Valhalla wins Section 1, Class C title
By Skip Pearlman
The two-time defending champion Haldane High School volleyball team ran into a roadblock on Saturday (Nov. 3): undefeated Valhalla.
The two squads met at Pace University for the Section, 1 Class C championship, and the Vikings left with a 3-1 victory and their perfect season intact.
The Vikings (19-0) came out strong, winning the first set, 25-17. The Blue Devils, who finished 19-4, struggled at times in the second game but won 28-26.
In the third set, the Vikings took advantage of uncharacteristic Haldane mistakes and won convincingly, 25-9, then closed with a 25-16 victory.
Coach Kelsey Flaherty conceded her team was not at its best.
“I was surprised at how poorly we played in the third set after winning the second,” she said. “We didn’t carry any of the momentum over. On our best day I think we win that game, but we made a lot of unforced errors and missed services. It comes down to who makes the least errors and they played better than us.”
She noted there is more stress and pressure with a do-or-die tournament game but “the experience will help them know what to expect if we can get there again next year.”
Senior Willa Fitzgerald had 12 kills and four aces for the Blue Devils, and Melissa Rodino added 17 assists. “Willa had a pretty good game, but it’s hard when everyone is not on,” Flaherty said. “She was always the one to stop on our team.”