SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – Eastchester senior Alyssa Raguso stepped to the service line in the decisive game of the Section 1 Class B Volleyball Championship Monday with one thing on her mind.
“I said to myself, ‘Come on Alyssa, you can do this,’” Raguso said, with a smile. “I had to be positive.”
Raguso, who had been Sleepy Hollow’s nightmare when serving, would send Eastchester on its way as the sixth-seeded Eagles defeated the third seed, 22-25, 25-15, 25-20, 21-25, 25-12 in a quarterfinal-round match.
Eastchester, now 14-5, will play at second-seeded Hendrick Hudson in a semifinal at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. A victory would send the Eagles back to the Section 1 Class B title match. Sleepy Hollow concludes its fine season with a 13-2 record.
Eastchester led, 7-5 when Raguso entered the game to serve. She would run off seven consecutive points, stretching Eastchester’s advantage to 14-5.
“When I go into a game I know my job is to score points,” said Raguso, who also strung together seven straight points in the second game, snapping a 14-14 tie. “Once I got on a run, it got me more confident.”
Along with Raguso’s serving prowess in the deciding game, Catherine Manning made an impact with her play at the net. The powerful outside hitter contributed three off-speed hits during Raguso’s run. These came after she had two in her team’s first five points.
“In the last game, Sleepy Hollow was very aggressive at the net and they had very good blockers,” said Manning, who had a match-leading 26 kills. “I had to play it smart so instead of using power, I was going to spots, wanting to get them out of their rotation so we could get the kill.”
Kristine Pulaski contributed 11 kills and eight blocks for Eastchester, setter Stevie Capasso added 40 assists and 14 digs and Raguso finished with 12 digs.
Despite the loss, Sleepy Hollow coach Leana Peltier praised her girls for an excellent season.
“After we lost our first match of the season, in five, to Ursuline, I asked the girls to come to practice the next day with their goals,” Peltier said. “There first goal was to win the league and after we played each team in our league once, our goal was to go undefeated in the league, which the girls did.
“During every minute of practice, the girls never stopped and they came every day with goals. It was an extremely successful season.”
Breanne Tuohy led Sleepy Hollow with 15 kills and five blocks, Abbey Titcomb added 10 kills and setter Jessica Tucci collected 30 assists.