November 2018
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05:23:07 pm

Suffern wins Regional title in 3-0 sweep over Pine Bush!

ANNANDALE ON THE HUDSON — During the hour-plus bus ride to Bard College, Suffern coach Sean Barnes kept his pre-game speech rather brief; "Win."

The girls took his advice, disposing of the 11-time defending Section 9 champions, Pine Bush (17-2) in three sets, 25-20, 25-23, 25-19, to capture their first Class AA Regional title in school history.  

"I told them, 'You're here'," he said. "It's not like, 'Do you deserve to be here? or do you not deserve to be here?' Regardless, you're here; now just win."

The Mounties entered the court relaxed, donning neon green Section 1 shirts that read, "Winning is so much better" on the back. Mainly a knock to their past Sectional finals, for senior captain, Elizabeth Flaherty, it was just added motivation.

"It feels awesome!" she said. "It's been a struggle the last few years, but it's nice to get past Regionals to the highest level at States."

Flaherty led the Mounties with 17 kills in a match that Barnes called, "sloppy" for his girls, despite the sweep. "I don't think we played a very clean game," he said. "I thought we could play a lot better."

Suffern got off to a hot start and never looked back. Pine Bush held a small two-point lead early in the first set, then didn't regain a lead until midway through the third, and final set. Barnes accredited the girls start to a friendly rival. Before the match began, Suffern started playing dodgeball in the corner of the gym, a trick he learned from Arlington coach, Maria Greenwood.

"We're not allowed to touch a volleyball until 30 minutes before the game," Barnes said. "She said she has her girls run and do different things to stay loose." A physical education teacher at Suffern, Barnes decided to have his girls play dodgeball during the wait. "It's something other than volleyball," he said. "Plus, it gets a smile on their face and loosens them up, so it works out."

With the win, the Mounties have now clinched a spot in the State final four in Glens Falls, N.Y. next week. For many of the girls, win or lose, a Regional championship was more than enough. "It's so unreal," said Taylor Anderson, who added eight kills in the win. "It's inexplicable to be able to make it this far." But of course, the Mounties are not settling at Regionals. "This team has the potential to do very well at States," Anderson added.

Suffern joins Haldane, of Class D, as the only area teams to clinch a spot at the State tournament (so far). The girls departed the college immediately after their win to go watch their male counterparts in their volleyball tournament. Smells like team spirit!

mzacchio · 21 views · Leave a comment
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