At a Glance: CHSAA boys’ volleyball championship match
Where: Xaverian HS (7100 Shore Road in Brooklyn)
When: Tuesday, May 26 at 4:30 p.m.
Head coach: Cathy Paguaga
Player to watch: Jesse Paguaga
Head coach: Alex Chan
Player to watch: Ryan Glassman
Outlook: This one truly is for all the marbles. Both teams finished with identical records in the regular season and split their series, with Regis winning early at home and Xaverian winning late on its home court.
The Clippers, though, earned the No. 1 seed, because they beat the Raiders in three sets, while second-seeded Regis beat the Clippers in five.
The championship has a pretty good chance of going the distance. Both teams are filled with seniors who are incredibly hungry to win a title. Not a single player on the court has ever had that feeling – Salesian has monopolized that for the better part of decade.
The trophy will come back to New York City on Tuesday after Regis disposed of the Eagles in a semifinals sweep. But will it be in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn or the Upper East Side of Manhattan? Both teams are evenly matched, riddled with veterans and have experienced coaches.
The one difference is roster size. Xaverian coach Cathy Paguaga has just eight players, while Regis coach Alex Chan has almost a football team sitting on his bench – and he utilizes a good portion of them, too. The longer this match goes, the more it favors the Raiders, just because of sheer stamina.
Of course, having hitters like Ryan Glassman and John Flannery doesn’t hurt either. Xaverian doesn’t really have an answer for Glassman in the middle, while Flannery could hurt the Clippers on the outside because they could be pre-occupied with Glassman. Setter Tim Steinmetz is sure to know exactly when and how to set both of his star attackers.
Speaking of setters, there are few in New York City better than Jesse Paguaga, who is smart, athletic and Xaverian’s emotional leader. He makes everyone around him better. Jesse Paguaga had 40 assists, five aces and two blocks in Xaverian’s semifinal sweep of Scanlan.
At the net for the Clippers, Sean O’Hara and Gary Solberg have emerged as Paguaga’s main weapons, but guys like Steve Henderson, Neil Howard and Alex Stempkowski are always threats to step up at any time.
They will need to if Xaverian is to beat Regis for the title. The rubber match – and the championship – will be decided Tuesday in Brooklyn
©2009 Community News Group
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