November 2018
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01:38:48 am

WHO LET THE DOGS OUT? Huskies win back-to-back titles

MONTROSE — Criticism can be a powerful force depending on how someone takes it.

Some people will let it eat at them, and ultimately bring them down. Then there are people like the ladies of Harrison, who use it as fuel to drive them.

The Huskies came back from down two sets to defeat the formerly undefeated Ursuline Koalas (19-1), ending the greatest season in their programs history.

Through the first two sets you would've thought there was no chance in hell that Harrison would come back. (Wait a minute girls) Whether you thought Ursuline had too much momentum or Harrison looked a little sluggish, or maybe the fact that the Huskies were called for several errors at the net, one more questionable than the next.

In a rage, Huskies fans supported their girls, doing all the yelling the officials could handle, mainly, "Let the girls play!" so that the girls could focus on the game, and not being thrown out of it. Harrison responded with a big third set win, 25-20, to keep them alive for one more game.

In the fourth set was a ping-pong match between the two, with Harrison leading 17-14 at one point, Ursuline leading 19-18 at another, Harrison leading 21-20 at another, all leading up to the Koalas serving for the title with a 24-23 lead.

Led by senior captain, Jessica Segal, the Huskies ran off the next three points; forcing a deciding fifth set and shifting the momentum into their corner. "This was a crazy game," said Segal. "Coming down from two games, we knew we really had to push."

Coach Candy Light praised her girls on what can only be described as their passionate play, with even that being an understatement. "These girls never give up," she said. "They fight for every point of every game."

I've seen comebacks in virtually every sport, including volleyball, but I have never seen a comeback like this, and on this platform, making it all the more impressive. When interviewing Coach Light I knew I was in the hot seat when she recognized my name.

The Huskies burned me for slamming their schedule and calling them the underdog against the Koalas. To be honest, I'm still not completely sure if the Huskies girls were really that pissed off at me, or were just savoring me eating my words; my odds are on both. I posed with the (two-time defending champion) girls and their title to show that it was all in good fun.

Coach Light said she was glad I wrote what I did because it helped push the girls and give them added motivation, which truly brings a smile to my face. Knowing that I had something to do with their drive (no matter what the reason) made me realize the power of words. Ursuline did it to me against Panas, Harrison did it to me tonight, Eastchester against Ardsley, you name it, and all I can say is this:

I'm glad my words pump you girls up and on top of that pushed you to win a match I assumed you couldn't win. I never mean to hurt anyone's feelings, if anything I try to dose out a little tough love. I'm not hoping you lose or saying you are a bad team, I'm just saying I think (think, being the operative word) another team is better, or your schedule was not as tough as another team's, in the hopes that you do use it to drive you. Even if you are motivated as is to beat a team, more motivation never hurt anyone to my knowledge.

To the girls of Harrison I say, I'm am truly sorry for underestimating you and I thank you for making me eat my words in the form of a win. If I upset you, it was not intentional and I'm sorry. I figured having a blog where I can cover more volleyball and have more liberty to express my opinion was better than no additional coverage at all for volleyball. I don't root for any school over another (except maybe North Rockland over Suffern... kidding), I just make predictions based off of the season to add a little more excitement (I like predicting everything, but my March Madness past will show that I was never very good). To me, a 15-inch notebook, once a week that has to sum up everything from 120-plus schools is unacceptable. While the "not as impressive" teams still won't get all the coverage in the world, it's unfair to the top tier teams that have earned the attention. At least here, more schools can be covered more often and with more depth. I'm sorry we are not able to get to as many games as we like, but we do the best we can. Your win today was exhilerating, inspiring and well-earned; you, your coaches and your parents should be proud. I thank coach Candy Light again for being a terrific sport and understanding that there is no disrepect intended here, it's all suppossed to be in good fun. I made the title, "The Turth Hurts" so that people would know not everything would be politically correct or sugar-coated. I hope that you respect me as a journalist for not wanting to fluff everything up to where it looks like nobody ever loses, or where maybe one person really did mean the difference in a game. I had a blast watching you girls today, and again, I'm glad I was able to help drive you girls (even if it meant you being pissed off at me). Now just try and keep your steam going into Regionals and bring home a State title to Harrison! Speaking of Regionals, I didn't tell you who else made it did I? ...

CLASS A - Congrats to the Huskies, that was certainly the best game I've ever seen, and unlike Thursday's contest, I have a feeling this won't be topped for a long, long, long time.

CLASS B - Congrats to Mark Finegan and the Pelham Pelicans on their first ever Section 1 title! Pelham put together yet another incredible year that eventually toppled Hen Hud's reign in Class B.

CLASS C - In what is easily the biggest Cinderella team of the postseason, congrats to Melissa Otivich and the Hastings team on their first Section 1 title, upsetting the top-seeded Rye Neck Panthers! My co-worker, Sharieka Breeden told me that this was the first time in over/nearly two decades that Hastings wasn't eliminated aburptly.

CLASS AA - I told you I was kidding earlier, congrats to Sean Barnes and the Suffern girls and getting the monkey off their back that is the Arlington Admirals. The Mounties beat the A's 3-1 in the AA final after back-to-back runner-up finishes. This was the fourth year in a row these two have met. Coach Barnes is one of the most laid back coaches I've seen in the game and his girls really seem to shine under his helm. After numerous individual accolades, Elizabeth Flaherty will graduate with a Section 1 title to cap her Mounties career. Partner in crime, Taylor Anderson really broke out this season and established herself as a threat on the offensive line.

REGIONALS INFORMATION: As far as I know, all matches are set to take place in Elmira, NY on Tuesday, Nov. 8. For those planning to cheer on your team, please consult with the coach on the location before bundling up for upstate.

Congratualtions to all the teams whose season lives to see another day! This was an incredible postseason to end my first year of coverage. Now let's bring home some State hardware!!

(Harrison, I told you I'd show you the love...)

mzacchio · 252 views · Leave a comment
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