 8 p.m. Friday.

Stay up to date on the weather forecast with the FOX61 Weather Watch Team.

Several downed trees have been discovered around parts of the state, including route 159 at River Road in Windsor Locks, where a tree is blocking the road.

Around 3:19 p.m. in East Windsor, a tree came down on someone's two-story home. The Red Cross is working to relocate the couple living in the house.

Trees and powerlines are down in other areas around East Windsor, according to the local fire marshal.

Route 39 in Sherman is also closed at Briarwood Drive because of a tree down in wires, according to the Connecticut Dept. of Transportation.

Earlier in the afternoon, hail dropped down in northern Connecticut.

Debbie from Windsor found some around 2:15 p.m. Friday.

Over in East Granby, lightning strikes could be seen approaching from Windsor Locks.

In Coventry on route 31 Main St. near Domitris and Coventry Grammar School, a transformer fire from the storm closed the street. There were also wires down on North School Rd.

Eversource has over 600 customers without power as of 5:30 a.m. Saturday, with the most outages in East Windsor, Burlington, Sherman, Tolland, and Windsor.

Leah Myers is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. She can be reached at [email protected]

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Deckers Tallies Match High 12 Kills in Volleyball’s Season-Opening Loss at Endicott

Beverly, MA -- The WPI volleyball team dropped its 2022 season opening match on the road at defending CCC Champion Endicott on Thursday night. The Gulls grabbed the sweep with set scores of 25-19, 25-16, 25-15.Endicott's offense hit a robust .278 holding WPI to just a .020 clip. The Gulls were paced by eight-kill performances from Amanda Gilbert (Hopkinton, MA) and Kelsey Sanburn (Londonderry, NH), while Colleen McAvoy (Coventry, CT) added seven kills. Lauren McGrath ...

Beverly, MA -- The WPI volleyball team dropped its 2022 season opening match on the road at defending CCC Champion Endicott on Thursday night. The Gulls grabbed the sweep with set scores of 25-19, 25-16, 25-15.

Endicott's offense hit a robust .278 holding WPI to just a .020 clip. The Gulls were paced by eight-kill performances from Amanda Gilbert (Hopkinton, MA) and Kelsey Sanburn (Londonderry, NH), while Colleen McAvoy (Coventry, CT) added seven kills. Lauren McGrath (Franklin, MA) and Ella Koelb (Auburn, NH) combined for 24 assists. Emma Ruel (Duxbury, MA) headed up the defense with 10 digs, while Stephanie Moreau (Methuen, MA) tallied a match-best six blocks.

WPI's Olivia Deckers (Marlboro, MA) led all players with a match-high 12 kills, adding three blocks. Catherine Reynolds (Concord, NH) dished out 26 assists with six digs, while Jia Yazon (South Windsor, CT) had a match-best 15 digs.

Though WPI racked up 13 kills in the first set, Endicott hit .219 to grab a close opener. The Engineers tallied three points to open the frame, but Endicott rallied to go up, 5-4. A kill from Deckers later put WPI up 7-6, but an 11-3 Gulls run had the hosts leading 17-10. The Engineers responded with a 6-0 surge to close the gap to 17-16, but Endicott righted the ship and closed out the frame on an 8-3 run to win it 25-19.

The Gulls held WPI to a negative offensive stat line in the second set, opening the frame on a 5-1 run, not relinquishing the advantage. Endicott led 15-8 midway through the action and WPI would get no closer than a five point deficit the rest of the way as the Gulls made it a 2-0 lead on a 25-16 win.

Set three featured a massive .429 offensive attack from Endicott, as the Gulls finished out the sweep. With the set tied at 5-5, the hosts pulled ahead with a 10-2 run, punctuated by a block to make it 15-7 Gulls. WPI stopped the bleeding with a Maddie Sanborn (Londonderry, NH) kill, but Endicott's offense closed out the set and match.

WPI will look to rebound with a pair of matches on Saturday at home. The Engineers host Husson at 11:00am and SUNY Delhi at 3:00pm. Endicott returns to the court on Wednesday, hosting Simmons at 7:00pm.

Will tornado outbreaks become more common in the future?

