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Kelly Flynn spoke with absolute clarity and confidence to her teammates during a time out late in the third set with their season about to be put in jeopardy.
“I said, ‘I want the ball,’” the St. Francis Prep star outside hitter said. “That’s it.”
Mary Louis, which had already won the second set, had two chances at set point against the five-time defending champions. A Hilltoppers service error gave SFP a point and the ball. Flynn, who was putting away nearly everything she hit all night, took it from there. The senior was set three straight times by classmate Kendra McCalla - each time delivering a booming kill to help St. Francis Prep, known for offensive balance, and helping the Terriers win the set and grab the momentum.
The top-seeded Terriers carried it into fourth set and finished off a 25-16, 22-25, 26-24, 25-18 win over visiting No. 4 Mary Louis in the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Division I girls volleyball final Thursday night. They advance to play No. 2 Archbishop Molloy 7 p.m. Monday in Briarwood. Flynn, who missed last year’s semis because of injury, finished with 17 kills, none more important than the final three of the third set.
“When she’s on, hitting wise and power wise, I don’t think anybody is as strong physically and athletically,” SFP coach Kevin Colucci said of Flynn. “She blocks balls and hits really well. She’s one of the more dominant players out there.”
Caroline Gorecki had 13 kills and seven blocks for SFP (13-0) and Johairy Rivadeneira added five kills and 14 digs. With Kiara Pierre chipped in 12 digs and four aces and McCalla had 36 assists. St. Francis Prep played without junior star Jaclyn Laforgia, who was kept out with a head injury.
It was a sluggish performance overall for SFP. The team made more errors than usual and ran into a scrappy, defensive-minded Mary Louis squad playing at its best. Because of Hurricane Sandy, all of the previous week’s practices had been canceled and St. Francis Prep closed Wednesday after the snowstorm.
Hilltoppers coach Sylwia Schober couldn’t have been more proud of her team, which was led by Elayne Pereira and Arianna Velcich.
“This was by far the best game we played,” Schober said. “My girls played a wonderful game today.”
St. Francis Prep on the other hand is hoping they have a better showing when they face Molloy Monday.
“We have another chance to play against and do better than this one,” McCalla said. “The next game actually has something to get at the end so it’s an even better game to win.”
Archbishop Molloy 3, Fontbonne 0: Emily Rabot had 11 kills and four assists, and Amanda Proce dished out 14 assists for Molloy (10-3) in a, 25-15, 25-21, 25-20, win over the Bonnies (7-7) in the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens semifinals. Jenna Hoffman and Brittany Banker both had 10 digs. The Stanners face rivals St. Francis Prep at home in the final on Monday.
“It gives us momentum for Prep now,” Rabot said. “We want to take the down. We really want them.”
She called it one of her team’s best performances of the season and said that it came at the right time. Rabot saw more teamwork and fewer errors, and Molloy never let Fontbonne get momentum. All three regular season meetings had gone five sets, but the Bonnies were playing after all of its players and coach Linda Strong were forced out of their homes by the hurricane.
“Our hearts go out to them,” Rabot said.Reach reporter Joseph Staszewski at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter @cng_staszewski.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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