Some may have counted it out, but Francis Lewis was determined to prove it deserved a chance at a title it won five times since 2001.
The Patriots did just that, rallying to beat top-seeded Stuyvesant, 14-25, 26-24, 25-23, in the PSAL semifinals Saturday at Hunter College.
No. 4 Francis Lewis will meet Queens rival Cardozo in the title game Monday night at Hunter College. The second-seeded Judges defeated No. 3 Susan Wagner, 2-0, in the other semifinal.
“All my girls came to play today,” Lewis coach Arnie Rosenbaum said. “Everybody did their job and I’m very proud of them. We came out flat in the first step, but really stepped it up. These girls have all played together for a while and genuinely get along well with one another. This is going to be anyone’s game [Monday]. We beat No. 1 so its not over.”
Lisa Qiu had 28 assists and Melissa Chin had 17 kills and 15 digs for Stuyvesant (14-1), which dominated the first set.
“It was a pleasure playing with them,” Vixens coach Phil Fisher said. “We had them, but we really missed big opportunities. We gave them too many free points. I’m very impressed by how they did a 180 after being dominated in the first set.”
Led by Stacy Paickattu, who had 22 assists, and Ragina Anthony, who had 10 kills, the Patriots (11-3) pulled out a tight second set, 26-24, and won the decisive third set, 25-23.
“It wasn’t a surprise to us to be here,” said Lisa Camargo who had five kills. “Our coach is great, he really pushes us. I’m really proud of us.”
Now Lewis takes on the defending champions Cardozo for a third time this season. The Judges swept both regular season meetings, but Lewis junior middle hitter Naya Harris, who had nine kills, has reason to believe this time can be different.
“We have the heart to do this,” Harris said.