CORTLANDT MANOR, N.Y.— It wasn’t the luckiest draw when No. 9-seeded Somers landed a meeting with defending state champion and top seed Walter Panas in the Class A volleyball quarterfinals.
The Tuskers were swept in decisive fashion in a match that lasted less than an hour on Tuesday, Oct. 31.
Second-year Somers coach Kim Kelly, whose team took a set off Panas during the regular season, was hoping for more out of her team but also knows how dominant of a squad the Panthers are.
“In addition to incredible size and talent, Walter Panas is the most fundamentally sound squad that we have faced,” Kelly said. “Not only is their serving and offense incredibly tough to defend, but we played them on their home court.”
Panas went on to win the Section 1 Class A championship on Nov. 4 at Pace University, defeating Hendrick Hudson in straight sets. The Panthers did not drop a set throughout their playoff run.
Despite the loss, it was a big turnaround season for Somers. The Tuskers finished with an 11-7 record and were competitive in many of their losses.
“It was a difficult game to end on (against Panas), but this team has so much to celebrate,” Kelly noted. “Before we played, we had a big group hug and talked about appreciating these moments with our volleyball family because they are fleeting. Win or lose, this night was the culmination of a landmark season. The memories and successes they achieved will last forever and hopefully they’ll reflect on them as some of the best years of their lives.”
Senior Liz Spencer was named all-section, all-county and all-league. Kelly was selected as the league coach of the year. Also receiving accolades were Chloe Pittman (all-county, all-league), Alyssa Klee (all-league honorable mention) and Alexa Casciano (all-league honorable mention).
Somers graduates five seniors including co-captains Spencer, the team’s setter, and Vicky Levy. Klee, Madison Andriano and Christina Vitale also will go the cap-and-gown route.
“Our seniors will be greatly missed and I’m so proud of the heart, talent and determination they brought to our team this year,” Kelly said. “They are a special group of young ladies. I’m so happy to have been able to coach them the last two years.”