Ursuline looks 'AA'-OK in four-team scrimmage

Ursuline looks 'AA'-OK in four-team scrimmage


Ursuline looks 'AA'-OK in four-team scrimmage


YORKTOWN – Few people would be excited about a 5 a.m. wake-up call, never mind high school students who are in the final days of summer vacation. But when it means a trip to Walt Disney World, it helps explain the Ursuline volleyball team’s elation following head coach Gigi Kemp’s reminder following Tuesday’s four-team scrimmage.

Ursuline plays Pelham High School during girls volleyball scrimmage game at Yorktown High School on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016.

Ursuline plays Pelham High School during girls volleyball scrimmage game at Yorktown High School on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016.

The Koalas, who will be participating in the KSA Events Volleyball Classic, will head down to Florida on a high note after an impressive showing against Pelham, Harrison, and host Yorktown.

“The goal is always to improve from yesterday’s practice or yesterday’s scrimmage and do one thing better,” Kemp said. “I think that they got better as the day went along. We worked out some kinks. We had our ups and downs, but overall, I thought it was a good improvement.”

Ursuline will compete in Class AA this year after a long stint in Class A, which boasts smaller schools based on enrollment numbers but often has more talented volleyball programs than in the higher classification. With reigning state finalists Panas expected to reach the Glens Falls Civic Center again this year, the move up to Class AA — where there is no clear-cut favorite — should be beneficial to the Koalas.

“It’s been the same crew that we play in playoffs, so it’s going to be exciting to have different teams to look forward to competing against,” said Kemp, who reached the Class A section final in her first season with Ursuline in 2011. “I’d like to get to the finals.”

The Koalas return nine seniors from last year, including a lethal hitting combination in Charlotte Stivala and Katie McLoughlin, but are also working a number of underclassmen into the lineup.

“It’s a whole new team for us,” Stivala said. “In the beginning of preseason, I was a little nervous, honestly, but this whole week we jelled so well as a team and (Tuesday) it really showed that if you have a whole week of being together 24/7 that it really helps on the court.”

Huskies take a big ‘hit’ to offense: Following a promising breakout sophomore year in which she garnered an all-conference honorable-mention nod, there were high hopes for outside hitter Kayla DeMartini this year. Unfortunately for the Huskies, the junior moved to Milwaukee over the summer. “You hate to lose a player like that when you could’ve had her for two more years,” Harrison head coach Candy Light said.

Twitter: @Zacchio_LoHud


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