By Rob Potter
MONTICELLO September 16, 2005 After falling behind early, the Monticello Lady Panthers rallied for a win against the visiting Port Jervis Lady Red Raiders on Wednesday in an Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division II volleyball match.
Monticello improved its season record to 2-0 overall and 2-0 in Division II play with the 14-25, 25-23, 25-16, 30-28 victory. With the loss, Port Jervis fell to 3-2, 0-2 Division II.
The determined Lady Raiders squad powered to an easy 25-14 victory in the first game. Port Jervis grabbed early leads of 4-0 and 10-1 on its way to the win.
Monticello pulled to within 10-5, but Port Jervis outscored the Lady Panthers 15-9 the rest of the game. Kendra Bianchi, Nicole Grogan and Darcee Rooney each had a service ace during the Lady Red Raiders scoring run.
Port Jervis was seemingly in control of the second game as it held a 19-10 advantage. But with the support of their home crowd, the Monties came back to win the game. With Iris Robinson serving, the Lady Panthers scored five consecutive points to close the gap to 19-15.
A few moments later, Emily Drobysh blocked a kill attempt by a Port Jervis player to give Monticello a 21-20 lead. Drobysh made another block to bring Monticello to within a point of winning the game at 24-23. The Lady Panthers earned that winning point seconds later when a Port Jervis player served the ball into the net.
Consecutive kills by Pollyanna Palhano enabled the Lady Panthers to take a 7-1 advantage in the third game.
Strong serving by Anna Rivera allowed Monticello to stretch its lead to 16-5 later in the game.
An ace by Bianchi brought the Lady Red Raiders to within seven points at 21-14, but the Monties went on to take the game by a final score of 25-14.
The fourth game was the most competitive of the match as both teams struggled to gain a two-point advantage to win the game. The squads exchanged the lead several times and the score was deadlocked on many occasions.
Monticello finally prevailed when a Rivera kill brought the team to within a point at 29-28 and Grogan hit the net with a dig on the next rally.
Leading the Lady Panthers to the victory were Robinson (20 points, one dig), Desiree Laguna (10 points, three digs, one kill), Palhano (nine points, two kills, one dig) and Drobysh (five blocks).
Both teams had a poor service night, Monticello Coach Karen Atack said. For as much as we work on serving in practice, that is very disappointing.
But I am very happy with the way we came back to win, Atack added. We have a nice group of kids.
Atack noted that Port Jervis did a nice job in the match.
Port Jervis Coach Tony Goff noted that his team started the match very well, but then lost its focus.
I think after we went out and won that first game, we thought that was it and we could just get back on the bus and go home, Goff said. We thought Monticello was just going to roll over for us. But they didnt and they did a magnificent job to come back.
[Coach] Karen [Atack] is a very good coach who makes adjustments during the match, he added.
Although he wanted to leave the gymnasium with a victory, Goff was not too disappointed.
We have a very young team I start five sophomores, he commented. They are learning to play together and just need to be more consistent.