Rye Neck Volleyball
Panthers Blank Hamilton 3-0, and Return to Winning Ways
By Mitch Silver
First-year Head Coach Jamie Collaretta, once a standout for Manhattan College, has experienced an equal number of ups and downs since taking the reins of last year’s Class C volleyball finalists at Rye Neck. The team has suffered a few tough defeats—including an early-season loss to neighboring Harrison and a 3-2 heartbreaker at the hands of Putnam Valley nine days ago — and scored a couple of terrific victories, especially a 3 to 2 defeat of North Salem the first week of the season.
A week ago Monday, the Panthers dismantled Tuckahoe, winning in straight sets. Coach Collaretta said after that one, “There were so many opportunities for the entire team to demonstrate their skills. The girls were able to keep up their confidence and intensity from the beginning of set one to the end of set three, working together through the good points and the not–so-good points, which kept them motivated to want to push themselves harder.”
Seven days later, they blanked Elmsford’s Alexander Hamilton High by the same 3-0 score. The team’s five seniors — Lucia Kampf, co-captain Elizabeth Mioli, Charlotte Murphy, Jamie Strazza, and Nina Sullivan — provided the leadership through thick and thin. Junior co-captain Julianne Spencer and her classmates — setter Grace West and outside hitter Morgan Parker — were crucial factors in the victory.
The loss to Putnam Valley was especially tough, considering the fact that Rye Neck led by 9-5 in the final set before a run of six straight poor returns of serve dug a hole they couldn’t dig out of. Literally. Mioli drove home a kill at the net to end the run, but the Panthers dropped the set and the game by 25-16.
“Look,” Coach Collaretta said afterwards, “this is high school. Nobody’s perfect. I try to show the girls what they’re doing wrong. But if I yank someone after a mistake or two, how will they learn what it feels like to do it right?”
The learning continues this afternoon when Rye Neck travels to Albertus Magnus before visiting Briarcliff Monday. They host Keio Academy Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
Sophomore Corinne Collado pounds home a winner against Putnam Valley.