MILLBROOK, N.Y. – The Kennedy Catholic varsity volleyball team started the Millbrook Tournament on Oct. 12 with 10 players. Soon after it started, they were down to nine.

Not only did the short-handed Gaels remain competitive, but they finished the 15-team tournament in second place.

After finishing the first round with a 5-3 record, Kennedy advanced to the gold bracket, where they defeated two unbeaten teams: John Jay (East Fishkill) and Mount Academy.

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In the gold bracket final, Kennedy came up against Cornwall High School.

In a close contest, Kennedy fell, losing 25-27 and 23-25.

“They truly exemplified the words grit, heart and team,” said Coach Anthony Santora.

Julia Costa led the team as setter with her skillful passing and serving. Madison Troetti, Grace Tompkins and Anna Cascapera supplied the timely hits. Erin Brann and Joanna Longest came up big in the front with blocks when needed. Jackie Garbarino, Jasmine Henriques and Libero Maddy Carstisano were masterful on defense.

This is the first time a Kennedy team has ever placed in this tournament.