Meet Your 2014 State Champions
Knights Repeat as State Champions
In a weekend where every member played with grit and determination, the Sutherland girls’ volleyball team captured the New York State title for the second year in a row. Coach Matt Glover summed up the season and the championship weekend in one word, “Relentless. Volleyball is a team sport and these girls were relentless about playing as a team. Everyone stepped up!” The Knights claimed the title with a nail-biting victory over familiar powerhouse Burnt Hills in five games, 16-25, 27-25, 25-14, 21-25 and 28-26.
The tournament began with all teams marching into the Glens Falls Civic Center to the Olympic Fanfare and Theme music. The three teams vying for the Class A title in addition to Sutherland were John Jay (Section 1), Burnt Hills (2) and Kings Park (11). Each team’s Sportsmanship Award winner was announced during the opening ceremony. Senior Jes Marini was the Knights’ winner. This was the start of an unforgettable day for Jes. The team handled John Jay in the first pool play match, 25-13 and 25-21. Their next opponent was Burnt Hills. In the first game with the Knights up 21-20, junior setter Andrea Allen twisted her ankle and had to leave the game. Sophomore Erina Nanavati, who was the JV setter this year, came off the bench to replace Allen and help lead the team to a 25-22 victory. Fellow sophomore JV Giuliana Johnson also entered the game and delivered some clutch serves for the Knights. In game two against Burnt Hills, Marini took over the setting duties and ran the offense like an old pro resulting in a 25-19 victory and guaranteeing a spot in the Championship match. Coach Glover relied on his reserves against Kings Park and they did not disappoint earning a split 24-26 and 25-20. Mary Bayer, Melanie Marsh, Andrea Green and Hope Shuman played outstanding which helped Sutherland to a 5-1 record in pool play.
Marini was again called upon to perform the setting duties for the first game of the best-of-five championship against Burnt Hills with Allen still hobbled. They ran into a wall as the Spartans let no balls hit the ground and lost 25-16. Allen took over as the setter in game two and although she wasn’t at 100 percent, she led the Knights to victories in games two and three. Burnt Hills battled back in game four to set up a fifth and final game. The team moved out to a 23-18 lead but the game was tied at 24. The Knights had their back against the wall twice as Burnt Hills was within one point of the win. They persevered and took the lead 27-26 then Allen set the ball to senior Taylor Kells who slammed the ball to the floor for the final point and a 28-26 victory. The team stormed the court and the celebration was on…for the second year in a row!
For their play, Ebangwese and Allen were named to the All-Tournament team and Bowllan was named the Most Valuable Player.