It’s the day of the matches, so I’m sure it won’t do much good by now, but I figured it couldn’t do any harm to post a very brief scouting report on each team our local representatives will be playing today in the state regional semifinals. Haldane will stay local at Croton-Harmon, while Suffern heads up to Corning and Dobbs Ferry travels to Oneonta.
Outlook: I saw S.S. Seward sparingly last year and this year — both at tournaments — but I don’t think Haldane has a problem taking care of business in this one. Seward barely hung on for its Section 9 Class D final win, and, with all due respect to Section 9, I think that Section 1 usually has significantly better talent in Class D than Section 9. Haldane will likely sweep this match and advance to the regional final. The Blue Devils should be favorites to contend for, if not win the Class D state title (again), so any loss before Glens Falls would be a pretty big upset.
Outlook: Some of you may be vaguely familiar with Corning because it has won the Section 4 Class A title in each of the last four years. And yes, Suffern beat Corning four years ago en route to the state semifinals. Not that the 2011 match has anything to do with this year — other than the fact that Sam Uline was around for both — but it was just a side note. John Jay-East Fishkill swept Corning at Arlington in last year’s regional final, a match some people expected the Patriots to lose. This year’s Mounties are taller than last year’s Patriots and probably just as talented (I hate comparing 2014 Team A to 2012 Team B, etc.). Corning should definitely be beatable. For what it’s worth, Clarkstown South also swept Corning in 2012 at the state regional tournament. Section 1 has had pretty good success with sending teams to Glens Falls in recent years, although success there has been a different story.
Outlook: In what is, in my opinion, the most difficult match for a Section 1 opponent on Tuesday, the Eagles go up against a Black Knights squad that boasts five girls who stand at 5-foot-9. Dobbs Ferry wasn’t blocking a whole lot against Westlake, but was able to get past the Wildcats with a sweep; I don’t think that will be the case tonight. If the Eagles aren’t blocking Windsor tonight — mainly kills leader Chase Moran — they could see their season come to an end. Fortunately for Dobbs Ferry, middle Bridget Sheridan (pictured left, 10) has a few inches on Moran and is a solid player; she’ll arguably be the biggest factor in this match for the Eagles. Dobbs Ferry came within one match of Glens Falls last year, so I’m sure it is chomping at the bit to get there this year. Windsor hasn’t won a section title since 2010, so the Black Knights could have some postseason jitters that work in the Eagles’ favor. If Dobbs Ferry wins, I think it does it in four or five. I say I don’t root for anyone during the season, and it’s true; I have no bias towards any Section 1 team over another. But at the state level, it would be nice to see as many local teams advance as possible. So, go Eagles.
Photo credit: The Journal News