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Democrat Photo by Frank Rizzo

FALLSBURG'S MARIA KAJENKOVA (2) rises up to try to stop a spike by Monticello’s Katy Schlichtman in Monday’s match.

Monties Dominate Fallsburg

By Frank Rizzo
MONTICELLO — September 28, 2001 – Fallsburg got a few lessons in volleyball on Monday, getting swept by host Monticello 30-14, 30-11, 30-12 in an OCIAA National Conference volleyball game.
It brought to a screeching halt what had been a special season for the Lady Comets so far. They had come into the game with a 5–0 league record and a 6–0 overall record. Those six wins represented more than last year combined (Fallsburg was 4–11 in 2000) and the four wins a year ago represented a huge improvement over a long reign of winless seasons.
With the win, the Lady Panthers (7–0, 7–0 OCIAA) increased their lead in the conference.
“They outclassed us,” third-year Fallsburg coach Dan Gallo said. “They’re the only team in our league who could do that to us. Being undefeated was a good start but we came in here knowing that we were facing the best team in Class B. They’re athletic and they’re consistent.”
Perhaps the biggest win for the Comets, coming into Monday’s battle of unbeatens, was a 30-28, 30-12, 30-21 sweep of Tuxedo, the defending Class D champs. Tuxedo reached the state tournament semifinals last season.
Gallo cited his five senior players who have been with him all three years: Jocelyn Hernandez, Amy Hobby, Maria Kajenkova, Crystal Ryder and Shannon Horace.
Horace was credited with 15 digs in Monday’s loss. Hernandez had five assists while Jenna Hartman had five kills.
Gallo noted that his team was never behind before Monday’s match.
“They weren’t accustomed to being in that position. I saw them get down and they seemed flat,” Gallo said.
He added: “Monticello showed us what we need to do to improve. They played like we want to play. We’ll use this loss as a motivator and to improve.”
Monticello coach Karen Atack had to replace Cindy Jessup, who graduated. Otherwise she has an experienced squad, led by seniors and three-year players Kim Donohue and Kristen Fried.
Juniors Crystal Forget, Tricia Parks and Katy Schlichtman, along with soph Deirdre Smith, complete the starting lineup.
“Age-wise, this is still a young team,” Atack noted. “This is a special group. They have excellent chemistry, love volleyball and love working together.”
Monticello lost the Class B sectional championship to traditional nemesis Minisink Valley last fall. Atack cited Rondout Valley and Goshen as potentially strong rivals.
“Our goal is to win the league and make it to the Section IX finals,” Atack said.
Donohue led the Panthers on Monday with 17 points, four aces, seven kills and five blocks. Schlichtman added 13 points with seven aces. Fried had 14 points, three aces, three kills and two digs.

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