YORKTOWN — After suffering its first loss of the season to Yorktown on Wednesday and then another to John Jay-East Fishkill on Friday, Panas certainly had something to play for in Saturday’s annual Yorktown tournament.
The Panthers found a double-dose of redemption, besting the Huskers in the final game of pool play to claim the top seed in the finals bracket before ultimately beating Yorktown again to claim their fourth consecutive tournament title.
“It’s a sense of relief,” said Panas coach Joe Felipe (right), whose team posted a blemish-free 11-0 record on the day. “This, to me, is winning the week. Losing three days ago in this same gym to them in a good match … today I thought we fought a little harder.”
Panas senior Brigitte Burcescu claimed her second MVP award in as many years to cap a perfect four-for-four showing at the tournament during her varsity tenure.
“I knew we wanted to get this last one — my senior year,” the 6-foot-1 hitter said. “We definitely stepped it up since we lost our last match to Yorktown, but we really made adjustments to what we needed and our intensity was a lot higher.”
Senior teammates Allie Patriciello and Rebecca Kendra joined the Northeastern-bound senior on the all-tournament team. Yorktown also had three players receive recognition, with Kristen Sweeney, Danielle DeIulio and Michelle Ruffino also earning all-tournament honors. Ursuline’s Shannon McKeon and Lakeland’s Alex Pappalardo rounded out the team.
Yorktown coach Katy Sherwood jokingly said she figured out why Panas has been so successful in the Huskers’ tournament, which featured nine teams this year.
“You know what it is about Panas — Brigitte and her sisters; that’s what it is,” she said lightheartedly.
Panas was armed with Brigitte’s 6-foot-4 older sister Vivian, now a sophomore at the University of Virginia, for the first two titles, and now have Brigitte’s 5-foot-11 sister Yvette — an eighth grader.
“They’re phenomenal players and (Panas) has a great program, so I give them a lot of respect,” Sherwood said.
The Yorktown tournament began in 1975 and is believed to be the longest running volleyball tournament in Section 1.
Former Yorktown coach Charlie DeVico, whose daughter Janna plays for Lakeland, which placed third, ran the tournament from 1982 until Sherwood took over four years ago.
Pool Play format: Teams will play one 21-point rally scoring game, with scoring capped at 27. The next game starts as soon as a court opens up. All teams will advance to the playoff bracket, but will be seeded according to the number of games won in pool play. In the event of a tie, the team with the most points in pool play will get the higher seed. If there is still a tie, point differential will serve as another breaker.
Pool play schedule: The field will consist of Yorktown, Ursuline, Mamaroneck, Lakeland, Poughkeepsie, Panas, Somers, Putnam Valley and Washingtonville. There will be two matches going on at the same time.
Pool play results:
Yorktown def. Putnam Valley, 25-6
Somers def. Ursuline, 25-20
Panas def. Mamaroneck, 25-10
Lakeland def. Poughkeepsie, 25-13
Washingtonville def. Putnam Valley, 25-21
Yorktown def. Somers, 25-10
Panas def. Ursuline, 25-22
Mamaroneck def. Poughkeepsie, 25-19
Ursuline def. Washingtonville, 25-14
Putnam Valley def. Mamaroneck, 25-22
Somers def. Lakeland, 25-17
Panas def. Poughkeepsie, 25-11
Yorktown def. Washingtonville, 25-9
Ursuline def. Putnam Valley, 25-15
Somers def. Mamaroneck, 25-20
Panas def. Lakeland, 25-11
Yorktown def. Mamaroneck, 25-12
Lakeland def. Washingtonville, 25-13
Poughkeepsie def. Putnam Valley, 26-24
Panas def. Somers, 25-18
Yorktown def. Ursuline, 25-20
Mamaroneck def. Washingtonville, 25-21
Lakeland def. Putnam Valley, 25-16
Somers def. Poughkeepsie, 25-23
Lakeland def. Ursuline, 25-22
Yorktown def. Poughkeepsie, 25-9
Panas def. Washingtonville, 25-13
Putnam Valley def. Somers, 25-20
Ursuline def. Mamaroneck, 25-21
Yorktown def. Lakeland, 25-12
Washingtonville def. Poughkeepsie, 25-20
Panas def. Putnam Valley, 25-20.
Lakeland def. Mamaroneck, 25-18
Ursuline def. Poughkeepsie, 25-13
Somers def. Washingtonville, 25-18
Panas def. Yorktown, 25-21
Playoffs: The No. 8 and No. 9 seeds after pool play will have a play-in match for the final playoff spot. The quarterfinals and semifinals will consist of one game to 21, with no scoring cap. The championship will be one game to 25. The higher seed of each contest will get the choice of side.
No. 8 Putnam Valley def. No. 9 Poughkeepsie in play-in match.
No. 1 Panas def. No. 8 Putnam Valley, 25-9
No. 2 Yorktown def. No. 7 Washingtonville, 25-14
No. 3 Lakeland def. No. 6 Mamaroneck, 25-17
No. 5 Ursuline def. No. 4 Somers, 25-13
No. 1 Panas def. No. 5 Ursuline, 25-21
No. 2 Yorktown def. No. 3 Lakeland, 25-15
No. 1 Panas def. No. 2 Yorktown, 25-17
Brigitte Burcescu, Panas — Tournament MVP
Allie Patriciello, Panas
Rebecca Kendra, Panas
Kristen Sweeney, Yorktown
Danielle DeIulio, Yorktown
Michelle Ruffino, Yorktown
Alex Pappalardo, Lakeland
Shannon McKeon, Ursuline
Photo credits: Mike Zacchio/The Journal News