Tough loss ends strong Ron­d­out run

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

NEWBURGH >> A re­peat as Sec­tion 9, Class B volleyball cham­pi­ons was not in the cards for Ron­d­out Val­ley High as it lost a spir­ited five-set bat­tle with Spack­enkill in the fi­nals at Mount Saint Mary Col­lege.

Spack­enkill won its first sec­tion crown in two years and its first ever as a B school as the Spar­tans ral­lied down two sets to one to win 17-25, 28-26, 22-25, 25-16, 25-13.

The Spar­tans, who won in 2014 as a Class C school, will take on Sec­tion 1’s Pawl­ing in a re­gional semi­fi­nal 3 p.m. Wed­nes­day at SUNY Ul­ster.

Julieanne McKee (22 as­sists,

three kills, two blocks, two aces) and Nini Sher (19 kills, seven aces) led Spack­enkill. Amaya An­der­son (seven kills, two blocks, two aces), Tay­lor Genn­odie (six kills, three as­sists, three aces), Sa­man­tha Wile (seven kills) and Maya-K John­son (three kills, two as­sists, two aces) also paced the Spar­tans.

Mira Boz­man (six kills, nine as­sists, 14 digs), Meaghan Ro­ma­guera (16 kills, 10 digs), Macken­zie Fis­cher (14 digs, three aces, four blocks) and Charley Nyzio (25 digs, three aces) led the way for (12-2) Ron­d­out.

The Gan­ders’ only loss in the reg­u­lar sea­son was to Wal­lkill. They avenged that by de­feat­ing the Pan­thers in their first Mid-Hud­son Ath­letic League semi­fi­nal ap­pear­ance in 17 years. Spack­enkill beat them in the fi­nals.

“We were hop­ing to flip the thing around this time,” Ron­d­out coach Thomas Tic­knor said. “It just quite didn’t work out.”

The Gan­ders won the first set, clos­ing it out with four points as Mary Som­mer and Ro­ma­guera scored off Boz­man as­sists, Fis­cher dealt an ace and Ro­ma­guera won it off a Som­mer set.

The sec­ond set had the score tied 11 times. The Spar­tans had to fight off three set points be­fore fi­nally get­ting three points on a pair of Ron­d­out er­rors and an An­der­son ace to win.

The Gan­ders went ahead 2-1 af­ter ral­ly­ing from a 1914 deficit and scor­ing the fi­nal six points to win the third set.

Spack­enkill was able to cap­i­tal­ize on 13 Ron­d­out mis­cues to even the match and forced a de­ci­sive fifth and fi­nal set.

Ron­d­out had learned from its ex­pe­ri­ence of play­ing the Spar­tans in the MHAL ti­tle match and made some cor­rec­tions.

“We ex­e­cuted those ad­just­ments in the two games we won to­day and, in the games we lost, they did to us ex­actly what we were try­ing to do to them,” Tic­knor said. “They just ex­e­cuted bet­ter than we did. The mid­dle was open. They hit it and we didn’t.”

Sher took con­trol in the fi­nal set. She scored on a pair of McKee as­sists and served a pair of aces as the Spar­tans jumped out to a 10-1 lead. In spite of time­outs and ad­just­ments, Ron­d­out could never mount a coun­ter­at­tack. Wile scored cham­pi­onship point for Spack­enkill with a kill.

“It was a great sea­son. We started off with some tough spots to fill with last year’s se­niors go­ing out. We lost some key po­si­tions. We lost our set­ter and our strong out­side hit­ter,” said Tic­knor, the ju­nior var­sity coach last year who took over for Me­gan Mar­quis, who led Ron­d­out last year to its first sec­tion ti­tle since ‘99. Mar­quis could not re­turn be­cause of fam­ily rea­sons.

“I also have to give credit to Me­gan Mar­quis, who coached the team up to this point. She pre­pared the girls we had com­ing in,” Tic­knor noted.

“Con­sid­er­ing what we started with and where we ended up, I’m re­ally proud of the girls. They did a su­per job,” he added. “It was a team that kept find­ing a way to win in the end. We just came up a lit­tle bit short to­day.”

The sit­u­a­tion will be a lot tougher in 2017. The Gan­ders lose five se­niors, in­clud­ing starters in Boz­man, Ro­ma­guera, mid­dle hit­ter Cheyenne Mitchell, plus the libero (Nyzio).

“We’re go­ing to have to fill some more sig­nif­i­cant holes for next year’s team,” Tic­knor said.

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