NEW ROCHELLE — There were no individual stats, no linespeople, no pregame announcements — just a running score… and even that didn’t really matter. Saturday’s “Exceptional Seniors” volleyball event was nothing but good times.
High school teammates playing against one another, the top-two players in the section playing on the same team, upperclassmen getting one last hurrah on the volleyball court; yes, Saturday’s festivities at New Rochelle High School had it all.
Forty-two of the area’s top players were invited to the annual event, which featured two best-of-five matches.
“I wanted to cry,” Eastchester libero Caroline Reid said. “It’s crazy how much effort and time you put into these last four years and then to know that this is my last high school game ever.”
Reid was a part of the winning team in the day’s second match, which, due to a bit of roster confusion, featured both Panas’ Brigitte Burcescu and John Jay-East Fishkill’s Megan Theiller — two Division I commits — on the same team.
The stacked lineup, which also featured Pelham teammates Nicole Franciosa and Carina Ferrer-Garcia, Suffern’s Deja Smith, Yorktown’s Angelea McPartlin and Arlington’s Kaitlyn Faugerstrom, earned a 25-17, 25-17, 25-16 win.
“It was weird; I was scared coming here,” said Reid, who beat Eagles teammate Catherine Manning. “They’re all D-I and really good … I had no idea I would be asked to come here, so knowing I was playing with the best of the best, that was awesome.”
Manning, who, like her teammate, is undecided on a college choice, said that facing Reid “made it more fun.”
“I think it’s an honor just to be asked to play because you’re playing against people who you think are just incredible players,” Manning said. “It’s really nice for (seniors) to have this ‘Exceptional’ game; it’s a lot of fun.”
Horace Greeley seniors Andrew LaFortezza and Jason Elbaum didn’t play, but came to support teammate Sam Srinivasan (pictured below, right) and coach Daniela Denis (pictured below, left), winners in the first match, 25-12, 24-26, 25-17, 25-17.
All photos by Journal News photographer Peter Carr. View Peter’s 38-photo gallery here.
Here’s my video recap of the afternoon: