By Rob Potter
SULLIVAN COUNTY November 27, 2001 Both the Fallsburg and Monticello volleyball teams enjoyed very successful seasons this fall.
The Lady Comets finished the 2001 campaign with a 13-7 record and advanced to the Section IX Class D championship match. The Lady Panthers (18-1) captured the OCIAA National Conference title and the Section IX Class B championship.
Key players from both squads, as well as Monticello coach Karen Atack, were recognized when all-star selections were recently announced by area coaches.
Atack was chosen by her fellow coaches as the Section IX Class B Coach of the Year.
Atack began coaching the Monticello team in 1990 and has ammassed a 204-50 won-loss record in that time. She has led the team to five undefeated league seasons, six league titles, four Section IX titles and twice her team was the Section IX runner-up. She also guided the Lady Panthers to a 61-game winning streak in league play over those years.
My philosophy of coaching has not changed since I started, Atack said. I have a very demanding style of coaching. In my mind, there is no substitute for hard work. I expect 100 percent from each player, with the goal being to achieve maximum effectiveness from each athlete.
Atack also believes in helping her players become better both on and off the court.
When coaching, you have responsibilities beyond those of producing a winning team, she said. You guide, help develop the players physically and mentally, and help develop character. If you develop one without the other, you have not met your full responsibility as a coach. The players will develop characteristics that will have lasting values outside of sports. The players learn responsibility, cooperation, respect, leadership and loyalty.
Atack noted she will always remember this past season, when Monticello won 18 straight matches before falling to Henrick Hudson in the state quarterfinals.
It was an honor to coach this special group of athletes, she said.
Monticello senior Kim Donohue was named the Section IX Class B Most Valuable Player (MVP). Donohue, a senior setter/outside hitter, averaged 11 points, six digs, five kills, four assists, three blocks and three aces per match.
Im happy, Donohue said of being named the section MVP. Its a great honor.
She was a spark plug and played with a lot of emotion, Atack said of Donohue.
While understandably pleased to receive the individual accolade, Donohue was quick to praise her teammates.
There is no I in team, she said. We had a terrific year and everybody played well.
Two of those teammates, fellow senior co-captain Kristin Fried and junior Crystal Forget were recognized as Section IX Class B all-stars.
Fried, who played an outside hitter/defense position, led the Lady Panthers with 180 service points this season. She averaged nine points, four digs, three aces, two assists and one-and-a-half kills per match.
Forget, a setter/outside hitter, averaged seven points, six assists, five kills, three digs, two blocks and two aces per match. Atack noted that Forget contributed fantastic net play for the Lady Panthers.
Atack noted that both Forget and Fried are scholar athletes.
Another Monticello player, junior Holli Schoonmaker, was chosen to receive an honorary award from the section coaches that was in recognition of how well Schoonmaker filled in for Donohue, when an injured finger forced Donohue to miss a few matches in the middle of the season.
Two Lady Comets, senior Amy Hobby and junior Jenna Hartman were chosen to the Section IX Class D all-star squad. Hartman and Hobby both played the middle blocker/outside hitter position.
In addition to their sectional honors, Donohue, Fried, Forget and Hobby were all named to the OCIAA National Conference first team all-star squad.