SFDS Volleyball Earns Nassau/Suffolk Title
St. Francis de Sales’ eighth grade CYO girls volleyball team was invited to play in the second annual Nassau/Suffolk Brooklyn/Queens CYO Championship after defeating a tough and talented team from Blessed Trinity of Breezy Point.
The Inter-Diocesan Volleyball Classic event was hosted at St. Mary’s High School in Manhasset on Saturday, May 19. The SFDS girls were matched against St. William of Seaford, the Nassau/Suffolk CYO champions. Two teams, two champions were meeting for the first time in this fun and exciting, best of three games tournament.
Solid serving in the first game by Gabby Breen and Chelsea Filippi gave SFDS the early lead. The team built on that lead with good defense, quality passing, and a never let the ball drop attitude. Bryn Nagel’s on the money setting gave consistent hitting opportunities to Francesca Castellano, Lauren Guidarelli and Lauren Peters. The girls took full advantage and capitalized on the opportunities to lead the Rockaway team to a 25-10 victory.
The second game saw St. William fight back. SFDS struggled against some tough and tenacious blocking, but in the end the result was a hard fought 25-21 victory for the girls from Seaford.
Now it came down to one game for the championship. The second game victory seemed to give new life to the St. William players but it also lit a fire under the SFDS girls. They were on a mission in game 3. Julianna DeSilvia stepped up with some big hits. Setters Gabby Breen and Bryn Nagel began back setting and strategically dropping the ball softly over the net. St. William just couldn’t respond.
Francesca Castellano contributed with her incredible spiking. Her ability to read the block and make mid-air adjustments in her swing was outstanding.
Lauren Guidarelli and Lauren Peters made good use of the back sets and with Chelsea Filippi hitting down the line, St. William’s blocking was neutralized. Two plays seemed to say that this was going to be SFDS’ day: Bryn Nagel running hard and saving a ball that St. William had already started to celebrate as their point; and Gabby Breen winning a joust at the net against the other team’s best blocker pushing the ball down on the other side with one hand. Kaitlin Courtney’s six consecutive serves finished it off for a 25-5 victory giving SFDS the game, match and championship.
It was a great season leading to a great championship with well-earned congratulations to all the girls, including those who couldn’t make it to the final match: Rory Kirk, Morgan Koenig, Jenna McCann, Justine Twomey, and Mary Wrynn.
Congratulations also to head coach Jenny Breen and assistant coach Iris Filippi for back to back championship seasons, winning the Brooklyn Queens Diocesan Championship as well as the NSBQ Intra-Diocesan Championship two years in a row.
A note of gratitude and congratulations has to also go out to CYO Director Keith Goldberg and SFDS Volleyball Coordinator Nancy Gentile. Without their tireless effort and commitment to the great sport of volleyball at St. Francis de Sales this could not have happened. It was a great job all around to the eighth grade St. Francis de Sales CYO volleyball team.