By Rob Potter
MONTICELLO October 21, 2005 The Monticello Lady Panthers defeated the Sullivan West Lady Bulldogs on Wednesday in an Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) volleyball match.
The Monties topped SW in three straight games, 25-13, 25-13, 25-18.
SW (4-10, 4-10 OCIAA) took early leads of 2-1 and 3-2 in the first game, but the Lady Panthers rallied to tie the score at 4-4. Monticello (12-1, 12-1 OCIAA) then ran off six consecutive points to grab a 10-4 advantage.
A few minutes later, Pollyanna Palhano made a block and teammate Anna Rivera had back-to-back kills as the Lady Panthers extended their lead to 17-6.
Monticello then outscored SW by an 8-7 margin to win the game.
In the second game, the Monties grabbed a 4-2 lead on an ace by Iris Robinson. The Lady Panthers steadily added to that advantage as the game progressed.
Robinson recorded another ace later in the game to give Monticello a commanding 19-9 lead.
With the score 23-9, the Lady Bulldogs rallied to close the gap to 23-13. Krystle Gorr had two aces as SW reeled off those four consecutive points.
But after Gorrs second ace, Monticello was awarded a point when the official ruled that a Lady Bulldog touched the net during a rally. Palhano then ended the game by serving an ace.
SW rebounded from a 4-0 deficit to take a couple of leads in the third game. A kill by Gorr and an ace by Marissa Lanese gave the Lady Bulldogs a 7-4 advantage.
Gorr made another kill and served another ace as SW extended its lead to 10-8 a few minutes later.
After four ties, the Monties took a 15-14 lead on a service error by the Lady Bulldogs. Palhano had consecutive aces and Emily Drobysh added a kill as the Lady Panthers outscored SW by a 10-4 margin to win the game and the match.
Leading Monticello to the victory were Tracyan Leslie and Palhano. Leslie had 12 points, eight digs and two aces, while Palhano recorded nine points, three kills, two aces and one dig. In addition, Rivera had nine kills, four digs and four points, Robinson registered seven points and three aces, Drobysh had five kills, four blocks, one assist and one dig and Marissa Smithem had nine points.
For SW, Lanese recorded eight points, three kills and two aces, Gorr had six points, three aces and one kill, and Kim Boyd made three blocks, three digs, one ace, one kill and one point.
Its the same story. We get off to a fast start, but we just cant keep it going the rest of the game, SW Coach Jennifer Warner said.
While disappointed with the loss, Warner noted that her team qualified for the upcoming Section IX Class B tournament with a victory over Tuxedo two days earlier. She also said that the Lady Bulldogs showed improvement against the Lady Panthers.
We served better and did a better job of spiking than the last time we played them, she said.
Warner also praised the Lady Panthers.
They played a great game, she commented. Monticello is probably our toughest opponent. They are well-coached and serve and spike very well.
Monticello Coach Karen Atack noted that some other teams may take SW which is only in its third season as a varsity program lightly, but her squad doesnt make that mistake.
I told them that on any given night any team can come in here and beat us, said Atack, describing her pre-match talk with the Lady Panthers. I reminded them that the JV team just lost [to SW.]
The veteran coach was pleased with how her team played.
We dont have any superstars, Atack said. It is just a total team effort. These ladies work very well together and every player knows what her role is on the team.
Atack also noted that her team has already qualified for the Section IX Class A tournament and how the Monties fare in their final three regular season matches will determine how high they will be seeded in the tourney.