Mahopac Succumbs to Scarsdale in Opening Round

Liana Rocchio digs one up. Credits: Vic McGee

SCARSDALE, N.Y.— Mahopac’s varsity volleyball team battled to a 1-1 tie with Scarsdale during a tournament back in September.

The two teams met again in the first round of the Section 1 Class AA playoffs and fifth-seeded Scarsdale defeated No. 12 Mahopac in straight sets on Friday, Oct. 28, at Scarsdale High School.

Mahopac made the first set interesting, but was bested 25-21. The Indians were defeated 25-15 and 25-18 in the following sets.

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“I feel that the Scarsdale match followed the same pattern as the majority of our matches this season,” Mahopac coach Jay Melville said. “We were competitive with Scarsdale but had some lapses where we let them go on a run or two that we couldn’t recover from. We let them score 3-5 points in a row and just couldn’t make the points up.”

Rising sophomore Carah Vitkus racked up 10 kills and junior Siobhan Hynes notched seven. Junior Julia Dodd chipped in with five kills.

Junior Claire Felix and senior Jenn Laga fortified a solid defense, each coming up with two blocks. Senior back-row player Liana Rocchio had her hands full with 12 total digs.

Also contributing was senior Summer Breidenbach, who had seven digs. Vitkus and Felix had six digs apiece.

On the offensive end, senior Lindsay Leggio sparkled with 11 assists. The all-around threat Vitkus even piled up 11 assists as well in the losing effort.

The Indians were not exactly on fire entering the big match. They were shutout 3-0 by the Ursuline Koalas last Monday, Oct. 24. The scoreboard read 25-13, 25-17, 25-23 after the final regular season game.

Junior Kailey O’Connor stepped up with five kills as Vitkus also had five kills. Dodd collected four kills herself. Vitkus, Hynes, and Laga had a block in the contest.

Breidenbach had 11 digs, while junior Ashley Hickey and Vitkus each had five.

Vitkus even had another 11-assist performance as Leggio complemented her with seven assists in the road loss.

Mahopac, which finished 6-14, certainly gave its all in 2016 while sweeping archrival Carmel in the season series without even losing a single set. It also earned two victories over league rival Ketcham. The Indians lose five players to graduation and will return a number of key players next year. 

Melville said it was a tough season for the Indians defensively. He used five different rotations throughout the season to try to find the right mix.

“The final rotation that I settled on seemed to make a difference with the blocking and the team passing improved, but the players still gave up runs to the other teams that cost us too many games,” Melville admitted. “I think that Summer Breidenbach made a huge difference for us in the backcourt once she was put into the starting lineup and Julia Dodd picked up her hitting during the season.  Carah Vitkus was solid all season with her setting and hitting.”

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