CROSS RIVER, N.Y. – John Jay will enter the sectionals as the No. 1 seed. Last Thursday night’s three-set sweep of Yorktown should provide a good lift for the upcoming postseason. But the Oct. 17 matchup was far from a late season tune up against an easy team, said Coach Tom Rizzotti.
“We [performed] beyond expectations,” Rizzotti said. “They’re 12-4 and will probably be seeded three or four in the sectionals.”
The first set proved the most competitive and had Yorktown taking an early 3-1 lead. But Lily Preis’ first kill in front of her own bench showed what the visitors were up against.
There wasn’t much respite when the hitter rotated back either. Kira McMann wound her windmill pretty tight en route to 9 kills and her first chance put John Jay ahead 6-5.
The back and forth ensued but John Jay got a little separation when setter Allie Driesen cued up Bella Garcia in the middle for a 20-16 lead. Still, Yorktown would not go away and pulled to 21-19 on Olivia Waschenko’s kill.
But a diving dig from Annie Rutherford set up another Preis slam. John Jay didn’t look back, taking the first 25-22.
Maybe suffering a let down, Yorktown was unable to keep pace in the second set. John Jay jumped out to a 10-3 lead and coasted to a 25-14 win.
The third set had John Jay leading all the way also. McCann crushed four slams to open the lead to 19-15 and Preis finished off Yorktown at 25-19 with her 18th kill.
“They’re all well-rounded athletes, make it work and come together,” Rizzotti said.
Afterward, Preis said John Jay has heart and “a will to win.”
John Jay will open their playoff run Friday (Oct. 25) against Rye.