PMHS girls varsity volleyball wins league championship with victory over Rye


PMHS girls varsity volleyball team celebrates victory over Eastchester.

The Pelham girls varsity volleyball team clinched the Conference 2-League D regular-season championship Friday night.

The Pelicans took their league record to 6-0 (9-0 overall) with a 3-1 victory over Rye. The team lost on Saturday morning at Ardsley in a non-league matchup that had no effect on the standings.

“It feels really good to have all of our hard work pay off with this league victory,” said senior captain Mila Panchich. “I hope the team continues this streak of success.” 

Earlier in the season, Pelham was victorious over rival Eastchester twice in two five-set thrillers. Dominant wins over Harrison and Rye solidified their top position in the standings. The Pelicans also tallied non-league victories over Westlake, Yonkers and Mamaroneck.

“To be honest, I didn’t have very high hopes for this season after graduating our two top offensive players” Peri Zale and Grace Aronson, said head coach Mark Finnegan. “This team has never stopped surprising me. Their grit, determination and work ethic are as good as any team I’ve had here in the last 10 years. We are able to win with intelligence, hustle, creativity, cunning and guile. Usually, volleyball is a power game. We have played to our strengths (changing speed, ball control, solid defense) and out-willed and outlasted teams through sheer determination. I also have to single out the leadership of the the captains: Natalia Cherner, Shannon Holland and Mila Panchich. They have been absolutely terrific, leading us to an undefeated league championship and a record of 9-1 overall with three to play.”

The team has been enhanced by its great chemistry.

“It’s been great this season,” said sophomore Tiana Richardson. “All the girls get along, which is really great, and is probably the reason why we’re doing so well this season. Being one of the two sophomores on the team is honestly a great learning experience.”

Before the regular season concludes, Pelham has three non-league games this upcoming week. They will take on Dobbs Ferry at home before playing Tuckahoe in a back-to-back home-and-away series. 

Now sitting at 9-1, the players look to solidify themselves as one of the top teams in the entire section. A live stream of girls volleyball home games can be accessed via YouTube.