CORTLANDT, N.Y. – A young Yorktown squad, without a senior on their roster, enjoyed an incredible season this fall, making it to the Section 1 Class A semifinals.
That is where their season ended, losing to host No. 2 and eventual Section 1 Class A champion, Hendrick Hudson, in three sets (18-25, 23-25, 13-25), on Oct. 31.
After losing the first set, No. 3 Yorktown rebounded and played a highly competitive second set before the Sailors pulled it out.
“The loss in the first set was behind us and we knew we had to step up our game,” Yorktown’s Jackie Cane said. “We didn’t let their win in the first set determine how hard we would play.”
Gia Tropea (1 dig), Jackie Knoesel (1 kill, 5 assists, 1 ace, 8 digs), Olivia Waschenko (4 kills, 1 dig), Allison Torres (6 kills, 4 digs, 2 blocks), Aniyah Seales (1 kill), Olivia Fasce (9 assists, 1 ace, 10 digs, 1 block), Lauren Strauss (2 aces, 8 digs), Cane (14 kills, 1 dig), and Allison Silverman (1 kill, 14 assists, 1 ace, 10 digs), all earned their way into the box score for a Husker squad that is very excited about its prospects for next season.
“Our team worked hard and played as a unit this season,” Cane said. “We’re all very excited to come back even stronger next year.”
Yorktown earned its trip to the semifinals with a 3-1 (25-23, 25-20, 18-25, 25-17) victory against visiting No. 6 Eastchester on Oct. 29, a quarterfinal match which was ended on a kill by a high-flying Torres.
“I just wanted to get that one point,” Torres said. “I just put everything I had into it and put the ball away as quick as I could.”
Torres also ended the opening set in similar fashion.
“I saw their corners were open, so I thought the best option was hitting that line and just finish it off and go to the next set,” Torres said.
Yorktown coach Gigi Kemp was very pleased with how her team persevered against the Eagles.
“I was proud of how they toughed it out and endured it,” Kemp said. “In volleyball, it’s sometimes hot and cold, with your game play and the girls just turned it on and said we are going to be hot and we are going to take this win and they followed through with it.”
It appeared Yorktown was going to sweep Eastchester, up 11-5 in the third set, before Eastchester rallied to win that set.
“Sometimes there is just a lot of mental error that the level of intensity drops down and the kids relax a little bit and in a quarterfinal match, you can’t do that,” Kemp said. “You have to be intense every single point.”
Torres said that after her squad lost the third set, it just needed to take a deep breath and regroup, which it did to win the final set.
“We were in our heads too much and we just needed to really side out, get out of that hole and just come back as a team,” Torres said.
Kemp said that Huskers (15-5) were able to rally after its third-set loss and overcome a 5-2 deficit in the fourth set because they simply wanted it.
“They didn’t care for that loss and they just wanted to keep playing hard and wanted to finish the whole match,” Kemp said.
Knoesel (1 kill, 6 assists, 3 aces, 14 digs), Waschenko (11 kills, 2 digs), Torres (9 kills, 1 ace, 9 digs, 1 block), Seales (5 kills), Fasce (1 kill, 17 assists, 6 aces, 10 digs), Strauss (1 assists, 6 aces, 7 digs), Cane (10 kills, 3 digs), Silverman (6 kills, 13 assists, 2 aces, 12 digs) and Paige Melagrano (1 assists, 2 digs) all did the job against Eastchester.