YONKERS, N.Y.— Somers was hoping for a home playoff game in the opening round but the Tusker volleyball team received the No. 9 seed in the Class A playoffs.
That didn’t deter the Tuskers as they traveled to No. 8 Yonkers and pulled out a 3-1 opening round win on Friday, Oct. 27.
“This was the first playoff win for the Somers volleyball team since I have been a part of the program,” senior setter Liz Spencer said. “This is a huge accomplishment for us, all of our hard work has paid off. I am so excited for our next match.”
Her teammate agreed that it was a big win.
“It meant so much to our team to win this playoff game since it has been so long since Somers has advanced to this level,” senior Alyssa Klee said. “We are extremely excited to compete in the quarterfinals and are proud that we worked so hard this season, which enabled us to win.”
Somers quickly overcame any playoff nerves and collected itself behind strong serving from senior captain Vicky Levy, pulling out the first set, 25-15.
“The team’s confidence and excitement going into the match was what pushed us ahead early,” said Spencer, who set up her teammates consistently to the tune of 34 assists. “The whole team was executing well. From serving, to passing, to big kills, everything was clicking.”
Klee, who had seven aces in the match, added that “keeping up our positive energy, being loud on the court and constantly cheering each other on,” was critical in getting off to a fast start.
“This helped us to forget about our little mistakes so we could run an aggressive offense to take the lead,” Klee added. “Our successful serving was another factor that helped us take the lead. We barely missed any serves, which gave us a competitive advantage over Yonkers and allowed us to keep playing offensively for as long as possible.”
Somers cruised to victory in the second set 25-13, but dropped the third set 25-17 as Yonkers cut the Tusker lead to 2-1.
Somers wasn’t about to give Yonkers any more hope of a comeback, ending the match in the fourth set with a 25-14 win.
“Yonkers made some great plays that got them and their fans energized,” Spencer said of the third set. “We started having issues communicating and got frustrated, which led to multiple mistakes. In the huddle before the fourth set, we were able to calm down and forget about the previous set. We came back out positive and playing well early on. The momentum starting swinging our way and carried us to a big win.”
Chloe Pittman and Delaney Killeen added 10 kills apiece for a Tusker team that improved their record to 11-6.
“We knew that we had the skills to beat Yonkers,” Klee said. “We just had to make sure we stayed positive and didn’t let multiple points go by before getting our serve back. After the third set, we talked together as a team and acknowledged that we had to keep our energy up both on and off the court throughout the entire set to win—and we did.”
The Tuskers traveled to top seed and defending state champion Walter Panas for a quarterfinal contest on Tuesday, Oct. 31.