You know you’re good when you can miss pool play at a tournament and still take home MVP honors.
Panas junior Yvette Burcescu continued her domination of the section with a sensational showing at the annual Panther Invitational, leading the Panthers to their second consecutive tournament title. Burcescu, the reigning Journal News/lohud Westchester/Putnam player of the year, has developed a wicked jump serve that she was working on last year.
Panas is currently the top-ranked Class A team and second-ranked team overall in the state.
– Julianna Bottarini, Panas: The senior setter broke the program’s all-time assists mark this week, surpassing Allie Patriciello. Bottarini went on to be named all-tournament at the Panther Invitational, where the Panthers took home top honors for the second consecutive season.
– Hailie Festa, Tappan Zee: Even without starting setter Hayley McCloskey, the Dutchies managed to pull off the upset against undefeated Nyack. Festa registered 17 kills in the thrilling four-set win.
– Maura McGlynn, Ursuline: A talented sophomore on the rise in the Koalas program, McGlynn tallied 20 kills in a loss to Pelham and had a 15-kill, 12-dig performance in a win over Scarsdale.
– Laine Peterson, Westlake: The powerful hitter had 20 kills in a five-set win over Ardsley, which could end up being a preview of the Class B section final.
– Sydney Shotkoski, Pelham: The talented setter has really been coming into her own as the season has progressed, which is a direct correlation of the Pelicans’ surge of success. Shotkoski had 28 assists and 12 digs in a sweep of Ursuline and 27 assists in a five-set win over Rye.
Journal News/lohud.com volleyball beat reporter Mike Zacchio will pick a player of the week to be announced every Sunday. This year will also include a five-player “Honor Roll,” which highlights other outstanding weeks that deserved recognition. Announcements will usually be posted at noon. Please try to submit all nominations by Saturday night (or sooner, if the team does not have a tournament/match over the weekend).
Sept. 11: Madison Monahan, North Rockland (Read)
Sept. 18: Katie McLoughlin, Ursuline (Read)
Sept. 25: Rachel Darius, New Rochelle (Read)
Oct. 2: Jade Iadarola, Rye (Read)
Oct. 9: Mychael Vernon, Ossining (Read)
How to nominate a player for #POTW
Fans, coaches, players, etc. can nominate players via Twitter (@Zacchio_LoHud), email (email@example.com), or text (if you have my number). I will also select an Honor Roll consisting of upwards of five honorable mentions, so that they’re accomplishments will also be recognized. The final #POTW of the season will be announced Oct. 23.
Please include the players’ name, school, grade, position and stats for the week (all games from Monday through Saturday). Tournament performances (all-tournament team, tournament MVP, team win, etc.) count towards this award, even if you don’t have exact stats.
Example: Brooke Davis, Tree Hill H.S., Sr., OH: Brooke had 48 kills, 20 aces, 60 assists and 62 digs in the Ravens’ wins this week over Catalano, Keller, and McFadden High. She was also MVP of the Whitey Durham Invitational on Saturday.
There is no science or exact formula to picking a winner, but everything counts — including team’s performance and strength of schedule. It’s not just a numbers game. A girl having a great week against tough competition will probably win over a girl who had an unconscious week against week competition.
There is no limit to how many times a player can win during the season. I will do my best to pick the best candidate. Sometimes that will be a repeat winner. I’ll try to spread the love as much as I can, but as the saying goes, “Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t.”