By Rob Potter
FALLSBURG October 12, 2007 The Monticello Lady Panthers volleyball team used a strong service game on Tuesday afternoon in order to keep their undefeated record intact.
Monticello recorded several service aces in each game of its Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division II match versus the host Fallsburg Lady Comets. As a result, the Lady Panthers recorded a 25-5, 25-3, 25-7 victory.
With the win, Monticello improved to 11-0 overall and 11-0 in Division II competition. Fallsburg fell to 0-11 overall and 0-11 in Division II.
Nicole Keesler and Eryn Robinson each served an ace as the Lady Panthers raced out to a 13-2 lead in the first game. Emily Drobysh added two aces and two kills to help the Lady Panthers extend their lead.
Keárya Sanders recorded a pair of aces and a pair of kills in the latter stages of the game as Monticello prevailed, 25-5.
In Game 2, Keesler served six straight aces to give Monticello an 8-1 lead. Moments later, teammate Jordan Kunis served five aces to extend the Lady Panthers’ advantage to 15-2.
Monticello took a 4-1 lead in the opening minutes of Game 3. But Fallsburg cut that advantage to 4-3 with a dig by Jaime Stickle and an ace by Dana Maythenyi.
The Lady Panthers responded with a 9-0 scoring run paced by Robinson, who had four aces, and Drobysh, who made two kills.
Monticello outscored Fallsburg 12-4 the rest of the game to wrap up its victory.
“We tried to play consistently and not lower our level of play,” Monticello Coach Karen Atack said. “Our service game was great today.”
In a show of good sportsmanship, Atack made sure all of her players saw time on the court and she substituted them frequently.
“It’s always nice when everybody gets a chance to play,” she said.
Robinson finished the match with 11 points and three aces, while Keesler had 10 points and six aces.
Kunis recorded eight points and seven aces, while Drobysh added seven kills, four assists, four points and two aces.
Maythenyi and Stickle paced the Lady Comets’ attack. Maythenyi had one ace, one kill and one point, while Stickle registered two digs and two kills.
“This is a great group of girls, they keep competing throughout the match and don’t quit,” Fallsburg Coach Andrea Millas said.
The first-year coach noted that injuries have taken a toll on her team this season. But the future looks bright as the Lady Comets’ JV team is playing very well.
“Many of those JV players will be joining the varsity next season and they are a good group of players,” Millas said. “They play with a lot of spirit.”
Among the Fallsburg varsity players who are injured is junior Christine Justiano. She was one of the team’s top players in the first few matches of the season, but then aggravated an old injury. As a result, Justiano has not played in the past few weeks.
Despite the injury, Justiano is still a key member of the Lady Comets’ team.
“Christine comes to practice every day and encourages her teammates,” Millas said. “She inspires these kids to keep working hard and improving.”
Fallsburg suffered another injury in the second game of Tuesday’s match as junior Stephanie Melendez hurt her wrist while serving the ball. She spent the rest of the match sitting on the bench and applying ice to her wrist.