Story by Jon Dinan
The Monticello Monties girl’s varsity volleyball team defeated Fallsburg last Thursday in straight sets (25-8, 25-7, 25-15).
During the non league contest held at Fallsburg High school, Monticello’s offense was unrelenting. Three of their six starters had points in double figures: Shivani Patel (13); Kathleen Lasher (10); and Yamilersy Reyes (10).
Reyes’ performance was especially eye-catching. The amount of space between her feet and the gym floor as she leapt for spikes was measurable in feet.
Time and again Reyes elevated her slight frame well above the net to throw down commanding spikes.
Despite her stand-out play the 10th grader was quite modest about her play.
“I think I played alright tonight but I know I could’ve done better,” Reyes said.
Superior service from Shivani Patel and Shamira Moore was another large reason the Monties were able to hold a lead throughout the entire match.
The non-league victory for Monticello moved them to 7-7. Only teams with a .500 winning percentage and over are eligible to make sectionals.
“Its going to be close,” Monticello head coach Karen Atack said about her team’s playoff hopes. “We have to keep working hard and make a strong finish.”
Monticello would need to win three of its final five matches to become playoff eligible.
This season has not been as kind to the Fallsburg Comets. The loss dropped them to 0-10 on the season.
“This season has been tough on [our team],” said Fallsburg coach Carlye Hyde. “Their morale is low right now and they need to pick each other up and work together. That’s a difficult task right now but they all have the ability. They can win.”
There is a noticeable disparity in terms of success between these two teams, yet neither squad has enjoyed much success against volleyball teams in Orange County.
Monticello’s league, OCIAA Division III, is comprised of themselves and three Orange county teams: Cornwall; Goshen; and Port Jervis. The Monties are 0-4 in league competition.
Fallsburg too has taken a loss every time they’ve encountered a school from Orange County.
“They play all year round in Orange County,” said Atack. “They have many players in AAU programs down there that most of our players from Sullivan County can’t afford to join.
“Playing during the off-season allows athletes to improve and hone skills that cannot always be addressed in a short season.” Hyde added.
Whatever the reason, the difference in volleyball competition between the two neighboring counties is obvious. An Orange County team has won the Section IX title every year since Monticello won in 2001.