Kingston's sensational season ends in defeat
Kingston High’s finest volleyball season in the 21st century, didn’t quite end the way the Tigers were planning.
NEWBURGH >> Kingston High’s finest volleyball season in, well, the 21st century, didn’t quite end the way the Tigers were planning
Kingston made it back into the Section 9 finals for the first time since it last won in 1999, but it was Minisink Valley which was the victor, winning the Class AA title in a rollicking 25-17, 25-27, 25-12, 23-25, 25-22 five-set battle at Mount Saint Mary College.
Kingston, which entered the championship with a 10-match win streak, finished with a 13-6 record. Minisink, which hadn’t won a section crown since 2000, plays Section 1 champion Ossining in a regional semifinal 3 p.m. Wednesday at SUNY Ulster.
Bridget Wiley (25 assists, three kills, two aces) and Saige Colon (14 assists, two kills, two blocks)
directed the offense for Minsink, setting up big performances at the net by Cassidy Smith (15 kills, three aces), Lilly Guardino (11 kills), Jenna Clayton (nine kills) and Jaimie Polanco (eight kills, five blocks). Libero Molly Clayton had a big service game with eight aces.
Tori Boulay distributed 40 assists and had 12 digs and two kills and Suzy Boulay registered 28 digs to lead Kingston.
The Tigers also proved formidable at the net with Jaid Harrell (15 kills, three blocks, five digs), Shannon Bonewit (14 kills, four blocks, six digs), Tori Ostg (six kills, 14 digs) and Grace Longendyke (eight kills, six blocks, one dig).
The first set was tied four times before the Warriors outscored Kingston 12-5 down the stretch to secure the win.
Minisink erased a 2320 deficit to tie at 24, then at 25 in the second set. A tipped ball over the net by Longendyke and Bonewit’s block of Smith enabled Kingston to pull out the second set and tie the match.
The Warriors dominated set three. It scored 14 consecutive points, including 13 with five aces on Molly Clayton’s serve.
A 7-0 run with Ashley Hintz serving and Longendyke scoring on two kills and a block had Kingston ahead 20-15 in the fourth set. Minisink came back to get within 24-23, but consecutive blocks by Bonewit lead to the Tigers getting set point and putting the title on the line in a winner-take-all fifth set.
The final set featured five ties and a pair of lead changes early on until Minsink fashioned a 10-3 run to open a 19-12 advantage.
Kingston rallied to get within 20-19, but the Warriors reeled off four points capped off by Polanco’s perfect crosscourt angled kill along the front row.
The Tigers, though, didn’t back down and fought off three championship points as Kingston scored on Sydney Jankowski’s tip off a Tori Boulay assist, a kill error from Minisink, then Bonewit’s kill off another Boulay setup to make it 24-22.
The Warriors, however, secured their first title in 16 years when Jenna Clayton connected off her sister’s assist.
Minisink will lose eight players to graduation, including five starters and the libero.
Kingston is not in the same situation, which started two juniors (Longendyke, Harrell), two sophomores (Ost, Bonewit) and a freshman in Tori Boulay. The Tigers do lose four seniors in Jankowski, Hintz, Ashly Costello and Suzy Boulay, who finishes as the program’s all-time leader in digs (861).
Next season will mark 18 years since Kingston last won a section title, but this team will certainly retain plenty of talent to make another run to end that drought.