Sullivan County Democrat
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Flyin' High

Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

MONTICELLO’S CRYSTAL FORGET, left, blocks a ball hit by Roundout Valley’s Anna Jackson in Saturday’s Class B final.

Monticello Grabs
Ball and Crown

By Rob Potter
NEW PALTZ — November 6, 2001 – The Monticello volleyball team certainly had a very busy day on Saturday.
In the morning, several team members took the SAT exam.
Then in the evening, a few of the Lady Panthers attended the school’s junior prom.
In between, the team played in the Section IX Class B Final at SUNY New Paltz.
Despite the thoughts and preparations for the SAT and prom that could have become distractions, and the fact that a couple of team members got “bus sick” on the curvy, hilly drive to New Paltz, the Lady Panthers were all business at 3 p.m. when they faced Roundout Valley for the Class B crown.
Monticello swept its way to the title, 30-18, 30-19 and 30-21 and improved its season record to a perfect 18-0.
“With everything going on, these girls really stayed focused on the court,” Monticello coach Karen Atack said. “They deserve a lot of credit.”
With the win, the Lady Panthers advanced to the state quarterfinals. They will face the Section I champion at 2 p.m. Saturday at SUNY New Paltz.
“I never would have expected that we would win in three games,” Atack said. “We have the utmost respect for Roundout.”
Monticello fell behind early in the first game, however. Roundout Valley grabbed a 7-3 lead and Atack called a timeout.
A few minutes later an ace by Crystal Forget tied the score at 11-11 and Forget served another ace to give the Lady Panthers a 12-11 advantage. It was a lead they would not relinquish for the rest of that game.
Aside from an early 3-3 tie, Monticello pretty much controlled the second game. And in the third game, the Lady Panthers outscored the Ganders by a 20-8 margin after falling behind 13-10.
“I don’t know about everyone else, but I was nervous in the first game,” Monticello senior outside hitter/setter Kim Donohue said. “But we pulled through with teamwork. I’m so happy we’re going on to states.”
In the semifinals the previous night, Roundout Valley rallied from a two games to none deficit to defeat Goshen.
“I was reminding them of that,” Roundout Valley coach Paul Bianco said of talks with his team during timeouts. “We tried to come back one game at a time, one point at a time. But we just couldn’t get the job done defensively.”
Leading Monticello to the win were Forget, Donohue, Kristen Fried, and Deirdre Smith. Forget had 12 kills and five blocks; Fried totaled 11 points, six digs and two kills; Donohue recorded 14 points, eight assists, four kills and four digs; Smith had 22 points, 12 kills and four blocks.
Like Donohue, Fried noted the importance of teamwork for the Lady Panthers’ success. In fact, she noted that the entire team recently watched the movie “Remember The Titans” and have adopted a “Remember the Monties” theme for their season.
“We’ve played together as a team,” said Fried, a senior outside hitter. “Over the season our friendships have gotten stronger. I love playing volleyball with these girls and want to keep playing with them as long as I can.”

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