CORTLANDT MANOR – Yorktown coach Katy Sherwood didn’t forget about last year’s embarrassing championship loss to Panas in the Panther Invitational, and neither did her eight returning players.
The Huskers redeemed themselves Saturday evening, sweeping the hosts in the final, 25-18, 25-20, on the very same court they were mopped on a year ago.
“Of course we wanted to beat Panas at (its) own tournament; (its) beaten us at ours for four years in a row,” said Sherwood, whose Huskers finally won its host tournament on Sept. 13 for the first time during her five-year tenure. “This is our last tournament for the season, so the seniors really wanted to go out with a bang and we were focusing on that all day.”
While the focus for Yorktown was the seniors, it was a junior who stole the show.
“Cat was amazing. Even if we didn’t win (the match), she deserved the MVP,” Sherwood said. “All day long — solid.”
“We knew we were going to have so much more energy (after losing last year),” said Munoz, who was joined by senior teammate Christina Nardi on the all-tournament team. The outside hitter said she was glad she could contribute in giving her elder teammates a proper send-off.
“They’re like my best friends, so it meant a lot to help them win this in their last tournament.”
Although it didn’t come away with its third consecutive championship, Panas did look to be back in top form after suffering a uncharacteristic sweep at the hands of Hen Hud on Tuesday. Adding insult to injury, the Panthers had to watch the Sailors faithful celebrate with coach Diane Swertfager, who earned her 500th career win.
Freshman Yvette Burcescu (pictured below) was named to the all-tournament team for the third consecutive week, taking the honors at the Yorktown tournament and then again at the Vikings Brown and Gold tournament at Clarkstown South last week. Joining the 6-foot-1 hitter for the Panthers was junior hitter Shauna O’Flaherty.
The Panthers grinded out a 28-26, 25-23 win over Ardsley in the semifinals, avenging two losses at the Yorktown tournament. Panas trailed in both matches Saturday, overcoming a 19-9 deficit in Game 1 and then a 14-10 hole in Game 2.
Ardsley joined Yorktown and Panas in having two players selected to the all-tournament team — senior Hayley Kmetz and junior Nicolina Chenard. It was a bittersweet day for Kmetz, who was celebrating her 17th birthday.
Westlake (pictured right) had a painful end to its day, losing to Yorktown 25-15 in the quarterfinals after having the match tied at 11 at one point. The Wildcats were down two senior starters — Laura Bombace and Natalie Estrella — who sustained injuries in the form of a rolled ankle and a broken finger earlier in the day.
Editor’s note: I was told that Bombace is the one with the broken finger (the one you see in the sling) and that she will be out for the remainder of the season (approximately six weeks of recovery time).
Photo credit: John Meore for The Journal News
For the full, 62-photo gallery from Saturday, please click here. I love working with John because not only does he take a number of photos, he gets a bevy of different, unique shots. Sort through them all to see for yourself! Results will be up later.