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Almost . . .

Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

SCCC’S DARCIE O’CONNER spikes the volleyball over the block attempt of SUNY Ulster’s Rene Smith in Tuesday’s Region XV match at Paul Gerry Fieldhouse. Watching the play develop are SCCC’s Rita Giannone, who is behind O’Conner, and SUNY Ulster’s Jessica Perry and Jessica Goodrich (9).

SCCC Nearly
Outduels Ulster

By Rob Potter
LOCH SHELDRAKE — October 28, 2005 – After the first game of Tuesday night’s Region XV volleyball match between visiting SUNY Ulster and Sullivan County Community College, one got the feeling that the maximum of five games would have to be played to determine a winner.
Indeed, the Lady Senators and Lady Generals played all five games before a voceferious home crowd at Paul Gerry Fieldhouse. After the Lady Senators won the first game 30-28, the Lady Generals rallied to take the second game, 30-25. SUNY Ulster (4-13) responded with a 30-22 victory in game three and SCCC (1-18) won the fourth game, 30-24.
In the fifth game, which according to Region XV rules was played to 15 points instead of 30 points as in the other games, SUNY Ulster jumped out to a 12-2 lead before winning the game, 15-7.
Leading the Lady Senators to the win was Jessica Goodrich. She had six aces during that 12-2 SUNY Ulster run at the start of the deciding fifth game.
After SCCC scored four consecutive points to close the gap to 13-7, SUNY Ulster Coach Glenn Warnock called a timeout to quell the Lady Generals’ momentum.
“I told the players during the timeout that the only reason we still had a lead was because of Jessica’s aces,” Warnock said. “She’s our best player, by far.”
Warnock said he thought it would be a very competitive event long before the first serve was made.
“We were missing two starters tonight, but when we played Sullivan earlier this season at home we had those two starters and it was a close match,” Warnock commented. “After that first game, I knew it would be close tonight, too.”
That first game featured six ties and seven lead changes. SUNY Ulster extended a 7-6 lead to 10-6 when Jessica Perry served three consecutive aces.
A few moments later, the Lady Generals took a 20-18 advantage on a kill by Wendy McDonald. She added another kill and an ace as SCCC extended its lead to 24-21.
But the Lady Senators rallied to tie the score at 25-25 and then 28-28. SCCC hit the ball out of bounds on consecutive plays to give SUNY Ulster the two-point win.
In the second game, however, the Lady Generals grabbed an early lead. SCCC extended that lead to nine points at 24-15 on an ace by Krystal Gonzalez.
The Lady Senators rallied to narrow their deficit to 29-25. But an errant spike into the net sealed a 30-25 victory for SCCC.
The third game went back and forth as the Lady Generals took an early lead, the Lady Senators came back to hold an advantage, SCCC tied the match and regained the lead and SUNY Ulster rallied to tie the score before winning the game.
A kill by McDonald gave the Lady Generals an 18-17 lead. But aces by Goodrich and Kara Facse and a kill by Melissa Radel helped the Lady Senators end the game with a 13-4 scoring run.
SCCC rallied from a 15-10 deficit in the fourth game to score a 30-24 win and force the fifth game. Gonzalez served an ace to give the Lady Generals an 19-18 lead. Gonzalez recorded another ace moments later and SCCC took advantage of some errant hits by the Lady Senators to finish the game with an 11-6 run.
“That was exciting,” SCCC Coach Ann Marra said. “Our players gave it their best. They played with a lot of heart and spirit tonight. They left everything they had out there on the floor.”
Marra noted that serving was a problem late in the match.
“We just couldn’t get our serves to fall in during those last three games,” she said. “That really hurt us.”
Even though the Lady Generals recorded only one victory this season – a forfeit win over Hostos Community College on Oct. 8 – Marra was happy with how her players performed in the team’s 19 matches.
“I had a lot of fun with this group,” the first-year coach said. “Only three of them had ever played volleyball before and a couple of them had never even played a sport. But they all worked hard and played with such heart.”
Jessica Rodriguez was one of the Lady Generals who had never played before.
“She was probably our most improved player,” Marra said. “Jessica was always out on the court two hours before practice began. She worked very hard this season.
“Her serve was very dependable and it lifted us,” Marra added.
Marra also praised Maxine Esteves-Reid, who only joined the team a few weeks ago.
In reviewing the stats from Tuesday, Marra noted that McDonald had 12 kills and seven aces, while Racquel Bernard made four kills. Rita Giannone and Darcie O’Conner each added three kills.
“We didn’t have one standout player tonight,” Marra said. “I think that shows how well we played as a team.”

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