SCARSDALE – Moments after her first tournament win of any kind during her 20-year coaching career, Eastchester head coach Kathy DePippo hugged her players and exclaimed, “How fun was that?”
The always-lively DePippo, who spent seven seasons at the modified level before coming to the Eagles, was elated with the win, but made it clear that Eastchester’s performance Saturday was no fluke and that the Eagles were scouring for more success.
“They’re looking for hardware,” she said. “They’re not looking to make top-four. They’re not looking to make top-eight. They’re looking for some hardware.”
Eastchester bested Tappan Zee in the championship match, 25-20, 25-12, to complete an undefeated run in the tournament. The Eagles overcame early season struggles and an injury to starter Sophia Tiso during pool play en route to the title.
Close to two-dozen Eastchester students traveled to Scarsdale High School for the final, then posed with the team for pictures after the win. “It means the world to us,” DePippo said.
Jessica Becchetti, Francesca Giangregorio and Daniella Chiodi represented the Eagles on the all-tournament team. Hailey McCloskey and Hailie Festa were named to the all-tournament for the Dutchies.
Tappan Zee turned heads throughout the tournament, grabbing the No. 5 seed in the platinum bracket. The Dutchies knocked off fourth-seeded Harrison and top-seeded league foe Nyack before reaching the final match.
The win gave the Dutchies a small taste of revenge after Nyack won the Sleepy Hollow tournament last weekend.
DePippo said she “pieced three players together” to replace Tiso after she took two blows to the head — one from an elbow, the other from a ball — and was benched her for the remainder of the tournament with a possible concussion.
“She had a concussion last year, so we definitely don’t even want to take a chance with her,” DePippo said. “It’s just not worth it.”
Tiso was not the lone injury Saturday.
White Plains senior Juliet Lodes sprained her left ankle on the first point of the team’s final pool play match against Scarsdale. The Tigers, who went undefeated in pool play, were drubbed by Eastchester in the semifinals, 25-19, 25-8.
Lodes was standing with the help of a crutch during the Eastchester match. While head coach Caitlin MacDonald said Lodes was a “50-50” shot to play Tuesday against Mamaroneck, Lodes has no plans to miss the match.
“It’s my senior year — I’m leaving it all on the court,” Lodes said. “I have to.”