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All-Queens Volleyball

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There’s no borough that can boast Queens’ depth — in teams and players — in all the city.

St. Francis Prep won its second straight CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens title and went all the way to the CHSAA Class AA state semifinals — an awesome feat for a city school. Francis Lewis, Prep’s neighborhood rival, won the PSAL Class A championship for the second season in a row.

Some of the players who made All-Queens honorable mention — or who were not selected at all — probably could have made the first team in other boroughs. That’s how good Queens was this season.

Queens girls’ volleyball player of the year

Jillian Linares, St. Francis Prep

She started the season as somewhat of a part-timer — in the winter, she played basketball and in the spring, she played softball at Prep. But by the time the playoffs rolled around, Linares was 100 percent a volleyball player.

At a school with a pedigree for girls’ volleyball, the junior libero left an indelible mark, especially in the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens semifinals when she led St. Francis over upset-minded Fontbonne Hall. Linares dove to the floor and slid around regularly, as her teammates fed off her energy.

Prep won a second straight Diocesan title and made it all the way to the CHSAA Class AA state semifinals and she was a huge reason why.

Queens girls’ volleyball coach of the year

Sylwia Schober, Mary Louis

The second-year coach brought a winning pedigree to Mary Louis right from the start. Schober was a star for Christ the King, the CHSAA dynasty in the 1990s, and went on to play Division I women’s volleyball at St. Francis College in Brooklyn.

The Hilltoppers made great strides last year, but broke out in 2008 with a tremendous season, surpassing Archbishop Molloy as Queens’ second-best team. TMLA fell to St. Francis Prep in the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens final, but played well at the CHSAA Class AA state tournament in Buffalo. The future is bright in Jamaica Estates with Schober at the helm.

All-Queens first team

S Julia Hannigan, St. Francis Prep: Aside for some postseason jitters, Hannigan was phenomenal as the Terriers’ first-year setter. The sophomore used the fine weapons around her well and helped lift St. Francis to a second straight CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens title.

OH Gyna Anthony, Francis Lewis: Anthony is a bit miscast as an outside hitter, but she does the absolute most with what she is given. The junior is outstanding defensively, an adept passer and a pure leader on the court for the Patriots, who won their second straight PSAL Class A title. Coach Arnie Rosenbaum has described her as another coach on the floor.

OH Veronique Cadet, St. Francis Prep: Versatile, strong and agile, Cadet was one of the Terriers’ most consistent performers in a banner season. She could smash a kill, jump up for a block or dive on the floor for a dig with equal distinction.

MH Courtney Hanson, St. Francis Prep: Despite playing with a fracture in her foot all season, Hanson was a warrior at the net for St. Francis this season. She rarely sat out and never complained en route to the Terriers’ second straight CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens title.

MH Chereese Sheen, Francis Lewis: A lot of the press went to Lewis’ other junior middle hitter, Alicja Pawelec, but Sheen more than proved her worth in the playoffs. With Pawelec having an off day in the PSAL Class A semifinals against Susan Wagner, Sheen stepped up with a brilliant performance. She was just as good in the finals against Kennedy, too.

L Emily Harms, Archbishop Molloy: In an off season for Molloy, Harms stayed consistent. Without much height and power at the net, Stanners Coach Steve Leoutsakos changed his philosophy toward defense and the senior was a major part of that.

All-Queens second team

S Caity Brandt, Mary Louis: Brandt improved exponentially from last year to help lead Mary Louis to the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens championship match, where it lost to St. Francis Prep.

OH Samantha Leoutsakos, St. John’s Prep: The daughter of Molloy coach Steve Leoutsakos earned her first win against her dad this season, when the Red Storm shocked the Queens powerhouse Stanners. SJP ended up losing a tiebreaker to Molloy and missed the playoffs, but not because of Leoutsakos, who setter Caitlin Nerich called the team’s “heart and soul.”

OH Erica McElligott, Archbishop Molloy: She’s small in stature, but McElligott could pack a punch for the Stanners. Molloy had an uncharacteristically down season, but played its best when the senior was on.

OH Theresa Quinn, St. Francis Prep: Few players in the city have as much power in their swing. Quinn is a beast at the net and improved this season in passing and defense.

MH Alyssa Martori, Mary Louis: Martori had a strong block at the net and became one of TMLA’s go-to players late in the season. The senior provided energy — especially with her trademark, on-the-court dancing.

RS Amanda Rojas, St. Francis Prep: Want to talk about versatile? The do-it-all senior played libero last year and this season she was important to Prep in every aspect of the game – she was sound defensively, had great hands on sets and packed a punch at the net when needed, too.

All-Queens honorable mentions

S Mia Alexis De Claro, Bayside

OH Tricia Jawor, Mary Louis

OH Brigid Carragee, Archbishop Molloy

OH Joanna Kaminska, Grover Cleveland

MH Maggie Boland, Archbishop Molloy

RS Faith Scazzero, Mary Louis

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