Brooklyn teams made their presence felt in the city’s volleyball landscape this year, and here we honor the programs and individuals who made the biggest impact in girls’ volleyball.
Midwood reached the Public School Athletic League’s Class A final for the first time since 2001. Fort Hamilton, which beat the Hornets at tournaments throughout the season, took home its second-straight PSAL Class B crown. Fontbonne Hall made it to the Catholic High School Athletic Association Brooklyn-Queens Division I final for the first time in three years. Poly Prep and Brooklyn Tech made semifinal appearances in the private school state tournament and the PSAL respectively, and St. Edmund was the Brooklyn-Queens Division II runner up.
Here are the people who excelled most on the court this season:
All-Brooklyn Player of the Year: Elisabet Genis, Midwood
The four-year varsity starter has been among the city’s elite players throughout her career. Midwood coach Thomasina Lenzi’s style of moving players around the court allows Genis, predominantly a setter, to flourish. She recorded 116 assists, 36 digs, and 37 aces in PSAL play this season and always gave the extra effort on the court. Genis pumped out 12 assists in the Hornets’ semifinal win over rival Susan Wagner.
All-Brooklyn Coach of the Year: Richard Sherry, Fort Hamilton
Sherry has pushed the Tigers into the upper echelon of girls’ volleyball programs in New York City after just seven seasons of existence. Fort Hamilton won its second-straight PSAL Class B title this year with hopes of competing for one at the highest level next season. Along the way, Fort Hamilton beat teams like Midwood, Fontbonne Hall and Susan Wagner. Fort Hamilton is a program on the rise thanks to Sherry’s willing to go the extra mile to help players improve.
All-Brooklyn Girls’ Volleyball First Team:
MH Marlena Budna, Fort Hamilton
Few players can change a game they way Bunda can. The 6-foot-1 junior is a dominant force around the net. She recorded 154 kills, 72 blocks and 29 digs in PSAL play. Bunda made opponents think twice about attacking the net.
MH Gillian Chan, Poly Prep
The senior had big shoes to fill with the graduation of Jackie Kennedy, and did so seamlessly. Chan was the Blue Devils’ best player at he net, and was usually on the sharp end of most of the team’s big points. She helped lead Poly Prep to the New York State Association of Independent Schools Athletic Association semifinals.
OH Alexandra Gordon, Midwood
Gordon’s athleticism was easy to see. The senior was the Hornets’ most consistent hitter, usually getting up high to bring down booming kills and was also quick to dig out tough balls. Gordon also compiled 41 aces in PSAL play, adding to the ways she helped her team.
MH Emily Greenstein, Fontbonne Hall
The sophomore was one of the pleasant surprises of the 2013 campaign. She emerged as the Bonnies’ best offensive force after senior Kristen Sullivan. Her big arm and athleticism mean Fontbonne’s future is bright.
MH Victoria Plonski, Brooklyn Tech
Plonski, a sophomore, is one of the city’s best young players. She helped lead Brooklyn Tech to the program’s first ever PSAL Class A semifinals while displaying an array of skills. Plonski recorded 86 kills, 15 blocks and 36 aces in league play.
OH Sarina Rozek, Fort Hamilton
Rozek, a senior, was one of the biggest reasons for Fort Hamilton’s rise to prominence. She’s been the glue for the Tigers over her four years. Rozek tallied 148 kills, 77 digs and 31 aces in PSAL play.
MH Aleksandra Ryshina, Midwood
The senior’s contributions didn’t always show up in the stat sheets. Ryshina was an imposing presence around the net and big part of a talented front line. She and Alexandra Gordon formed a dynamic hitting duo.
OH Kristen Sullivan, Fontbonne Hall
The senior is one of the city’s hardest working and determined players. Sullivan was the Bonnies most productive and feared hitter. She was a leader and an example to the club’s younger players. Sullivan had 10 kills and 16 digs in a diocesan final loss.
S Katherine Vaskevich, Brooklyn Tech
Vaskevich, a junior, was the engine for Brooklyn Tech. The two-year starter spread the ball around brilliantly throughout the season, but knew when to feed the hot hand. Vaskevich posted 164 assists in league play, including 21 in a quarterfinal win over Bronx Science, and also had 33 aces.
L Shannon Twomey, Poly Prep
Twomey filled in admirably for graduated libero Kerri Saputo. The senior made all the hustle plays and helped Poly be one of the city’s better defensive teams. Twomey was a big reason for the Blue Devils late surge and run to the New York State Association of Independent Schools Athletic Association semifinals.
All-Brooklyn Honorable Mention
RS Michaela Appel, Midwood
S Kayse Brown, Bishop Loughlin
S Erin Blum, St. Edmund
OH Francesca Castellano, Fontbonne Hall
OH Monique Chambers, Van Arsdale
S Flora Gallina Jones, Poly Prep
S Morgan Henderson, Leon Goldstein
OH/L Alexandra Kiosse, Brooklyn Tech
RS Stefanie Rozek, Fort Hamilton
S Julia Yu, New Utrecht