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Like Brooklyn is for boys basketball and Staten Island is for softball, Queens remains the mecca of girls volleyball in New York City.
St. Francis Prep won a fourth consecutive CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens title and advanced to the CHSAA Class AA state semifinals for the second time in three years. Cardozo won its first PSAL Class A city title since 1981 and powerhouse Francis Lewis, the three-time defending champ, made it to the semifinals. Even in the lower leagues, Queens was well-represented — Scholars Academy beat Campus Magnet in the PSAL Class B championship match and Christ the King beat St. John’s Prep in the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Division II final.
All-Queens girls’ volleyball Player of the Year: Julia Hannigan, St. Francis Prep
The engineer of New York City’s best offense, Hannigan seamlessly spread the ball out to all of St. Francis Prep’s weapons in the team’s run to a fourth straight CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens title and a second berth in the CHSAA Class AA state semifinals in three years.
There was no better setter in the city when it came to every aspect — hands, court vision and mobility. Hannigan was also extremely adept at finding the soft spot in defenses with dump kills. And when coach Kevin Colucci needed her to, the senior could also put a pretty solid swing on the ball as well.
All-Queens girls’ volleyball Coach of the Year: Danny Scarola, Cardozo
Scarola has won three PSAL city championships with the boys volleyball team at Cardozo, but just couldn’t seem to win the big one on the girls side, always running into rival and powerhouse Francis Lewis along the way. The Judges didn’t have to beat Francis Lewis this year. As the second seed in the playoffs, Cardozo beat No. 5 Susan Wagner for its first title since 1981. Scarola had one of the best players in the city, junior outside hitter Ashley Grubler, but meshed together a lot of inexperienced pieces to make it work — and it certainly did.
OH Ragina Anthony, Francis Lewis
The freshman burst onto the scene with an incredible 17-kill performance against Cardozo in October and she didn’t really slow down from there. The super-athletic, 5-foot-10 Anthony, sister of former Lewis star Gyna Anthony, does everything well and has an incredible feel for the game. She could be the best player in New York City before long.
OH Talia Colasante, St. Francis Prep
There was perhaps no one in the city who could put the ball down harder than Colasante. The athletic, 5-foot-10 junior emerged this season as one of the best players around. She was MVP of the Lady Patriot Invitational, had 18 kills against Fontbonne Hall in the regular season and led St. Francis to a fourth-straight CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens title.
OH Ashley Grubler, Cardozo
Cardozo volleyball is in her blood, but the junior has something her sister Mallory, now a star at Hunter College, never got: a championship. The 6-foot, lanky and athletic Grubler had 19 kills to lead Cardozo over Susan Wagner for the PSAL Class A city title. She’ll arguably be the best player in the city next year as a senior.
L Jenna Hoffman, Archbishop Molloy
You might be able to fool Hoffman once, Assistant Coach Rose Ruesing said all year, but you’ll never be able to do it twice. Making the transition from setter to libero, the sophomore covered an incredible amount of ground for Molloy in its run to the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens title match. There was no better player at her position in New York City.
OH Paulina Jobczyk, Francis Lewis
An outside hitter has one job — to put the ball down. Jobczyk did that as well as anyone with a powerful swing. The 5-foot-8 senior filled what was a tough hitting void left by two of the city’s best players and she helped lead Lewis to the PSAL Class A semifinals.
OH Martina Vaglia, Cardozo
She might have saved Cardozo’s season. The Judges were missing one piece halfway through — another hitter who could put the ball down. Like a gift from God, as teammate Ashley Grubler said, the 5-foot-8 Vaglia showed up, just a few weeks after arriving from Italy as a foreign exchange student. The senior had seven kills and eight aces to go along with a 13-0 service run against Susan Wagner in the PSAL Class A final.
OH Carolina Alfonso Reyes, Cleveland
The junior immigrated from the Dominican Republic last year and stormed onto the scene this season. She led PSAL Queens A7 in kills (115) and aces (57), leading Cleveland back from an 0-4 start to make the playoffs and advance to the second round.
MH Kelly Flynn, St. Francis Prep
As the year went on, the 5-foot-11 Flynn got better and better. Not only did the sophomore put up one of the city’s best blocks, but her powerful swing came around, making her someone to seriously watch in the coming years.
OH Ariella Levine, Archbishop Molloy
All you need to know about Levine is that Molloy lost to Fontbonne Hall in the regular season without her and beat the Bonnies in the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens semifinals with her back. The senior was the Stanners’ heart and soul, the difference between a good season and a mediocre one.
MH Kate Mulvihill, Archbishop Molloy
Molloy’s most consistent front row player, the 5-foot-9 Mulvihill was always good for a well-placed kill or a momentum-turning block. She had 13 kills against Fontbonne in the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens semifinals.
OH Julia Paternoster, St. Francis Prep
The ultimate team player, the 5-foot-8 Paternoster played somewhat out of position last year at middle out of necessity. This season, at a much more suitable spot on the outside, she emerged as an extremely dangerous threat on St. Francis Prep’s fourth-straight CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens title team.
MH/OH Stephanie Taibe, Mary Louis
A good blocker in the middle, the 5-foot-10 Taibe moved over to the outside midway through the season and excelled there. The senior was always the focus of opposing teams’ blockers due to her big swing.
OH Maria Barbarino, St. John’s Prep
L Nathalie Cabrera, Francis Lewis
OH Madeline Casello, Archbishop Molloy
S Jessica Chung, Francis Lewis
OH Yaira Diaz, Christ the King
OH Nicole Glaz, Scholars Academy
OH Saleesha Matthews, Campus Magnet
MH Caitlin O’Doherty, St. Francis Prep
L Rita Romeo, St. Francis Prep
L Amy Sung, Cardozo
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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