November 2018
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05:13:38 pm

LIVE COVERAGE TODAY! 1 Ursuline vs. 4 Panas


Ursuline (18-0):

- The only undefeated team in Section 1

- Has not lost a set since Oct. 11 (defeated Pelham 3-2)

- Head coach Gigi Kemp is in her first year at the helm of the Koalas after spending 10 years at White Plains.

- Only loss this season came in a tournament to Fox Lane (2-0) - tournaments do not count towards record.

- Players to watch: Lauren Bilosi (183 kills, 40 aces), Molly McCarthy (one of the best liberos in the Section)

- BIG WINS: Pelham (3-2), Ardsley (3-2)

- MY TWO CENTS: Like I've said with teams like Harrison, Yonkers, Kennedy and Rye Neck, Ursuline has not play the most difficult of schedules. Handing Pelham their only loss this year definitely gives the Koalas some brownie points in my book, but they've played just two "challenging" matches all year. They've done very well in tournament play during the regular season, winning their host tournament, but can the Koalas step up when the lights are on?


Panas (13-4):

- Has not lost to a class A opponent all season

- Played one of, if the not, the toughest schedule in Section 1

- Lost to Hen Hud twice, Pelham and Haldane during the regular season.

- Players to watch: Vivian Burcescu (leads Section in kills (244 in 15 matches) - missing two games of stats), Brigitte Burcescu (younger sister of Vivian, usually sets up her big sis as the team's setter).

- BIG WINS: Fox Lane (3-2), North Rockland (3-0), Haldane (3-1)

- MY TWO CENTS: Joe Felipe did a great job at scheduling a season that had a balance of tough competition, with games they should win. With Panas coming out on top most of the time, they've proved that they are better than their no. 4 seed lets on. They've proven they can beat the good teams (Fox Lane, NRHS) and the great teams (Haldane), as well as that they will not be an easy team to knock out.


PRE-GAME NOTES: A player match up I've been waiting to see all year is Vivian Burcescu vs. Molly McCarthy. Coach Kemp has said that her libero is an animal who digs, "EVERYTHING!" Burcescu, who stands at a towering 6'4" does all of her talking through her stat line. My fellow volleyball writer, Sharieka Breeden did a preview article on Panas and Burcescu where she was fortunate enough to see the team practice. She's told me that Burcescu is the real deal and her stats prove that she is an all-star on both sides of the ball. Burcescu's powerful spike against McCarthy's defensive talent may be the deciding factor in determining who marches on to the big show.


PRE-GAME PREDICTION: Panas a hot team out of the gate, I say they win the first two sets 25-23, 25-22 despite the road disadvantage. Ursuline comes back to win the third game and avoid a shutout, 25-21. Panas finishes off the Koalas in their own jungle, 25-20. (4) Panas def. (1) Ursuline 3-1.

WHY? Ursuline may have the advantage of playing at home, but Panas has the upper hand when it comes to endurance. Panas is a "never-say-die" team that likes to hang around and pester opponents. Again, I say it comes down to Burcescu v. McCarthy, a girl with that talent and at that height is an immediate game-changer; she can kill on offense and block on defense. Whoever wins this match up, wins the match.





mzacchio · 146 views · Leave a comment
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