With two victories to start, Pelham volleyball seeks to continue winning ways


Cassie Blagman and Lily Burns

Picture found on Instagram @Pelham_Athletics

As the roar of the coaches and the crowd grew with every play on the freshly painted Pelham Memorial High School gym floor, the girls on the Pelham varsity volleyball team defeated Byram Hills High School 3-0 in their first home game on Thursday.

Coming off of a 2017 season with a 13-6 record that concluded with a league championship, the girls had already defeated Lincoln High School in a 25-7, 25-14, 25-4 match on Wednesday. With the Byram Hills victory, Class A Pelham has yet to lose a set—or even give up more than 20 points in any one set.

The team returns a large group of players from the previous season, including captains Nora Tahbaz, Kimberly Rosell, and Kristina Roksvold. While the volleyball team lost a few players last year to graduation, there are several varsity rookies who Coach Mark Finegan is particularly excited about. These players include Sam Suazo, who Finegan said has the opportunity to become a “solid defensive specialist,” as well as Grace Anderson and Morgan Jenkins.

Looking forward to the rest of the season, Finegan said the schedule could easily be considered among the hardest in the section, but feels his players could definitely fight their way to a good season. In the coming weeks, the team will face off against Class A powerhouse Walter Panas, which has won the last two state championships, along with Ossining, last year’s Class AA state champion.

This year, Nyack and Tappan Zee have been added to the league. These two high-level teams look to challenge Pelham for the coveted league title, with each team playing two games against the Pelicans.

“We have the opportunity to be very, very good, and also the opportunity to be pretty bad at times,” said Finegan.

While other teams focus on one key player, the Pelicans display versatility and have the ability to set the ball to any person on the court. Finegan said if his team stays focused, they will give themselves the opportunity to compete with leaders like Panas and Ossining.

The Pelicans will continue their season next week when they face off against Yorktown on Sept. 12.