By Rob Potter
LAKE HUNTINGTON November 2, 2007 When asked how he felt just moments before Tuesday night’s Section IX Class C volleyball quarterfinal match at Sullivan West High School, SW Coach Cliff Kelly had a simple, honest answer.
“Excited,” he said. “This could be history tonight.”
Kelly and his players were even more excited after the match.
The fourth-seeded Lady Bulldogs recorded their first-ever sectional victory with a 25-21, 21-25, 25-21, 25-20 triumph over the fifth-seeded Tuxedo Lady Tornadoes.
With the win, SW (7-11) advanced to the Class C semifinals to face No. 1 Rhinebeck. That match was scheduled to be played last night in Rhinebeck.
“This is great, it’s Sullivan West history,” Kelly said moments after Tuesday night’s match. “Everybody played a great match tonight.”
Kelly noted that the Lady Bulldogs’ ability to tip the ball over the net and in front of the Tuxedo (3-14) players so they could not return it was a key to victory.
He also praised Brittney Gieger and Amanda Kehrley for playing particularly well. Kelly lauded Gieger for her “outstanding play at the net” and Kehrley, a JV player who was called up to varsity for the sectional tournament, for “serving five straight aces to close out the match.”
In addition, Kelly said his team was well-prepared for the contest.
“We had a great practice last night,” he commented. “We did a lot of work on serving and passing.”
Gieger had 16 points, 13 kills, seven assists, four blocks and three digs, while Caralynn Davies recorded 15 points, seven kills, three assists, two aces, one block and one dig.
Also leading the Lady Bulldogs to victory were Samantha Vandiver, Amber McGibbon and Kehrley. Vandiver registered 13 points, eight kills, one ace and one dig; McGibbon posted 15 points, six digs and four aces; Kehrley added six points, four aces and one dig.
“Their tip-ins at the net really hurt us,” Tuxedo Coach Debra Murphy said.
Murphy also noted that her team was hurt by some service errors and mistakes, especially in the first game.
“I think we were trying to do too much,” she said.
Despite the defeat, Murphy was pleased with the Lady Tornadoes’ overall effort.
“They played very well tonight,” she said.
Tuxedo’s Katie Munoz had 11 kills, five digs, one point and one ace.
Claudia Van Oordt recorded nine points, seven kills, three digs, two aces and one block and Rebecca Meekins had 14 assists, four points, four kills, three aces and one dig for the Lady Tornadoes.