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ESDAA Volleyball Tournament Summaries

Summaries of Eastern Schools for the Deaf Athletic Association (ESDAA) Volleyball Tournament held at American School for the Deaf on Friday, October 27 and Saturday, October 28, 2017.

marie-philipMarie Philip

This weekend, the Marie Philip School volleyball team traveled to American School for the Deaf for the Lady Ghosts' quest for our first volleyball championship. On Friday we played four one-set round robin matches to determine playoff bracket and seeding for Saturday.

MATCH 1 - lost to Rochester 25-22. We enjoyed a 19-11 lead, but our starters made too many reception errors and allowed the Wildcats to tie the match. We managed only one service point the rest of the match. Well done to Rochester for the great comeback victory to open the tournament.

MATCH 2 - beat St. Mary's 25-7. We had a locker room talk after the first match and our players returned to their usual MPS Volleyball form. We beat a very young Bison team.

MATCH 3 - beat Delaware 25-16. The Blue Hawks are a perennial top three finisher in the ESDAA, but I had never coached against them in my four years. I told our girls I wanted this one really, really bad, and the Lady Ghosts more than delivered with a 25-16 victory.

MATCH 4 - beat Pennsylvania/New Jersey 25-22. Before that match, we found out that Delaware had beaten Rochester, so to have a chance to win the pool, we would have to win our final match. The Panthers and Colts had joined forces for the ESDAA. They kept our match very close. I reminded the girls late in the match that we were playing against the best players of two teams, so control themselves so we could control the match. It worked and we finished the day 3-1, won the pool, and captured the #2 seed and 1st round bye on tiebreakers.

SEMIFINALS - beat Rochester 2-1 (22-25, 25-14, 15-8). #3 seeded Rochester continued their improvement by beating us again 25-22 to take the first set. Between sets Amanda and I implored the girls to trust their coaches and execute our decisions. Rochester started with a 9-4 lead. 7th grader Samantha put on her best serving performance by scoring 11 consecutive service points (including 6 aces) to turn the set upside down. Everything the Wildcats tried, our Lady Ghosts figured out a way to counter it. We won the second set and our momentum carried us to a third set victory and ticket to the championship match against the defending champions, #1 seeded Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf. Kudos to 10th grader Sabrina for her 10 kills and 8th grader Zora for 14 assists for that match alone.

FINALS - lost to Western Pennsylvania 2-0 (16-25, 21-25). From what I heard from the fans, players, and coaches, the rematch of the Spike-Out Division II championship delivered plenty of excitement. The Lions controlled most of the first set to win the match. Between sets, our players shared their championship match jitters with the coaches. We told them to play the way they feel, no matter what, and not worry what the world thinks of them. Our results would take care of themselves. WPSD started the second set by leading 6-1, but we made adjustments and stuck to our game plan. Our lion tamers were able to lead 20-16. However, WPSD stopped giving us free balls and started launching disciplined attacks on us. Our players tried very, very hard, but our digging and mental stamina were not strong enough to withstand the Lions' charge. Congratulations to WPSD for winning their second ESDAA championship.

2nd place ties our best ESDAA finish in school history (2011). Amanda, David, and I are proud of the Lady Ghosts for continuing to improve each year. Congratulations as well to Delaware for winning 3rd and Team Sportsmanship, PSD/NJSD for winning the Silver Cup (7th place), and finally to ASD for repeating the success of their 2014 ESDAA tournament hosting.

Our season record now stands at 23-13. Our league, the Independent Girls' Conference, has season-ending playoffs this week. On Tuesday we, seeded #2 (7-3 record), will host the winner of Monday's #3 vs. #6 match. We will need to be even better than we were this weekend to earn Thursday's finals trip and that elusive first championship. (Contributed by Head Coach Richard Knopf)

TOURNAMENT STATS (9 sets played)
Shayla Rochette: 17 aces, 10 kills, 5 assists, 2 digs
Zora Elliott-Mendelsohn: 5 aces, 8 kills, 42 assists, 2 digs
Sabrina Rodrigues: 3 aces, 21 kills, 1 assist, 3 digs
Christine Vargas: 6 aces, 4 kills, 1 dig
Norma Aldana: 7 aces, 6 kills, 2 digs
Samantha Fernsebner: 10 aces, 3 kills, 1 dig
Chloe Martin: 1 assist


On Friday, we traveled to American School for the Deaf in Connecticut. We started play in the round robin and to win as many as we can to get in the gold bracket instead of the silver bracket. Top six teams will go to the gold bracket and the bottom four teams will go to the silver bracket.

