WEST NYACK — Thirty-two teams, eight pools, three different locations — one massive tournament.
The inaugural Vikings Brown and Gold tournament brought some of the best talent from the Lower Hudson Valley and New Jersey to Clarkstown South on Saturday, making it the largest tournament in the area, and possibly the state.
Formerly named the “Alex Valow Memorial tournament,” this year’s edition kept with tradition by holding pool play in three different area schools — Clarkstown South, Clarkstown North and Felix Festa Middle School.
Northern Highlands edged Panas 25-22 in the Brown bracket final, which held the top 12 teams after pool play, to claim the championship title at South. Suffern defeated Albertus Magnus 25-17 in the Gold bracket final, which consisted of the next dozen top teams.
“I thought it was a great day … a lot of great volleyball, the finals with Northern Highlands and Panas really demonstrated all the necessary skills of volleyball — defense, attacks, beautiful setting — it was a great game to watch,” Clarkstown South coach Paul Bacsardi said. “The finals in the Gold bracket with Suffern and Albertus, the other two quality teams playing, they showed what volleyball can be played like.”
Panas, which was the last team to get in the Brown bracket as the No. 12 seed, eliminated Bacsardi’s No. 5 Vikings in the first round, No. 4 Paramus in the quarterfinals, and defending champ No. 8 Old Tappan to make the finals.
“We started off very slow this morning, and to be honest, I thought we were going to be an early exit from this tournament with the way we were playing,” Panas coach Joe Felipe said. “The girls, I think, played amazing today. I’m very impressed, we grew as a team — I’m happy with the outcome — even losing, we were playing a lot better than we were (Saturday) morning.”
Panthers senior Brigitte Burcescu was named the tournament MVP, a memento she can put next to the Yorktown tournament MVP award she earned last Saturday. Haldane’s Kelly Vahos was the only other local named to the all-tournament team.
Alex Valow all-tournament team
Brigitte Burcescu, Panas — Tournament MVP
Alex Garrett, Northern Highlands
Kelly Vahos, Haldane
Megan Theiller, John Jay-East Fishkill
Maria Bellinger, Paramus
Emily Abramovici, Demarest
BROWN BRACKET RESULTS
Demarest, Riverdell, John Jay-East Fishkill and Paramus receive first-round byes as the top four seeds, respectively.
No. 8 Old Tappan def. No. 9 Cornwall, 25-18
No. 10 Northern Highlands def. No. 7 Nanuet, 25-15
No. 11 Pelham def. No. 6 Haldane, 25-17
No. 12 Panas def. No. 5 Clarkstown South, 25-15
No. 8 Old Tappan def. No. 1 Demarest, 25-23
No. 10 Northern Highlands def. No. 2 Riverdell, 25-18
No. 3 John Jay-East Fishkill def. No. 11 Pelham, 25-13
No. 12 Panas def. No. 4 Paramus, 25-14
No. 10 Northern Highlands def. No. 3 John Jay-East Fishkill, 25-21
No. 12 Panas def. No. 8 Old Tappan, 26-24
No. 10 Northern Highlands (below) def. No. 12 Panas, 25-22
GOLD BRACKET RESULTS
Archbishop Molloy, Maria Regina, Suffern and Warwick receive first-round byes as the top four seeds, respectively.
No. 5 Millbrook def. No. 12 Francis Lewis, 25-12
No. 11 Mahopac def. No. 6 Ridgewood
No. 7 Monroe-Woodbury def. No. 10 Minisink, 25-22
No. 9 Albertus Magnus def. No. 8 Westlake, 25-21
No. 9 Albertus Magnus def. No. 1 Archbishop Molloy, 25-20
No. 2 Maria Regina def. No. 7 Monroe-Woodbury, 25-19
No. 3 Suffern def. No. 11 Mahopac, 25-17
No. 5 Millbrook def. No. 4 Warwick
No. 3 Suffern def. No. 2 Maria Regina
No. 9 Albertus Magnus def. No. 5 Millbrook
No. 3 Suffern def. No. 9 Albertus Magnus, 25-17
(If anyone has scores from the missing games above, please send them to me and I’ll update the post as soon as possible)
Featured photo credit: Mike Zacchio/The Journal News
Northern Highlands team photo credit: Mike Zacchio/The Journal News
Clarkstown South team photo credit: Mike Zacchio/The Journal News
All other photos credited to: John Meore for The Journal News