January 2019
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01:03:46 am

And your (projected) winners are...

(1) Arlington, (2) Suffern, (3) Clarkstown South, (4) North Rockland receive first-round byes.
(5) Clarkstown North def. (12) Roy C. Ketcham
(6) Scarsdale def. (11) Mamaroneck
(7) John Jay-East Fishkill def. (10) Mahopac
(8) Carmel def. (9) New Rochelle


(1) Arlington def. (8) Carmel

(2) Suffern def. (7) John Jay-East Fishkill

(3)  Clarkstown South def. (6) Scarsdale

(4) North Rockland def. (5) Clarkstown North


(1) Arlington def. (4) North Rockland

(2) Suffern def. (3) Clarkstown South


(1) Arlington def. (2) Suffern for the third consecutive year.


WHY: North Rockland may have a chance to make the championship match if they manage to get the no. 3 seed, in which case they'll face a much easier second-round opponent in Scarsdale, and then a team they are familiar with in Suffern, in the semifinals. While Suffern is no easy win, the Red Raiders have seen them twice already, and have beaten them. When facing other top teams, they have not fared as well. Arlington is too strong and the Rockland teams have not seen as much of a diverse competition. Suffern has the players and experience to top the Admirals, but player of the year Elizabeth Flaherty and company will have to be at the very top of their game to do so.


(1) Ursuline and (2) Harrison receive first-round byes. 
(3) John Jay-Cross River def. (14) Somers
(4) Panas def. (13) Ossining
(5) Fox Lane def. (12) Brewster
(6) Yonkers def. (11) Yorktown
(10) Gorton vs. (7) Horace Greeley
(8) Tappan Zee vs. (9) Gorton


(1) Ursuline def. (8) Tappan Zee

(2) Harrison def. (10) Gorton

(3) John Jay-Cross River def. (6) Yonkers

(4) Panas def. (5) Fox Lane


(4) Panas def. (1) Ursuline

(2) Harrison def. (3) John Jay-Cross River


(4) Panas def. (2) Harrison


WHY: If Panas can manage to draw anything but the no. 4 seed, there is a very strong possibility of this happening. Between who they are, who they've faced and what other coaches say about them, Panas is a power-house. Unfortunately, they are being punished in the seeding because they stacked their schedule with tough matches, while teams like Ursuline and Harrison went through a marshmellow season. The only reason I could see Panas losing is because they will have the toughest road of any team (that will actually stand a chance) in any class. Fox Lane is no slouch, Joel Sanford's girls can very well top the Panthers. From there Panas goes to the defending champion, 16-1 Huskies. Don't let the "defending champs" title fool you, yes, they are talented, led by Jessica Segal, one of the best players in the section, but they faced nobody all year. Their biggest matches came against John Jay and two against Fox Lane. They swept John Jay 3-0 and split with the Foxes, both five-set matches. The only thing I'll give them credit for is that these were matches in their class. It's hard to deny a 17-0 record, especially when nobody else went undefeated. Ursuline handed Pelham their only loss on the season in perhaps the best match of the year, again, unfortunately that was pretty much their only massive win. Topping Ardsley and Eastchester were significant, but I just don't see the Koalas having what it takes to win it all in this class. Coach Gigi Kemp has done a fantastic job with these girls all year and I would love to see them prove me wrong, and with a win over Panas if possible.


(1) Pelham, (2) Ardsley, (3) Hen Hud receive first-round byes.
(4) Eastchester def. (13) Roosevelt
(5) Sleepy Hollow def. (12) Nanuet
(6) Putnam Valley def. (11) Pleasantville
(7) Edgemont def. (10) Rye
(8) Byram Hills def. (9) Kennedy


(1) Pelham def. (8) Byram Hills

(2) Ardsley def. (7) Edgemont

(3) Hen Hud def. (6) Putnam Valley

(4) Eastchester def. (5) Sleepy Hollow


(1) Pelham def. (4) Eastchester

(3) Hen Hud def. (2) Ardsley


(1) Pelham def. (3) Hen Hud


WHY: This will be the best championship of all the brackets. I believe class AA has the best overall bracket to watch, and class A will have the best final four to watch, but this will be the best championship hands down. Both Pelham and Hen Hud have history together, and are among the best teams in the entire section. The only way I can see them not ending up in the championship together is if Hen Hud manages to fall to the no. 4 seed, which shouldn't happen. The story behind this match is incredible: a re-match of last year's championship, Hen Hud - the 11-time defending section champs, Pelham - always a bridesmaid, never a bride, Pelham becoming the first team to sweep Hen Hud during the regular season in over a decade - it's great. Coaches Mark Finegan and Diane Swertfager are very good friends, which should also make for an interesting match. With the Jackie Tamburri era finally over, this is certainly not the Hen Hud of old, but are by no means a team to sleep on. Think of Hen Hud like Albert Pujols after his injury this year - wounded, but do you really want to try and throw a fastball by them? I love Pelham's story and after getting to watch the regular season match up, I truly believe this is the year of the Pelican. 


(1) Rye Neck, (2) Valhalla, (3) Keio, (4) Hastings, (5) Albertus Magnus and (6) Blind Brook receive first-round byes.
(7) Dobbs Ferry def. (10) Croton-Harmon
(8) Briarcliff def. (9) Dover


(1) Rye Neck def. (8) Briarcliff

(2) Valhalla def. (7) Dobbs Ferry

(3) Keio def. (6) Blind Brook

(5) Albertus Magnus def. (4) Hastings


(1) Rye Neck def. (5) Albertus Magnus

(2) Valhalla def. (3) Keio


(2) Valhalla def. (1) Rye Neck


WHY: First off, let me just say that I love Mallary McFadden. Magnus' super-soph is among the top kills leaders in the section and is coming out of a rather unkown division. Granted, the Falcons have not faced the toughest of competition, but when you put up the numbers she has at her age, it deserves recognition. With that said, class C is very weak. Even the top seeds are nothing to brag about. Keio flirted with an undefeated record for a while, but hit a skid after their first loss. Rye Neck was undefeated most of the year, but lost two games near the end of the season. What makes their losses worse is that Rye Neck didn't face anybody all year. They beat Keio twice, which doesn't impress me, and the two other big matches they had to try and prove themselves, they lost. Valhalla is the hottest class C team going into the tournament; riding a five-game winning streak, including a 3-2 season finale win over Rye Neck, the Vikings have the momentum and skill to win it all in class C.


(1) Haldane def. (4) Solomon Schechter
(2) Tuckahoe def. (3) Hamilton


(1) Haldane def. (2) Tuckahoe


WHY: Class D is a joke. I don't know how you can have a team like Haldane (14-2) then not have another team with a winning record. In the paper I have to be politically correct, but since this is not the paper, I'll say it here. Haldane literally has to not show up to lose this class. They have competed with the best around, beating Arlington, Panas and Hen Hud and would hold their own against anyone of them in a tournament. It wouldn't surprise me to see Haldane win a state title.


EDITOR'S NOTE: I created this blog as a way to give volleyball more coverage with more detail rather than one notebook, once a week, in which I have to try and cover 120+ schools in just 15 inches of text. I also created it so that I can give more detail that we can't put in the paper. Coaches, if anything offended you I'm sorry, but saying you had a weak schedule isn't a knock on you, it's just stating fact. I personally don't think it's fair that every other sport gets a blog and volleyball gets nothing. If we had a blog affiliated with LoHud I probably wouldn't be as liberal, but you should get the gist of it.


NEXT POST: Predicting the official bracket! Seeds to be released Wednesday afternoon.

mzacchio · 70 views · Leave a comment
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