OSSINING — Talk about the “luck of the draw,” for Ossining.
“Our team is very superstitious, as am I, so starting off with the same team that we started with last year was funny that we just ended up falling in the same category when we don’t see Tappan Zee all year,” Pride head coach Lauren Riccardi said.
Fans who attended last year’s match may have suffered a case of déjà vu after the Pride, seeded fifth in this year’s tournament, swept the No. 12 Dutchies again at home, 25-23, 25-22, 25-20.
Ossining (16-4), winners of back-to-back League 3-A titles, used impeccable serving to put away the Dutchies (10-8), tallying 21 aces in the win, including 11 from Caitlin Quain.
“We started off a little bit nervous; I think that’s normally how most of our games start,” said Pride senior captain Selena Drinks, who added four aces. “I think we don’t know how good we can be when we play our best. … When we work together, we can’t be stopped; when we start splitting apart, that’s when team’s start to get up on us.”
At the end of the match, Tappan Zee captain Meghan Smith (pictured above, left) went out of her way to thank the referees, which included former Panas coach Terry Rancier, and then congratulate Riccardi and her team.
“They had a lot more court awareness,” Riccardi said of the Dutchies. “Their strength and power in their hits were by far a lot stronger than last year. Their defense was stronger than last year, so as a whole, it was a different team that we faced this year. They were a much stronger team all-around in all aspects of their game.”
The Pride will host No. 13 Eastchester in Monday’s quarterfinal match at 4:30 p.m. Ossining beat the Eagles on the road in the team’s homecoming matchearlier this season.
Here is my video recap of the match:
All photos were taken by Frank Becerra Jr. of The Journal News. View Frank’s entire 31-photo gallery from this match here.