The proverbial magic carpet ride is over for the Our Lady of Lourdes High School volleyball team.
Over for this year, that is.
The second-seeded Westlake Wildcats beat the top-seeded Warriors 26-24, 23-25, 25-19, 15-25, 25-18, as Lourdes fell short of capturing the Section 1 Class B title on Saturday at John Jay-Cross River High School.
Lourdes may have lost, but coach Emily Krieger liked that her girls succeeded in changing the program’s course. The Warriors finished the year 18-2, after winning just two games during last year’s regular season and getting swept in the opening round of the section playoffs by Hendrick Hudson.
“I can say there were 15 kids that decided they wanted to turn a program around,” Krieger said. “I’m excited for next season. These kids know the feeling to win and have that heart and desire.”
The Warriors put that heart and desire on display during the section final.
Vanessa Jacobs had 21 digs, while Ceara Giametta added 28 assists. Grace Rappleyea had eight kills and three blocks. Jessica D’Auria had 25 kills and 28 digs.
Westlake jumped out to a 13-8 lead in the deciding game, and iced it after going up 21-17.
Krieger knew the match wasn’t going to be easy, and briefed her team before it took the court.
“I told the kids yesterday (Friday) it was going to be a war,” the coach said. “It rang true. We literally battled to every single point. If one team was down five, it didn’t mean you were getting an easy one. I felt like (us and Westlake) were a mirror image of each other.”
Jacobs, D’Auria, Giametta, Rappleyea, Grace McElduff, Ayla Altman, Alexa DiVenuto and Anna Kolosky are Lourdes’ departing seniors. But the underclassmen have given Krieger reason to believe the upcoming years will be just as fruitful as this season.
“There’s a lot of potential there. I have every confidence in those underclassmen,” Krieger said. “That was my end of the season speech. I’m excited about the future.”
A.J. Martelli: email@example.com, 845-437-4836, Twitter: @AJM_PoJoSports