Aug. 15 marks 235 years since the first known tornado outbreak in the United States. What does that mean?MOLINE, Ill. — 235 years ago on Aug. 15. 1787, the United States experienced its first tornado outbreak.The outbreak occurred in the northeastern part of the United States, which numerous powerful storms rampaging in then-newfound states like New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and R...

Aug. 15 marks 235 years since the first known tornado outbreak in the United States. What does that mean?

MOLINE, Ill. — 235 years ago on Aug. 15. 1787, the United States experienced its first tornado outbreak.

The outbreak occurred in the northeastern part of the United States, which numerous powerful storms rampaging in then-newfound states like New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Although many of the tornadoes occurred in uninhibited areas, some towns did experience significant damage. A tornado with a 20-mile path ripped apart the area from Killingly, Connecticut to Mendon, Massachusetts.

A tornado with a five-mile path tore through the area of Connecticut Northeast to East Windsor. A tornado with an eight-mile spun from Northborough, Massachusetts to Framingham, Massachusetts. Another tornado of an unknown length went through Rochester, New Hampshire causing notable damage.

Two deaths were confirmed which were lives lost in a tornado that traveled from New Britain, Connecticut to Coventry, Connecticut. Historical data notes that the storm caused extensive damage and many injuries.

#OTD in Weather History: August 15, 1787.The first ever recorded tornado outbreak in the United States. pic.twitter.com/DT4FrbHRQd

— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) August 15, 2022

Tornadoes are incredibly small, and they occur relatively quickly when compared to other extreme weather events like hurricanes, making them difficult to model in climate simulations that scientists use to project the effects of climate change.

In order to try to predict how tornadoes can occur in the future scientist predict how climate change affects the individual ingredients that support the development of supercell thunderstorms that produce tornadoes:

Studies have predicted that climate change could provide more opportunities for more severe thunderstorms to form, which theoretically provides more opportunities for more tornadoes to occur.

Research in recent years has shown changes in tornado patterns. It has shown there are fewer days with at least one tornado, but more days with over 30 tornadoes, showing that tornadoes are becoming more clustered.

There still to needs more research done to get a more concrete answer, but as of now, the events that happened on Aug. 15, 1787 could become more common.

Relief from heat is in sight

Despite a forecast that predicts the current heat wave to break this week, residents still need to find ways to keep cool until then.Gov. Ned Lamont has extended the Extreme Heat Emergency Management Protocol to last until Tuesday at 8 p.m.“It’s looking like we are in for another couple more days of high humidity, and I strongly encourage everyone to take the necessary precautions,” Lamont said.Lamont originally issued the protocol on Aug. 2 with the expectation of temperatures dropping by Aug. 5. Howev...

Despite a forecast that predicts the current heat wave to break this week, residents still need to find ways to keep cool until then.

Gov. Ned Lamont has extended the Extreme Heat Emergency Management Protocol to last until Tuesday at 8 p.m.

“It’s looking like we are in for another couple more days of high humidity, and I strongly encourage everyone to take the necessary precautions,” Lamont said.

Lamont originally issued the protocol on Aug. 2 with the expectation of temperatures dropping by Aug. 5. However, the forecast calls for temperatures to exceed 90 degrees most days this week.

The only way for most people to cool off outside is to take advantage of public pools, because of the lack of accessibility to some lakes in the area.

Coventry Lake has been closed to swimmers due to the blue-green algae bloom, which can be toxic to people and pets. However, the beaches at Patriots Park and Lisicke Beach are open.

On Friday, Coventry Fire Department helped keep campers cool at Patriots Park and spraying 5,000 gallons of water on them for more than 20 minutes.

In Vernon, officials are advising residents to not swim in the lake at Valley Falls Park, as there will be no lifeguards on duty for the summer.

Instead, residents are urged to swim at Community Pool at 375 Hartford Turnpike or Newhoca Beach at 185 Grier Road.

According to the National Weather Service’s website, there have been six days in August where the temperatures have been 90 degrees or higher. There were 11 such days in the whole month of July.

Northeast Regional Coordinator Bill Simpson said that temperatures will start to drop below 90 degrees on Tuesday evening and then we will experience a “pattern change” due to a change in the air mass.

He added that temperatures for the rest of the week should be low to mid 80s.

