Early in the Finals, the teams were tied 3-all.
Rye Neck Volleyball
Close but No Cigar: Panthers Lose to Valhalla in Class C Final
By Mitch Silver
Rye Neck’s volleyball team had a date with destiny at Pace University’s Goldstein Athletic Center Sunday night. The Class C championship match was delayed an hour by earlier finals, but destiny finally arrived in the form of the defending champion Valhalla Vikings and their trio of all-State performers: Linda Rossi, Jasmine Grant, and Stephanie Sicilian.
The second-seeded Panthers came into Sunday on a high, sweeping Dobbs Ferry in the semis by a score of 25-21, 25-21, 25-13. Senior co-captain Grace West finished that one with an amazing 31 assists, seven digs, and five aces. Junior Alexa Guedez had 18 kills, and her classmates Maura Gabriele and Kyrta Hutt finished with seven kills each. Julianne “Juju” Spencer and Corinne Collado had 15 digs each.
Valhalla, though, was another story. Jasmine Grant is a six-footer, and she spent most of the night swatting away Panther scoring attempts. On offense, she had a game-high 17 kills. Linda Rossi, another returning all-Stater and pre-season Super 7 selection, returned to the Vikings’ lineup from injuries that kept her sideline for half the season. Her 12 kills and seven digs—combined with Sicilian’s 27 assists and six digs—were more than enough to end the Panthers’ season.
Head Coach Allison Reynolds’ first campaign back at the helm produced a 17-3 record, with 15 of those wins being three-game sweeps.
And, even while losing the final on the big Pace floor by scores of 25-17, 25-19, 25-15, Panther stalwart Guedez had a team-high nine kills, West had 15 assists and three digs, and Spencer provided another 12 digs. While Rye Neck will lose co-captains West, Spencer, and Morgan Parker to graduation, they’ll return a pretty strong core in 2020. Expect them back at the Goldstein Center.