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Rob Potter | Democrat

Monticello’s Alissa Hermida (11) spikes the ball over Pine Bush’s Kayla Gallagher in the third game of Monday evening’s match.

Pine Bush tops Monticello in non-league volleyball

By Rob Potter
MONTICELLO — October 29, 2010 — The Monticello Lady Panthers volleyball team celebrated its Senior Night on Monday evening.
Prior to a non-league match against the visiting Pine Bush Lady Bushmen, the eight seniors on the Monticello team were honored during a brief ceremony. Those seniors are Caitlin Bonnaci, Hayley Brennan, Jacqueline Cassaro, Alissa Hermida, Jenna Oldfield, Amanda Palko, Brittany Santos and Taneka Snowden.
Unfortunately for the Lady Panthers and their fans, once the match began Pine Bush put a damper on the celebration. Pine Bush swept to victory over Monticello in three games: 25-11, 25-18 and 25-18.
Pine Bush (15-1) jumped out to a 5-0 lead in game 1 as Megan Maisonet served three aces.
A kill by Hermida moments later allowed the Monties to cut the Lady Bushmen lead to 7-4.
But Pine Bush responded by scoring four straight points to push its advantage to 11-4.
After Monticello (11-8) drew to within two points at 13-11 on a bad hit, Pine Bush ran off 12 consecutive points to win the game. Maria Range had two aces during that Lady Bushmen scoring run.
In game 2, Pine Bush took advantage of some hitting errors by the Lady Panthers to jump out to an 8-1 lead.
But Monticello gradually reduced the Pine Bush advantage. Consecutive kills by Palko and Hermida gave the Lady Panthers a 10-9 lead.
The Lady Bushmen then rallied to regain the advantage. A kill by Sarah Meredith gave them a 23-18 lead. After Monticello hit the ball out of bounds on a dig, Maisonet recorded a kill to end the game.
Strong play at the net, including a trio of kills by Kayla Gallagher, enabled the Lady Bushmen to grab an 18-14 lead in game 3. Bad hits by the Lady Panthers helped Pine Bush extend its lead to 22-17.
A kill by Maisonet and a block by Amber Colby enabled Pine Bush to reach match point at 24-17. The Lady Bushmen then had a bad spike into the net.
But Pine Bush won the match seconds later when Monticello hit the ball out of bounds.
“Our serving could have been better,” Pine Bush Coach Frank Sobieck said. “We served pretty well, but there’s room for improvement. I think we were fooled a little bit by Monticello’s defensive format. They only had one blocker at the net and five players behind the line. We are not used to seeing that and had to adjust our serving.
“But that one player they had at the net, No. 12 [Amanda Palko], did a wonderful job,” Sobieck added.
Sobieck also noted that Gallagher, who had nine kills in the match, “did a nice job.”
Also leading Pine Bush to the win were Maisonet and Range. Maisonet had 17 assists, six digs and five kills, while Range recorded 12 points, eight digs and two aces.
The Lady Panthers were paced by Brennan, Hermida and Palko.
Brennan had seven service points, three kills and two digs. Hermida registered six kills, four service points, three blocks, two assists and two digs. Palko had seven service points, five kills and two digs.
“It would have been nice to get a win on Senior Night,” Monticello Coach Karen Atack said. “But Pine Bush is a very good team and has only lost once all season. So we have nothing to be ashamed of.
“We played a very tough schedule this season,” Atack added. “We did our best in every match.”
Both Monticello and Pine Bush will be playing in the sectionals, which begin next week. Monticello will be competing in the Class A tournament and Pine Bush will be playing in the Class AA tournament.

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