Until then, several local towns are using public facilities as cooling centers.

In Vernon, residents should head to the senior center or the Rockville Public Library, Town Administrator Michael Purcaro said.

In Tolland, people can use the library as a cooling center from Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Manchester’s libraries, police department lobby, senior center and Weiss Center will be open during normal business hours for use as cooling centers.

Windsor Locks also has a cooling station at its senior center at 41 Oak St.

First Selectman Paul Harrington said that the center will continue to be a place where residents can get a break from the heat through at least Tuesday.

The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness released a statement with tips on how to stay safe in extreme heat.

The group advises people to stay in air-conditioned buildings as long as possible, avoid direct sunlight, wear lightweight clothing, take cool showers or baths, and stay hydrated.

Infants, young children, people over 65, people with illnesses, and people who overexert themselves at work should take greater precautions than most.

People should also be drinking more water than usual, and avoid alcohol or sugary drinks, according to Lamont’s office.

Information on local cooling centers can be found by calling 211 or visiting 211ct.org.

25 CIAC girls volleyball players to watch and what to look for in 2022

This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigatePlayers to watchMeredith Asplund, Joel Barlow, Sr., S: The veteran setter returns for one more season, giving the Falcons a solid foundation for another run at SWC and state titles.Allie Bietz, Branford, Sr., S: The standout setter led the Hornets in assists while earning All-State first team honors as a junior.Lauren Bender, Bristol Eastern, Sr., OH: The Lancers have had a great run of ...

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Players to watch

Meredith Asplund, Joel Barlow, Sr., S: The veteran setter returns for one more season, giving the Falcons a solid foundation for another run at SWC and state titles.

Allie Bietz, Branford, Sr., S: The standout setter led the Hornets in assists while earning All-State first team honors as a junior.

Lauren Bender, Bristol Eastern, Sr., OH: The Lancers have had a great run of success and Bender was a huge part of that last season, leading the team with 186 digs, and finishing second with 292 kills. With some graduations, she’ll take on an even larger role this fall.

Katie Brand, Ridgefield, Sr., L: The three-year starter led the Tigers in digs last season and returns as a key leader on a young team.

Maggie Carley, Trumbull, Sr., S: A perennial FCIAC and Class LL contender, Trumbull figures to be in the thick of the playoff races and its senior setter will be one of the leaders. She collected 498 assists, 110 digs and 68 aces last fall. Carley has committed to play at UConn.

Mya DiZenzo, Amity, Sr., OH: The Spartans were again among the top teams in the SCC in 2021 and DiZenzo was a big part of the success, leading the team in digs and aces while finishing second in kills.

Leilani Gillespie, Darien, Sr., MH: Gillespie led the Wave with 266 kills and 46 blocks last season and returns as one of the FCIAC’s top weapons on a loaded Darien team.

Ally Hadley, RHAM, Sr., OH: Hadley racked up 373 digs, 276 kills and 88 aces and was the MVP of the Class L tournament. She will again be one of the CCC’s headliners as the Raptors try to defend their state title.

Tatum Holdereid, Ludlowe, Sr., MB: The 6-foot-2 middle led the state in blocks with 131 last year, and also had an attack percentage of .376. She has committed to play for Fordham University next year.

Grace Miller, Newtown, Sr., OH: Miller missed much of last season with an illness, but is back on the court for her senior campaign as an all-around weapon for the Nighthawks.

Avery Mola, Cheshire, Sr., OH/MH: The reigning SCC Player of the Year returns for a Ram team that will again be among the contenders for conference and state titles in 2022.

Aubrey Moore, Darien, Jr., S: The left-handed setter led the Blue Wave with 628 assists and 81 aces during their 20-3 campaign.

Ellie Moore, Darien, Jr., OH/S: Like her sister, Ellie Moore had a huge season last fall, racking up 192 kills, 67 aces and 185 digs. She’s also versatile, and can shift from outside to setter when needed.

Brenna Piller, Simsbury, Sr., S: The All-State setter helped the Trojans earn bids to the CCC and Class L finals last year.

Jocelyn Powers, Avon, Sr. L/S: Powers had 279 digs, 273 assists and 53 aces while earning All-State Second Team honors as a junior. She’s been on the varsity squad since 2019, when Avon won the state title.

