ELMSFORD, N.Y. – It took coach Andrea Reiff one year to resurrect the Rye varsity volleyball team as the Garnets qualified for sectionals in 2011, the first time in four years.
Rye is planning on building off the momentum it gained in the first year with Reiff.
The Garnets opened the 2012 season Wednesday with an excellent performance, sweeping host Alexander Hamilton, 25-12, 25-7, 25-15 in varsity volleyball action.
Last year, Reiff said the team registered its first win in the seventh match of the season. Junior Courtney Brown led Rye with 10 kills, setter Marisa Curlen contributed 12 assists and libero Gianna Paganelli finished with 10 digs.
Rye returns 10 players from an eight-win team in 2011. One year prior to Reiff’s arrival, Rye did not want a match. The success Rye enjoyed in 2011 translated to a determined group returning for preseason.
“The little things, even down to their mile time, was good,” said Reiff, who was a standout at Westlake and later at Manhattan College. “Last year, the drills we were doing in the second week, we were doing the second day this year.”
Reiff said many of her players have now made the commitment to volleyball year-round, playing with the Downstate Volleyball Club. Erica Poccia, who was Reiff’s assistant last year, is now Rye’s junior varsity coach. This will allow for continuity from Poccia to Reiff.
Rye jumped out to early leads in each of the three games. And once the Garnets had the advantage, they did not let up.
“I was pleased with our energy,” Reiff said. “We were able to capitalize and finish when we had the lead. Everyone got time and a taste of being in varsity games.”