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 after scoring two of her team’s first five points. Manning also closed out the match with a kill.
“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 libero Caroline Reid had a match-best 25 digs. Along with her service points, Raguso finished with 12 digs.
“Alyssa has been our go-to server all season,” Manning said. “Alyssa is our senior leader and she can put the ball wherever she wants to when she serves. The team has so much confidence in her.”