HARRISON Following its elimination from the Vikings Brown and Gold tournament at Clarkstown South on Saturday, Nyack head coach Christian Collazo spoke about how one game of one match could completely change a team’s outlook for the season.
For Nyack, it was the Indians’ opening pool play match against state-ranked Panas, the No. 1 team in the section, in which they handed the eventual tournament champs their only loss in a split decision, 23-25, 26-24.
With an added vote of confidence on their side, the Indians followed up Saturday’s performance with a 25-23, 25-19, 21-25, 25-17 win at Harrison in a battle between two of the top teams in Class A, both of whom were undefeated entering the match.
“The mindset was come in here, take chances like we did at the (Clarkstown South) tournament), and don’t hold back, because that’s the way to be successful,” Collazo said. “If against the top programs you play too fine and you’re afraid to make mistakes, then you’re never going to win those games.”
It’s been nearly two decades since Nyack (7-0) last won a league championship, but with a wave of talent on the court — including more on the way at the junior varsity level — and an electric coach like Collazo on the sidelines, it’s not laughable to think that Nyack could very well contend for the section crown in November.
The Indians have started putting teams on notice that now it would be ignorant to dismiss them.
Player of the game: Megan Sneeden, Nyack: The senior libero’s standout defense anchored the Indians to save their undefeated season.
Turning point: A call overturned by the referee late in the fourth game gave Nyack a 22-16 lead and the serve, rather than making it 21-17 and Harrison having the serve. The call was made after the point was initially awarded to Harrison.
Stat line: Sneeden was all over the place on defense and turned several would-be points into playable balls for the Indians. Bella Baroni led the offensive attack with 14 kills. Nicole Andreotti added eight kills and strong serving throughout the match. … Kayla DeMartini and Val Sprovieri led the Huskies with 17 and 16 kills, respectively. Melissa Yanez added four aces, 35 assists and six digs.
Quotable: “We just really wanted to prove the doubters wrong and make a statement,” Sneeden said of the team’s motivation going into the match.