PELHAM — As the school year and fall sports are still getting underway, there still things being worked out; like fire alarms going off in the middle of volleyball matches.
All fans and spectators had to evacuate the Pelham Memorial Middle School gym during the third game of a 25-21, 19-25, 25-13, 17-25, 25-16 John Jay win over Pelham on Thursday.
At the time of the evacuation, Pelham held a one-point lead over the reigning Class A section champs. Pelham personnel said the alarm going off was not planned.
“If it’s not planned, you have to evacuate and then get the ‘all clear’ from the fire department and then go back (in),” Pelham Director of Math and Science Tom Callahan said. “(The fire department) got here very quickly.”
Fire alarm delays are nothing new to Pelham’s Mark Finegan, a 26-year coaching vet, or John Jay head coach Tom Rizzotti, who has encountered four such interruptions in his 12 years with the Indians, including one last year against Panas at home.
Both coaches said their girls were unfazed by the delay.
“I didn’t think it had much of play at all, I really didn’t,” Finegan said. “It was all about serving and receiving … and I just thought we were a little past that, and we’re going to have to find a way to get better at that.”
Player of the game: Julia Mines, John Jay: The senior “Elite Seven” selection had a team-high 14 kills, 21 digs and nine aces.
Turning point: Pelham opened the fourth game on a six-point run and forced John Jay to use both of its timeouts by the time the score was 12-2. The Indians rallied to make it 20-16 before losing the game, but gained momentum that carried into the deciding fifth game.
Stat line: Mines’ team-highs were only a hair above classmate and fellow “Elite Seven” selection Taylor McCarthy, who finished with 14 kills, 20 digs and two aces. Junior middle blocker Lauren Donohue added 11 kills and three blocks.
Quotable: “I always tell them, ‘Listen, gain momentum. I don’t care how this finishes score-wise, I care how this finishes effort-wise and focus-wise. What can you give me there?’ ” Rizzotti, on his team’s comeback in the fourth game.