John Jay rode their successful regular season to a fourth seed and opened the Sectionals at John Jay versus Edgemont. The Wolves didn’t wait to get started by jumping out to a 7-3 lead, and the tone set early, the match went as expected
John Jay took the day with a 25-16, 25-21, 25-10 sweep.
Katherine Martin opened with a dink, Ilirjana Ahmetaj followed with one of her own and added a kill to Megan Condon’s for the early lead.
A brief blip was Hellen Dollar's long spike, and two Condon dinks that didn’t hit. So Ahmetaj made sure the third time was the charm. Just taking a quick look, she said, “It’s knowing where the defense is,” and the drop gave Jay an 8-5 lead.
The lead grew to 11-5 on a Zoe Dollar hit from the right but the point was among the many where the decisiveness of the team’s libero kept John Jay in play. The first hit going to Zoe Dollar, Olivia Casabona quickly identified the mishit as one left in no man’s land, and stepped into the set with Ahmetaj’s approval. “She calls for the ball in space,” said the hitter, “and then gives a perfect pass.”
Alyssa Zhu did answer with a kill that caught the line, but Edgemont did themselves no favors from the end line. They missed five serves and got John Jay close at 22-16.
Too bad for Edgemont because they really stood tall otherwise. So on the next point, spikes by Ahmetaj and Martin were covered and displayed the visitor’s mettle.
Dollar did her lefty thing for the point nonetheless and her kills don’t just accumulate on the scoreboard. “She’s always jumping up and down,” Martin extolled. “Zoe, she freaks out, and I love it so much.”
Hellen Dollar gave then her sister reason to scream too. The sophomore’s diving save landed on the other side, and little sister’s ace tallied the necessary 25.
A 1-0 match, Edgemont did briefly get on serving track with an ace to open, and Zoe Dollar then flipped script by serving into the net. No problem, Ahmetaj followed with two kills and Edgemont continued to oblige with two more errant serves to give John Jay a 10-4 lead.
But a kill by Madeline Darviche woke the Panthers. Three more Edgemont kills followed, and they took a 13-12 lead when Megan Condon hit long.
Another long Condon hit made it 15-13. But Zhu served into the net to break the momentum, and Ahmetaj eyed the right look to drop the dink for a 16-16 tie.
The Wolves tails now wagging, Riley Buckingham dealt a pair of aces, and Ahmetaj found herself twice positioned where she didn’t have to bluff. “I’m ready so I just hit,” she beamed.
Still, Zoe Dollar stole her teammates thunder on the next play and picked up her sister in the process. Hellen Dollars’ first hit dying fast for the floor, Zoe dove at the dividing line and got the ball up for a Hanna Martinsen kill.
21-16 after the play, Martinsen’s block made it 22-19, and no shock, Edgemont served into the net for a 25-21 John Jay victory.
Edgemont obviously seeing the writing on the wall, Ahmetaj and Megan Condon bolded the print with a kill and an ace to open up a 10-2 lead. From there, John Jay poured it on, and Ava Calandros ended the day with a block at the net.
Ardsley up on Monday, Martin set the agenda. “We’ve got to play as a team, play with intensity and aggression and focus on our side of the net,” the senior concluded.