Meet the athletes who excelled during the 2011 girls volleyball season. The awards were selected by MSG Varsity's staff of reporters and editors:
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Walter Panas, Sr., Middle back/Outside hitter
The most dominating volleyball player in Section 1, Vivian Burcescu wrapped up her incredible career with a great senior season. A three-year all-section player, Burcescu led Section 1 with 512 kills and set multiple school records. She will continue her volleyball career next year at the University of Virginia on a full scholarship.
COACH OF THE YEAR
What a ride it was for the Pelham this season. The Pelicans won their first volleyball section championship in school history, defeating Eastchester in the Class B final (25-18, 25-10, 25-11). They also defeated defending champion and perennial powerhouse Hendrick Hudson twice this year, once during the regular season and then again in the sectional semifinals. Their storybook season ended in the state championship against Section 11’s John Glenn, but that doesn’t deter from the incredible job that Finegan did all season long.
TEAM OF THE YEAR
For the better part of the last decade, Haldane has dominated Section 1 Class D volleyball. This year was no different as Haldane won its ninth straight section title. However, this year’s team did something that Haldane hasn’t done since 2007 — win a state championship. After losing to Section 6’s Randolph in last year’s final, the Blue Devils got their revenge, defeating Randolph in straight sets to regain their place as state champions.
Ursuline, Sr., Libero
Arguably the best Libero in the section, McCarthy was a huge part of Ursuline’s undefeated regular season. She consistently gave up her body to make the digs the Koalas needed.
Pelham, Sr., Setter
Keller played an integral part in Pelham’s incredible season, breaking all of the program's records along the way.
Hastings, Sr., Outside hitter
Sweeting was dominant for the Yellow Jackets all season long. In the Section 1 Class C championship, the Mount Holyoke-bound senior had 24 kills, powering Hastings to its first section championship in 20 years.
Harrison, Sr., Middle hitter
Harrison won its second championship in two years behind Stokoe and teammate Jessica Segal. In the Section 1 Class A championship against top-seeded Ursuline, she sparked the Huskies' incredible comeback with 25 digs and 18 kills.
Haldane, Jr., Setter/Hitter
Etta may be the best player in the section next year. She will look to lead Haldane to back-to-back Class D championships after taking home the state tournament MVP award this year.
Suffern, Sr., Hitter
After losing to Arlington the previous two years in the Section 1 Class AA championship, Flaherty helped Suffern flip the script and win its first championship since 2008. Flaherty had 23 kills in the game and seemed to make a play on every Mounties point.
Hendrick Hudson, Sr., Middle hitter
This year’s anchor for the Hen Hud machine, Gmeiner was very impressive from start to finish and always made an impact for the Sailors when they needed it most.
Dana Solit, Setter, Haldane, Senior
Kelsey Flaherty, Hitter, Haldane, Senior
Jessica Segal, Setter, Senior, Harrison
Julia Bilotta, Hitter, Senior, Rye Neck
Angela Silveri, Middle hitter, Senior, Arlington
Taylor Carroll, Outside hitter, Junior, Clarkstown South
Loren Cecil, Setter, Senior, Pelham