Leon Goldstein started its celebration a bit too early as Riverdale-Kingsbridge served up a deep ball that appeared headed out of bounds.
“We were running on the court thinking it was the last rally,” senior libero Kinga Skrzat said. “We were just so excited.”
The Dolphins players composed themselves in time to win the point when the ball stayed in bounds, and the short wait to celebrate was well worth it.
Top-seeded Goldstein won its second Public School Athletic League Class B girls’ volleyball title in the last four years by outlasting No. 3 Riverdale-Kingsbridge 25–19, 25–15 in the final on Nov. 25 at Hunter College. The victory avenged a loss to the Tigers in last year’s semifinals.
“We started off with a championship freshmen year and we ended it with a championship senior year,” senior outside hitter Jessica Strutsinskaya said. “It’s like the greatest experience I’ve ever encountered during my four years.”
The match turned late in the first set when Riverdale-Kingsbridge (16–1) lost a point for serving out of turn. Goldstein (17–0) was also given a point by rule. It negated a potential 18–14 lead for the Tigers. Riverdale-Kingsbridge earned the next point thanks to a Goldstein serve that went out of bounds, but the Dolphins rolled after that.
Goldstein scored 10 of the last 11 points to close out the set. The players said they relaxed after the call against Riverdale-Kingsbridge. Their passing improved, they set up Chelsea Filippi more for kills and Skrzat got hot serving. Setter Morgan Henderson toughed through an injured ankle.
Goldstein continued that momentum in the second set and got off to a 5–0 start. The big run came earlier this time to put it in full control. The Dolphins rattled off six straight points behind Skrzat and Filippi to take a 17–11 lead. Strutsinskaya had three kills late to help seal the win.
Goldstein sent its two seniors out the champions they came in as.
“It means lot to them,” said Dolphins coach Adrian Buchhalter. “Especially the seniors.”