OSSINING, N.Y. — After the first few days of preseason practice, senior Danielle Gervacio knew she and her Ossining High School varsity volleyball teammates had potential.
“We were always aware of the talent we had, and we came into the preseason organized. And we working hard from the start,” said Gervacio, a four-year varsity starter. “Last year, we didn’t do as well as we thought we could have, so we came in and learned what our roles were going to be on the team and where we needed to be on the court.”
Ossining met its potential and had a breakout year, going 15-4 overall, including 13-1 to win the league title. Ossining earned the second seed in the Section 1 Class A Volleyball Championship and will host No. 15 Tappan Zee on Friday.
The Pride opened the season with a loss to perennial power Haldane. However, Gervacio said the team came away positive because it played an excellent match. “We realized what we were capable of doing because we played so well that it motivated us to win even more,” she said.
The team began winning and improving with each match. Ossining’s highlight came at Fox Lane as the Pride rallied from a two-game deficit.
“The first two games we felt we were not present at all,” Gervacio said. “Going into the third game, we said if we lose, we go home, and we did not want that. We rallied a couple of times in this game. It was one of the most fulfilling games.
“We were all out of breath by the fifth game because it was so rigorous, but we came together.”
Ossining duplicated this against Westlake to win the league title and closed out the regular season with victories over Beacon and Mamaroneck.
“Winning the league title was huge, considering there is so much talent in this league with Fox Lane, Croton and Westlake, just to name a few,” Gervacio said. “We have a lot of seniors on the team, so there was a lot of hunger on the team. This was really big for us.”
The senior class includes Saniya Chong, Kathryn Polletta, Katie Baskind, Lydia Davis, Sabrina MacDonald, Meghan Shenefield and Gervacio. Gervacio and Chong have been on sectional-winning basketball teams, but this volleyball season has been memorable.
“To experience the same amount of success that we did in basketball with the volleyball team has been great and it is the cherry on top,” Gervacio said.
She and her teammates understand there is more work to be done. “We are looking forward to sectionals and we feel good about it,” Gervacio said. “We have a goal to be successful, and we are going to leave everything on the court.”
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