While Dobbs Ferry, Irvington, Pawling, and Valhalla look to be the cream of the section, Rye Neck brings a mix of veterans and youth
By Mitch Silver
While Dobbs Ferry, Irvington, Pawling, and Valhalla look to be the cream of the section, Rye Neck brings a mix of veterans and youth — possessing both height and agility — to the floor. Once they get everyone healthy, that is.
Sophomore libero and court general Samantha Yannuzzi suffered a concussion in the Panthers’ 3-0 loss to Valhalla September 2, while fellow sophomore Olivia Beach still has the sprained ankle she received during a pre-season scrimmage with Mamaroneck. Add in the losses to graduation of Juliette D’Errico, Kaitlyn Pillig, Lindsay Walther, and Rachel Cohen, and Head Coach Kristin Desio and Assistant Coach Katherine Kellner have been doing a lot of mixing and matching.
Even so, the juggled lineup was strong enough to whitewash Woodlands September 4 by a score of 25-9, 25-7, 25-11. Varsity newcomer Alexa Garcia had 11 aces, while senior Jackie DeCicco added nine kills for the Panthers.
Coach Desio was happy with the effort. “We played well against Woodlands. With two starters out, it forced others to have to play out of position. All of the girls did a great job stepping up and fulfilling their responsibilities.”
It only gets more difficult going forward. The Black Cats played non-league power Irvington post-press time before traveling to Hastings. They’ll be back home to host Edgemont September 16. By then, the walking wounded might be back with the team. At least, one can hope.