By Frank Rizzo
SULLIVAN COUNTY December 15, 2000 Last month, the Section IX volleyball coaches picked volleyball all-star teams for both the section and the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA).
Three county players were selected, two from Monticello and one from Fallsburg, and this is our last look at the 2000 volleyball season.
Cindy Jessup (Section IX Class B and OCIAA Central Conference first team all-star) got her first varsity experience as a freshman against Minisink Valley in an Orange County League championship series, and scored four points.
They were the first of what turned out to be many.
Jessup finished her varsity career as the all-time leading service scorer at Monticello, with 623.
A ceremony earlier this season marked the occasion when Jessup passed 99 grad April Dean (564 points), who was on hand to present her with flowers and a plaque.
The next day, revealed Monticello coach Karen Atack, Jessup gave flowers to each of her teammates for helping her achieve the record.
A real classy player, Atack called her. Her strength was her serving. She was also a solid defensive player known for her shoots and dinks.
Jessup got in 95.6 percent of her serves (only 15 bad serves of the 347 she attempted) and led the team with 218 points and 67 service aces. She was second with 74 kills.
Kim Donohue was co-captain (with Jessup) and a second-year starter. She was an OCIAA Central Conference second team selection.
Our main power hitter and one of our top defenders, Atack said of the junior. She was also our sparkplug. When she made a good block or hit she got everybody going.
Donohue was also Atacks choice for most improved player.
Her every skill got better, Atack noted. Her blocking and spiking and her serve too.
Donohue was second on the team with 208 service points and third with 49 aces. She led the team with 105 kills and 33 blocks and was third with assists, 58.
Regarding the season, in which the Monties finished second to Minisink in the OCIAA Central Conference and lost to Minisink in the Class B championship game, Atack said that I think we shocked a few people. This was a very enjoyable group to work with.The chemistry was excellent and they worked well together. They understood their roles and accepted them.
Except for Jessup, Atack has all her starters returning from this seasons 155 squad. The starting rotation this past season included four sophs and two juniors.
Junior Kristin Fried was second on the team with 72 assists and will be playing on the Whoosh club volleyball team this winter.
Soph Crystal Forget is a solid player, Atack noted. her strength is defense. Forget led the Panthers with 77 assists and was third in kills with 43.
Soph Katy Schlichtman is a true all-around athlete, according to Atack. Shes capable of hitting the ball. Schlichtman was second in points (150) and aces (56) and fourth in kills (41).
Gaining valuable court experience this year were sophs Tricia Parks and Holli Schoonmaker, along with freshman Deidre Smith, who has potential as a strong player around the net.
Amy Hobby, a junior, was a Section IX Class C and OCIAA National Conference first team all-star.
She is a very consistent player. She could play any position on the court, noted Fallsburg coach Dan Gallo. Amy is the type of player who works just as hard in practice as she does in games, if not harder. She is a very good player.
Hobbys season stats: 92 points, 88 assists, 62 kills, 33 blocks, and 20 aces.
Gallo also praised Hobby as my best overall player. She hit, she passed, and she was also a great defensive player. For the first part of the season she was also my setter, because she understood the offense.
The Comets ended the season 411 overall and 46 in the National Conference. Those four wins probably add up to the number of victories in the previous five or six years.
[The program] did go through a down time, Gallo noted. Its a shame the season ended the way it did, because we almost made the sectionals.
Fallsburg would have wound up 55 in the conference and qualified for the playoffs if it had beaten Goshen on October 23. Instead, the Comets lost a tough four-set match, 12-15, 15-13, 15-17, 15-17.
Amy was hurt, out of that game, and we almost pulled it off, Gallo noted.
Gallos choice for most improved player was soph Jenna Hartman, who saw some varsity time last season.
When she played on the front row and spiked, the other team was aware of her, Gallo said. She came a long way as far as hitting.
Hartman had 16 and 14 kills respectively against Goshen and Ellenville in the season-ending games.
Junior Jocelyn Hernandez came on to run the offense as a setter.
Shes got great hands and a real powerful serve, Gallo said.
Hernandez shone in the final two games, serving for 25 points (with 13 aces) against Goshen, and victimizing Ellenville with 24 points and 14 aces.
Gallo looks forward to 2001, when his entire team returns.
Among his other starters this season were juniors Maria Kajankova, Shannon Horace, and Crystal Ryder.
Hobby and Hartman will also be playing for the Orange County-based Whoosh club volleyball team this winter, picking up valuable court experience.
And theyll feel right at home, since Gallo will be an assistant coach.