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Hastings Tops Valhalla to Reach Class C Finals

VALHALLA, N.Y. – The Hastings Yellow Jackets volleyball team travelled to Valhalla Thursday to face the Vikings in a Section 1 Class C semifinal and rolled to a 3-0 sets victory, advancing to the championship final against Rye Neck Saturday at Hendrick Hudson High School.

“We came together really well as a team and, in my opinion, everyone played their best game of the season,” Hastings’ Erica Freed said. “We were considered the underdogs in that match, based on our ranking, and it was really awesome to prove ourselves as one of the tough competitors.”

Hastings, the No. 3 seed, got strong performances from Jasmine Padilla, Freed, Emma Sweeting, Mary Dailey and Sara Dybel, winning three close sets 25-21, 25-23, and 25-21 to advance.

"We came today to win -- not only to win but to prove to ourselves that we're good enough to play with any team,” Padilla said.  “And that's what we did today. We showed our very best and how much we improved throughout the season. Our overall performance was tremendous, especially our hitting, passing, and setting.”

Sweeting led the powerful front line attack with 18 kills, Padilla had 18 assists and Freed recorded seven kills and three assists in the upset win.

“The girls came out and played together as a team,” said Hastings coach Melissa Otovich, who has taken the Jackets from last year’s losing record to the finals. “We served, played defense, offense, got the ball to Emma and Erica. It was a great team victory. All the teams we lost to this season were in higher classes and that helped us prepare for sectionals. We thought we would do well in Class C sectionals.”

And with one more win, the 2011-12 Hastings volleyball team will have a Class C title to add to its already successful season.

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