OSSINING, N.Y. – Once Julia Parascandola went skyward for the hit, the Ursuline senior never doubted the result as her team beat second-seeded Ossining in a semifinal Tuesday of the Section 1 Class A Volleyball Championships.
Parascandola smacked a thunderous ace kill to finish off the match and give third-seeded Ursuline the win, 23-25, 25-21, 19-25, 25-17, 25-19.
Ursuline, now 14-5, secured a second consecutive berth in the title match. Last year, Ursuline lost in five sets to Harrison. The Koalas will play the Panas-Lakeland winner at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Hendrick Hudson.
Ossining concludes its season at 18-5.
“I wanted to end it right there and not drag the game out any more,” said Parascandola, a Valhalla resident. “It feels amazing.”
Before Parascandola’s match-clinching kill, senior and fellow captain Marie Bernacchia and sophomore Lauren Gaudiano took the Koalas to the brink of victory. Gaudiano registered two unreturnable serves, and Bernacchia finished off two points with a kill and well-executed dink. The dink was before Parascandola’s kill.
“I was able to pick the perfect spot,” said Beracchia, a Yonkers resident. “After a hit, the defense will usually stay back waiting for a kill, so I saw the perfect spot.”
Parascandola finished with 14 kills and 10 digs, but it was her service run in the fifth game that gave Ursuline the lead. She stepped to the line with the Koalas trailing, 10-8, and when finished, Ursuline led, 12-11. From that point, Ursuline was in charge.
“We woke up in the fifth game, put it all together and played our game,” said Bernacchia, who finished with eight kills and 15 digs.
Gaudiano, who ran off six consecutive service points in game four to give Ursuline the lead for good, entered the fifth game and posted the final five points.
“Lauren was really consistent with her serve all match and with her serve she was able to keep them off balance,” Parascandola said.
Ossining coach Lauren Riccardi praised her girls for their accomplishments this season.
“I told them they should all have their heads up and be proud of what they did,” Riccardi said. “They went from a 2-11 team in league last year to a 13-win team in the league and league champs. They earned the second seed in sectionals, reached the semis and played five games against one of the best teams in the section. They played with heart, passion and determination.
“Regardless of this match, this is a great team and I couldn’t be any more proud of these girls.”