With the regular season winding down, more and more teams are beginning to clinch their respective league titles.
That list could expand on Friday.
Ardsley (13-0) enters as one of two remaining undefeated teams in the section, the other being Dobbs Ferry, which improved to 16-0 with a win over Mamaroneck last night. Ardsley already topped the two-time reigning Class B section and regional champs earlier this year, but the atmosphere will be much different of Pelham’s turf.
The Pelicans (10-3) have lost on their home court just once since Oct. 23, 2009, that being Arlington last week. There’s still a bunch of girls from Pelham’s championship rosters on this current team, the perk of carrying upwards of 20 girls as coach Mark Finegan does.
Assuming the records I’ve calculated are right, Ardsley is atop the League 2-C standings with an 8-0 record, with Pelham right behind the Panthers at 7-1. Scarsdale should be behind both of them at 5-3, so this is really a two-dog race. If Ardsley wins, it will stay undefeated and mathematically clinch the league title. If Pelham wins, it will end Ardsley’s undefeated streak, keep and also move into a first-place tie for the league title with one match to go apiece. (Fun fact: Pelham ended Scarsdale’s undefeated start to the season at 6-0.)
There is a lot riding on this match for both teams, so I’m expecting nothing less than for these two teams to fight for every single point out there. Naturally, I’m going with a five-gamer. I picked Ardsley to win the league and section at the beginning of the season, and after a 13-0 start, there’s no reason to veer from the Panthers now. My (blurry) crystal ball says, 20-25, 25-22, 21-25, 27-25, 25-20. One of these days, maybe not this year, I’m going to pick a match perfectly correct — right down to the score. On that day, I will frame the blog post. Do I think that day will be tomorrow? Highly doubtful.
There’s no short supply of incredible matches to end the work week; here’s the cream of the remainder of the crop, along with a brief preview of each:
Edgemont at Mamaroneck: Dobbs Ferry clinched at least a share of the League 2-B title last night, topping Mamaroneck in five. The Panthers (the Edgemont Panthers, now) are in second place with a 7-2 league record. A loss to Mamaroneck will mathematically eliminate them from the race and will give the Eagles sole possession of the league championship.
Panas at John Jay: A similar scenario with the Ardsley-Pelham match, the winner of this match will move into the driver’s seat for the league title. The Indians (13-2, 5-1 league) have performed magnificently this season, and swept the Panthers (the Panas Panthers, now. Jeez, there’s too many teams with that name). Panas (9-3, 5-1 league) was swept on their home court in what coach Joe Felipe called a “flat” and “emotionless” performance. Panas would love nothing more than to return the favor and hand the Indians a loss on their turf. I don’t see either team losing their season finales, so for all intents and purposes — and that’s all it is — whoever wins this will likely win the league championship.
I can see both of these matches going either way, I really can. Neither team is far-superior than their opponent, so it should make for some exciting volleyball. I’m sure some teams (John Jay-EF, Yorktown, etc.) may have already clinched their respective league titles. I’ll try and really crunch those numbers tomorrow. If you know a team already clinched or is one match away, please let me know so I can shout them out!
(Editor’s note: Thanks to coach Finegan, who pointed out Pelham’s loss to Arlington was at home on October 11. … Thanks to “Volleyball Mom” and “vb fan” for correcting that John Jay and Panas each have just one league loss. I originally had it written as such, then, for whatever reason, thought Yorktown was in its league. I guess the brain starts to shut down at 3 a.m. I’m sorry for the blunders, but hopefully all is corrected now. Best of luck to all.)
Here’s the complete schedule, along with my predictions:
Friday, October 18
Clarkstown South at North Rockland, 4 p.m.
Riverside at Scarsdale B, 4:15 p.m.
Putnam Valley at Pawling, 4:15 p.m.
Lakeland at Brewster, 4:15 p.m.
Edgemont at Mamaroneck, 4:15 p.m.
Yorktown at Mahopac, 4:15 p.m.
Panas at John Jay, 4:15 p.m.
White Plains at Hastings, 4:15 p.m.
Suffern at Clarkstown North, 4:15 p.m.
Ursuline at Westlake, 4:30 p.m.
Eastchester at Byram Hills, 4:30 p.m.
Haldane at Hen Hud, 4:30 p.m.
Peekskill at Somers, 4:30 p.m.
Ardsley at Pelham, 4:30 p.m. — Match of the night
Briarcliff at Ossining, 4:30 p.m.
Pleasantville at Hamilton, 6 p.m.
Port Chester at Croton-Harmon, 6 p.m.
Harrison at Rye Neck, 6 p.m.
Zacchio’s prediction record this season: 296-61