By Rob Potter
MONTICELLO The visiting Cornwall Lady Dragons swept the Monticello Lady Panthers on Wednesday afternoon in an Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division III volleyball match.
Cornwall prevailed in the three games by respective scores of 25-14, 25-10 and 25-10.
With the win, Cornwall stayed unbeaten this season. The team is 6-0 overall and 3-0 in Div. III. Monticello fell to 3-4 overall and 0-4 in Div. III.
The Lady Panthers got off to a good start in Game 1. Cassi Smithem had a kill to give them a 3-1 lead. Teammate Aimee Rice then served an ace to give Monticello a 4-1 advantage.
But as the next few points were played, the Lady Dragons tied the score three times and took a one-point lead on three occasions.
Cornwall scored four straight points to turn an 8-8 tie into a 12-8 advantage. Alex Jurgens had an ace and Brittany Bryant made a block during the four-point run.
Julia Anderson served four aces as the Lady Dragons extended their lead to 22-13. Moments later, teammate Tess Sackmann ended the game with a kill.
Anderson and Sackmann each served a pair of aces early in Game 2 to help the Lady Dragons jump out to a 12-4 advantage.
Bryant, a senior middle blocker, had six kills as Cornwall closed out the game with a 13-6 scoring run.
In Game 3, Monticello’s Shamira Moore made a block to give her team a 2-1 lead. After Cornwall regained the lead, Monticello’s Katie Fisher had a kill to even the score at 4-4.
But the Lady Dragons responded with a 6-0 run to take a 10-4 lead. Jurgens and Tara Mirabile each had a kill during the run.
Over the next few minutes, Bryant had three kills and Jovi Manzari served two aces as Cornwall extended its lead to 19-7.
A kill by Sackmann gave Cornwall match point at 24-10. When the Lady Panthers hit the ball out of bounds on the next point, the Lady Dragons claimed victory in the match.
“I wasn’t happy in the first set because we were playing a little sloppy,” Cornwall Coach Jeff Moulton said. “We weren’t serving well and we weren’t playing at a good pace.
“Then we started to settle down and play better,” he added. “We got everybody into the match today, which was nice.”
Moulton noted the way Monticello returned the ball caught the Lady Dragons by surprise on some points.
“They were sending the ball back on the second hit a lot and sometimes on the first hit,” he said. “Sometimes you play a team that does that. Most of the teams we play use three hits to return the ball.”
Moulton was pleased to see his team earn the victory.
“We still have a young team,” he explained. “We had one ninth-grader and three 10th-graders starting for us. It’s a fun group. But they still need to be held up to the standards created by our teams in past years.”
Anderson, a senior setter, led the Lady Dragons with 26 assists, eight aces and three digs. Jebb recorded five kills, five digs and two aces. Bryant had 13 kills and three blocks, while Christa Sidoti made three kills.
Monticello Coach Karen Atack noted that her team gave a great effort on the court.
“I don’t think we ever gave up,” she said. “Obviously, we need to work on the fundamentals. The effort was there, but the skill level wasn’t there.”
Atack noted that her team was missing two starters junior setter Yadira Montes and senior outside hitter Dayanara Torres due to injury.
“It’s a different team with Yadira and Dayanara on the court,” Atack commented. “I can’t wait for them to get back. Not having them on the court really hurts us.”
Smithem paced the Lady Panthers with 12 kills, five digs, three points and two blocks. Moore had eight kills, two blocks and two points. Katryna Rokicki finished with three points, two aces and two blocks. Fisher had four points and two kills.