In three years of covering volleyball, I have never seen a player accumulate 40 kills in a single match.
Panas senior Brigitte Burcescu came close Wednesday night, tallying 39 kills against Yorktown, making the feat unique for two reasons: 1. The teams only played four games and 2. Panas lost.
Burscescu (below, left) had previously held the highest kill total during my tenure at 36, which was also a school record. Burcescu broke her sister Vivian’s record twice last year with 34 and 36 kills, respectively.
Now four matches into her senior year, Burcescu, who is committed to Northeastern for next season, has racked up 104 kills during the regular season, making her the first player in Section 1 to reach the mark. John Jay-East Fishkill’s Megan Theiller has 98 kills in the same time frame.
Panas coach Joe Felipe informed me last night that Burcescu’s season total, including the team’s first tournament, puts her mark at 139. As a junior, the 6-foot-1 hitter totaled 526 kills in regular season, tournament, and postseason play — another school record.
It’s also worth noting that the lanky outside has reached the 100-kill plateau in just 13 games; an average of eight kills per set. Based on her current pace, Burcescu would rack up 512 kills this season if Panas, the reigning Class A section and regional champions, were to return to the regional final… and that’s based on if each match goes just three sets and does not include kills from side tournaments or state tournament play.
After notching at least 20 kills in each of her first four matches, it’s not outlandish to think there’s a small chance that she can record 600 kills this year. Something to keep an eye out for.
On a somewhat related note, Haldane junior Kelly Vahos (right) recorded 35 kills for the Blue Devils against Mahopac on Wednesday — also in a loss. That total is the highest under coach Melissa Rossano, although I’m still trying to confirm if it is indeed a school record. If/when I find out what the school record is, be it Vahos or someone else, I’ll be sure to let you all know. Fun fact: Both Burcescu and Vahos have played club together for the last four years.
Vahos, who has accumulated 81 kills this season (not including tournament play) and the Blue Devils will host Burcescu and the Panthers on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. in what will be the first of two meetings between the teams.
Burcescu photo credit: Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News
Vahos photo credit: Paul Finch for The Journal News