Brooke Praskievicz, Hale Ray, Sr., OH: A two-time All-State and All-Shoreline first teamer, Praskievicz led the Noises in kills, assists and aces as a junior.

Jillian Roche, Darien, Jr., OH: Roche does a lot of everything for the Blue Wave, and racked up a team-best 236 digs along with 70 aces and 226 kills last season.

Maggie Saleeby, Greenwich, Sr., OH: Saleeby collected 158 kills as a junior and will step into an even bigger role this season with the graduation of some of the team’s top hitters.

Kendall Scholz, Wilton, Sr., OH: In a stacked FCIAC, Wilton flew somewhat under the radar during a truly strong season, and Scholz was the headliner. The All-FCIAC first teamer returns as a top threat.

Samantha Sklenka, Bristol Central, Sr., L: A top libero, Sklenka earned All-State second team honors while racking up 421 digs in 2021.

Ari Smith, Seymour, Sr., OH: Smith, who led the Wildcats in kills as a junior, will be a key cog as Seymour looks to defend its NVL title and make another bid for the Class M crown.

Lucia Spanjol, Greenwich, Sr., S: The state’s top-ranked team was loaded last year and Spanjol quarterbacked the offense as the starting setter with an eye-popping 936 assists. She’ll be key if Greenwich is to defend its FCIAC and state titles this fall.

Lily Stevens, New Canaan, Jr., OH: Stevens emerged as a threat with a team-high 421 kills and 217 digs as a sophomore and should again be a standout hitter for New Canaan.

Katelyn Wankier, Avon, Sr., OH: A 6-foot-2 hitter, Wankier is an imposing presence for the Falcons. She’s been a varsity player for four years and played alongside teammate Jocleyn Powers in the 2022 USA Volleyball Junior Nationals in Indianapolis this summer.

Sarah West, RHAM, Sr., MH: The versatile middle collected 284 kills, 64 blocks and 124 digs as a junior. She returns to help the Raptors in their pursuit of a repeat Class L crown.

What to look for

A Blue Fall? Darien was formidable in 2021 and, in fact, only top-ranked Greenwich stood between the Blue Wave and an unbeaten season, as the Cardinals won all three meetings. Entering the 2022 season, Darien appears to be stacked, led by veteran hitters Leilani Gillespie and Jillian Roche, and junior sisters Aubrey and Ellie Moore. And, of course, it’s hard to beat the Wave in the coaching department with the legendary Laurie LaRusso returning for her 41st season. The Wave last won a state title in 2014 — their 17th in 22 years at the time — and last reached the Class LL final in 2018, but the stage could be set for another bid this year.

Masks off: For the first time since the 2019 season, masks are not required for the girls volleyball season. That’s following in line with the CIAC’s mask mandate for indoor sports, which ended in February. Volleyball players adjusted well to the requirement, especially while playing a full season including conference and state tournaments last fall, but ditching the masks comes as a welcome relief.

Dynasties and defending champs: Three of last year’s four state champions have won multiple titles during the past five tournaments, with only unbeaten Weston joining the dance while beating Seymour 3-2 in the Class M final for its first CIAC crown. Lyman Memorial has the longest current streak at three, and has reached the Class S final for six consecutive years. RHAM defeated CCC opponent Simsbury in Class L for its third title in five tournaments, and has reached 11 of the last 14 state finals, winning eight times. Seymour, the Class M runner-up, has been in the finals three straight seasons and five times since 2014, and Coventry, the Class S runner-up, has reached the finals four times since 2015.

Beat the FCIAC: FCIAC teams have had a near stranglehold on the Class LL crown since 2014, winning six of the last seven championships. More remarkably, five different conference teams have won those titles, including Darien (2014), Ludlowe (2015), Stamford (2016), Greenwich (2017 and 2021) and Trumbull (2019). Four of the finals featured a match-up of two FCIAC teams. The other state championship was won by Amity, which defeated Darien in 2018. Possible party-crashers this year include the SCC’s Cheshire and Amity, who clashed for their league’s crown last season and return strong squads again, and the SWC’s Newtown.

[email protected]; @dstewartsports

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