MAHOPAC, N.Y.— It was a historic fall season for the Mahopac High School volleyball team right up until the end, which came earlier than the Indians expected.
Mahopac lost its second match of the season to Scarsdale, before embarking on a 16-match win-streak that ended with a loss to a tough Ossining (the eventual section champ) in the Class AA tournament quarterfinals.
Mahopac, which finished at 17-2, also went undefeated in league play, winning its second consecutive League 1A title.
Indians coach Jay Melville, who was named League 1A Coach of the Year, talked about his team’s accomplishments.
“Overall it was a fantastic season,” Melville said. “It was the best regular-season in Mahopac volleyball history. One goal we had was to win the league, so to go undefeated in the league was really nice. And we got the No. 1 seed in the tournament— also a first. So, we had some nice accomplishments for the team and the history of the program.
“And the team chemistry was probably the best I’ve seen,” Melville added. “They were all friends on and off the court, which is rare. There was no drama. They were all supportive, no egos or attitude with anyone. It was great to see the interaction, and even better to see them play together.”
Mahopac’s top gun, senior captain and outside hitter Carah Vitkus, was named All-Section for the second consecutive year, and was also named the League 1A Player of the Year.
“She was phenomenal for us all year,” Melville said. ”She was our best hitter, and one of our top two passers. She was solid at the net, and also played great defense. A very steady player who kind of carried our team this year.”
Also grabbing All-Section honors was senior captain and setter Francesca Cammarata. “Francesca was a great setter,” Melville said. “She mixed sets up, ran a variety of sets at the net, and she was very strong defensively. She was probably the best overall server on the team.”
Vitkus and Cammarata, along with Gabby Rocchio and Angela Garofalo, earned All-League honors. Junior Bella Marinelli earned All-Conference Honorable Mention and All-League honors.
“Bella and Gabby both really stepped it up for the team this year,” Melville said. “They both really stepped up their roles, and helped the team go as far as it did. And Angela was a defensive specialist for us, she was a very solid defensive player.”
The Indians lose some key pieces to graduation, but Melville believes the team will be strong again next year with a blend of returning veterans and new talent.
“We lose Carah and Francesca, Dorinda Murray, and Garofalo,” the coach said. “They were all starters, and all big contributors, but others rotated in and they’re coming back, our middles are back, and we do have some key returning players. I think we can be pretty competitive again next year.”
On winning the league COY honors, Melville said: “It’s a nice honor to receive for working with the team and going undefeated in the league. I love working with the girls, they make it enjoyable, and I love the challenge of making a team competitive every season—which we are.”