Ally Kalesin wasn’t having the best of matches only to break out of her funk when it mattered most.
The Archbishop Molloy outside hitter struggled to put chances away throughout a CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens girls’ volleyball contest against Fontbonne Hall. She saw her team win the first two sets, only to lose the next two. Kalesin and the Stanners didn’t get down.
“I just had to put it behind me and move on with it,” she said.
Kalesin was at her best in the fifth set. She recorded three straight kills and four total at a critical point in the deciding frame. Her play and the serving of Emily Rabot helped Molloy hold off the Bonnies’ comeback attempt and leave Bay Ridge with a hard-fought 25-15, 26-24, 21-25, 22-25, 25-15 win Monday night.
“The first set that I finally killed, I was like, ‘Oh, my God. I got my mojo back,’” Kalesin said.
She helped push a two-point Molloy (5-1) lead to 18-13. Her outburst came during a 7-0 service run by Rabot that included two aces. When it was over, the Stanners were comfortably ahead 22-13.
“My adrenaline was going,” the senior said. “Sometime when we are down I get a little mad and it just comes out.”
Molloy, however, never got rattled after it could not close out the Bonnies (4-3) in three of four sets. Camille Pangalangan dominated the net in the first set. She had two kills and a block to help close it. The serving of Bobbi Collins, Emily Noblesala and Jackie Banker was a weapon in the second set as they helped the Stanners rally from 18-14 down. An ace by Banker gave them their first lead and Fontbonne’s Emily Greenstein hit the ball in the net to secure the set for the Stanners.
“We all went out there thinking three sets and we are going home,” Kalesin said.
The Stanners’ rally in the second set fell short and the Bonnies won the final two points of the fourth to get the win. The tightness of the contest and the quality of her team’s play kept first-year Molloy Coach Nicole Baggatta proud and confident in her squad.
“That’s the first time I saw my team that in sync before, even though we lost two games,” she said. “They were close games. It wasn’t like they got blown out. I was proud that they picked themselves up after losing that momentum and coming back and winning.”
Before the fifth set, she reminded them it was still their match win and they responded with an important one. It put the Stanners in sole possession of second-place in the division and just a game behind first-place St. Francis Prep, who it visits Oct. 8 in Fresh Meadows.
“We knew we were going to have to fight hard,” Rabot said. “We knew this was an important win.”