I hope you all had a wonderful, football-filled, volleyball-free weekend; and for my jewish readers, L’shanah tovah!
Yes, technically there’s Monday Night Football, but that’s not until much later. There will be plenty of marquee match ups to start the work week, but there is one that stands out — my “match of the night” for Monday.
Pelham at Suffern promises to be an incredible match, as both teams know this could be a big momentum shift in their respective seasons. Pelham, coming off a remarkably impressive winning streak against Section 1 opponents that spanned nearly two full years, will look to get back on a winning track; and doing it on the road against a top Class AA team could be just the “pick-me-up” for the Pelicans.
Suffern, coming off an emotionally and physically exhausting five-game win against Albertus Magnus last week, will look to keep rolling in its home-opener. However, the win won’t come easy. Pelham has not lost back-to-back matches since (get ready) Sept. 17-19, 2007 when it dropped five-gamers to Westlake and Ardsley, respectively.
X-factor: Despite being at Suffern, I think the ball is in Pelham’s court. The Pelicans’ intensity, or lack thereof, could very well determine the course of this match. If Pelham comes out flat, Suffern could pounce and roll to victory; conversely, if the Pelicans come out in full on “attack mode,” they could be the ones sweeping the rug out from underneath from the Mounties on their home court.
Wounded Mounty: Suffern coach Sean Barnes said Sunday night that injured setter Julia Hrycyk is available to play, but will only play minimal time against Pelham. Barnes said the plan is to put Hrycyk in for a game and “see how things go.” The Mounties skipper said that Hrycyk, who has been sidelined with a hip flexor injury since the preseason, isn’t ready conditioning-wise and that he didn’t want to disregard all that current setter Beth McDonough has done so far.
Just the beginning: This is going to be a gauntlet of a week for Suffern, which will play five matches in five days. Suffern likely knows how much a win or loss can affect the team this week in particular. Getting off on a winning note could set the tone for a very big week, while a loss could deject the team emotionally.
My prediction: With Hrycyk back in the mix part-time, it actually throws a wrench into my crystal ball. The injection of Hrycyk into the Mounties’ lineup could disturb any chemistry the team has built up with McDonough as the setter. Barnes said McDonough will start the match, and that Hrycyk could play either Game 2 or 3. Either way, I think this will be a close contest. Looks like I’ll be ditching my crystal ball for a magic 8-ball instead for this one. (Shakes repeatedly) I’m going with Suffern in another five-gamer, 25-22, 18-25, 26-24, 19-25, 25-22. Much like the Suffern-Albertus Magnus match, I doubt that whoever winds up winning this match will take two consecutive games, let alone three. Come Monday night, the shaking will stop and the answer will be revealed. It’s either going to read, “Outlook not so good” or “It is decidedly so.” Who do you got? Vote now.
Monday, September 16
Ketcham at Albertus Magnus, 4 p.m.
Ursuline at Edgemont, 4:15 p.m.
Scarsdale B at Gorton, 4:15 p.m.
Hen Hud at John Jay-East Fishkill, 4:15 p.m.
Yorktown at John Jay, 4:15 p.m.
North Salem at Somers, 4:15 p.m.
Brewster at Poughkeepsie, 4:15 p.m.
Solomon Schechter at Riverside, 4:15 p.m.
Putnam Valley at Peekskill, 4:15 p.m.
Yonkers Montessori at Hamilton, 4:30 p.m.
Arlington at Carmel, 4:30 p.m.
Hastings at Dobbs Ferry, 4:30 p.m.
Byram Hills at Harrison, 4:30 p.m.
Rye at Horace Greeley, 4:30 p.m.
Pelham at Suffern, 4:30 p.m. — Match of the night
Blind Brook at Pleasantville, 4:30 p.m.
Briarcliff at Rye Neck, 4:30 p.m.
Mahopac at Panas, 4:30 p.m.
Fox Lane at Ossining, 4:30 p.m.
Westlake at Croton-Harmon, 6 p.m.
Valhalla at Keio, 6 p.m.
Haldane at Spackenkill, 6 p.m.
Zacchio’s prediction record this season: 43-14