Last year, we finished in 7th place since as we won the silver bracket. But, we didn’t want to go back to the silver bracket. The Wildcats' big goal was to get in the gold bracket.

The Wildcats started off really strong on Friday with 3 wins and 1 loss in the round robins and we entered the gold bracket for Saturday.

Our first game on Saturday against American School for the Deaf and we lost our first set. We figured out how to win last two sets to advance to the semifinals against Marie Philip School. We won first set and had a big 9-2 lead in the second set. However, MPS fought hard to come back and win the second set then they also won the third set. We ended up playing for 3rd place. Delaware is also a good team and we lost to them in two sets.

We finished in 4th place, but the Wildcats did great and did their best in every game. They learned as much as they can then get ready for next year. (Contributed by Head Coach Charles Palmer)

Round Robin - 1 set
1st game - Rochester 1 Marie Philip 0 (25-22)
2nd game - Rochester 1 New Jersey/Pennsylvania 0 (25-20)
3rd game - Rochester 1 St Mary's 0 (25-18)
4th game - Delaware 1 Rochester 0 (25-17)

3-1 record for Round Robin.

Gold Bracket: (Best of 3)

Quarterfinals - Rochester 2 American 1 (23-25, 25-12, 15-5)

Mckenna Girod: 5 aces, 1 kill
Emma Kane: 4 assists
Julia Ott: 3 kills

Semifinals - Marie Philip 2 Rochester 1 (22-25, 25-14, 15-8)

McKenna Girod: 2 kills

3rd Place - Delaware 2 Rochester 0 (25-19, 25-17)

Emma Kane: 9 assists
Mckenna Girod: 6 kills
Mariana Menzynski: 2 kills


The ESDAA Volleyball Tournament took place at ASD this past weekend. Eleven schools participated with Pennsylvania School for the Deaf and New Jersey School for the Deaf combining for a single team. After round robins on Friday, PSD/NJSD was placed in the silver bracket with three other teams. PSD/NJ came out on top and won the silver bracket tournament (7th place). Yasmean Evans was named to the All-Tournament team. Evans and Gia DiGiacomo also won the setting skills competition. (Contributed by Athletic Director Matt Bujak)

Friday, October 27, 2017 (Robin Round)
Delaware 1 New Jersey/Pennsylvania 0 (25-17)
Rochester 1 New Jersey/Pennsylvania 0 (25-20)
New Jersey/Pennsylvania 1 St Mary's 0 (25-9)
Marie Philip 1 New Jersey/Pennsylvania 0 (25-22)
Record: 1-3

Saturday, October 28, 2017 (Silver Bracket)

Semifinals - New Jersey/Pennsylvania 2 West Virginia 0 (25-9, 25-17)

Silver Championship - New Jersey/Pennsylvania 2 New York 0 (25-16, 25-9)


ESDAA Volleyball Tournament at American School for the Deaf.

Friday, October 27th – Round Robin
DSD vs. NJSD/PSD – won 25-17
DSD vs. Marie Philip School - lost 25-16
DSD vs. Rochester – won 25-17
DSD vs. St. Mary’s – won 25–11

DSD, Rochester and Marie Philip – 3 way tie with 3-1 in pool play. Tie breaker ended up with 1st Marie Philip, 2nd DSD, and 3rd Rochester.

Saturday, October 28th – Gold Bracket Play – best of 3
Quarterfinals - DSD vs. Lexington – won 25-23 and 25-21 (2-0)
Semifinals - DSD vs. Western Pennsylvania – lost 25-21 and 25-22 (0-2)
3rd Place - DSD vs. Rochester – won 25-19 and 25-17 (2-0)

ESDAA Sportsmanship Award – DSD
ESDAA All-Tournament Team – Carolyn Russell and JyAjia Bratten

(Contributed by Athletic Director Richard Pelletier)

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