Kingston's sen­sa­tional sea­son ends in de­feat

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Mike Stribl mstribl@free­manon­line.com @MStribl on Twit­ter

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.

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