By Rob Potter
LAKE HUNTINGTON September 9, 2005 The Goshen and Sullivan West volleyball teams opened the 2005 season on Wednesday afternoon in an Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division II match.
SW won the first game, 25-23, but Goshen rallied to take the next three games by scores of 25-23, 25-21, 25-21 to win the match, which was played in the SW High School gymnasium.
Goshen improved to 1-0 overall and 1-0 in OCIAA Division II, while SW fell to 0-1 overall and 0-1 in OCIAA Division II.
The Lady Bulldogs rallied from deficits of 4-1, 10-8, 20-17 and 22-20 to win the first game. Down 20-18, junior hitter Melissa Reynolds served two straight aces to knot the score at 20-20.
After the Lady Gladiators took a 22-20 lead, SW tied the score. Erika McKinney gave the Lady Bulldogs a 23-22 advantage with a kill moments later.
SW took a 24-23 lead when a Goshen player hit the ball out of bounds. The Lady Bulldogs clinched the game on the next point when a Goshen return went long.
But the momentum SW gained in that opening game was taken away by Goshen in the second game. After falling behind 5-3 and 9-7, the Lady Gladiators rallied behind junior outside hitters Concetta DAlessio and Kerri Gannon. Each player had several kills and services aces as Goshen took the game. A powerful kill by Gannon sealed the Lady Gladiators 25-23 win in the game.
The score remained close throughout the third game. Kills by Kim Boyd and Megan McCormack gave SW a 3-0 lead. But DAlessio served consecutive aces to give the Lady Gladiators a 4-3 lead.
Goshen extended that lead to 11-7 and 20-17 as the game progressed. SW pulled to within a point at 21-20, but could not take the lead.
An ace by senior hitter Marissa Lanese allowed the Lady Bulldogs to enjoy a 2-1 lead early in the fourth game. But Goshen responded with four consecutive points to grab a 5-2 advantage.
The Lady Gladiators then led for the rest of the game on their way to winning the match.
D'Alessio paced the Goshen attack with 30 digs, 17 points, 12 kills and six aces. Gannon added 41 digs, 15 kills, 12 points and four aces, while junior setter Katie Barry had 41 assists, 13 digs and five points.
In the first game they really werent playing together, Goshen Coach Melissa Lazaro said of her players. But in the next three games, they began to communicate better and play together.
Im proud of my girls, Lazaro added. I hope they have a successful season.
Lazaro also noted that Sullivan West played well today.
The top players for SW were senior hitter Krystle Gorr, Lanese and senior setter Michelle Spafford. Gorr recorded 28 digs, six kills, six points, two aces and two blocks, while Lanese had 20 digs, 16 points, five aces and three kills and Spafford registered 21 digs, 19 assists, 11 points, two kills and an ace.
We got tired, SW Coach Jen Warner said. The girls seem to start out high then they go into a low point and then go back up again. We need to work on our consistency.
Although losing the first match of the season was not what the Lady Bulldogs had in mind, Warner was not too disappointed.
She noted that the team played well despite injuries to two starters. Senior setter Sarah Nicoletti did not play in the match because of a sprained ankle and Reynolds played sparingly due to a knee injury.
It was a lot closer than when we played Goshen last season, Warner said. These girls did not stop hustling the entire match.