By Frank Rizzo
MIDDLETOWN November 10, 2000 How many times have Monticello volleyball players watched Minisink Valley celebrate yet another volleyball sectional title?
That familiar scene was reenacted again Monday night at Orange County Community College in Middletown, where the Warriors beat Monticello in five games to garner the Class B championship.
The scores were 15-6, 15-4, 8-15, 15-4.
It was the first crown since 1995 for Minisink, when it beat who else? Monticello in a classic five-game match. In the four years since then Minisink had competed in Class A, losing three straight close finals to Kingston the past three seasons.
Minisink (181) coach Ellen Lain suggested that the Monties need not feel ashamed about losing to her team.
I think we could have won Class A this year, Lain noted. We had the potential, with our skills and the way weve been playing as a team. I have great confidence that my players can succeed.
The Warriors started hot, going up 7-1 and 11-2 in the first game and won 15-6.
In game two the Monties got as close as 5-4 before Megan Earl (three service) and Kate DiMarco (six points) put the game out of reach as Minisink prevailed 15-4.
Those games, Lain noted, werent the cakewalks they seemed.
Beating Monticello is never easy, she said. You always have to expect the unexpected, always have to be on your toes. They chase everything down and never give up. I dont care if the score is 16-14 or 15-1, its never easy.
After spotting Minisink a 2-0 lead in game three the Monties tied it behind Cindy Jessups two points.
Crystal Forget then put Monticello ahead for good with four more.
The Warriors had closed to within 12-8 when Katy Schlichtman put Monticello on the verge with two more points.
After Monticello surrendered the ball, Kim Donohue got it back with a block, then served the winner as Jessup placed an unreturnable two-handed dink to the far side of the Minisink net.
We got the fire back in that game, said Monticello coach Karen Atack. I think the first game we were scared we sure played scared. There is a lot of respect for Minisink valley and sometimes people lose before they even get on the court.
The fire was extinguished in game four. The contest was close until Minisinks Kristie Murphy stepped up to the line and turned a 3-1 lead into a 9-1 cushion for the Warriors.
Krysta Bradford added four more to make it 13-2, and Kristin Fried answered with two for the Monties before Earl served the winner.
My players gave 100 percent, gave everything they had, Atack praised. We were beaten by a better team and we wish them the best of luck [in the next round].
Atack noted that her starting rotations feature four sophs Schlichtman, Forget, Holli Schoonmaker, and Tricia Parks and one freshman, Deidre Smith. Jessup is the lone senior, while Fried and Donohue are juniors.
Chemistry-wise this is the closest team weve had. Its a special group of kids, Atack said.
Forget paced Monticello (155, three of the losses to Minisink) with seven points, one ace, 13 digs and five assist. Jessup had six points, 28 digs, and four kills. Schlichtman served for five points, with three of them aces. Donohue had four kills, 11 digs, and four assists. Fried finished with 13 digs and three assists.