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Friday, November 8, 2013

Girls Volleyball Starts the Season on the Right Foot

Varsity Volleyballers Danielle Shalam, Sara Marcus, Sylvia Dweck & Emma Burekhovich
The Flatbush Girls JV and Varsity Volleyball teams are showing the Yeshiva League that they will be a team to watch as the season progresses.

What is it that makes being an interscholastic athlete a great challenge and builder of character? Picture what it was like being a member of the Falcon Varsity Volleyball team the week of November 4th – 8th. Amid the pressures of preparation for a daunting Calculus exam and multiple tests on the same day stood the daunting task of playing back-to-back contests against strong League opponents. And to top it off, a 2-hour plus bus ride to Westchester County was in the mix. Oh, did we mention that this is all in advance of reporting of first marking period grades as well as the upcoming Junior Seminar weekend? However, it is the ability to balance these challenges that makes our student-athletes so attractive to the best colleges!
Sarah Khezrie and Celia Tawil are ready for play
Eileen Sutton awaits the volleyball
So, after recording a road win over HAFTR in the season opener, the Varsity team took the court confidently in their first game in the gym affectionately called Falcons’ Nest. Unfortunately, the team was perhaps a bit overconfident. The serving was inconsistent and the players appeared rushed to return the ball across the net, never settling down to work the offense. They came out unequal to the consistent play of the girls from SKA. As a result, they dropped all 3 sets to their guests and set to looking inward for answers. (One positive area was in the play of the second unit that took over midway through the third game. Sparked by the play of reserve Becky Waldman, the team nearly completed a comeback, falling just short by a score of 25-23.)
Renee Sutton & Danielle Shalam get set for the next game
The Falcons rally!
Those answers came early on in the second game of what would ultimately be a four-game match at Westchester Hebrew High School. Working back into the rhythm that helped the team down the HAFTR Hawks, the team dropped a close opening game to the Wolves 25-23. But, in that game, something clicked and the team would then go on a tear. Behind strong serving and overall aggressive play – including a spike - from Senior Celia Tawil and steady, consistent play from Junior Sara Marcus, the Falcons ripped of three consecutive wins, never allowing more than 16 points in any game the rest of the way. In addition to Tawil’s and Marcus’s performances, the team received steady, consistent play from Seniors Danielle Shalam and Eileen Sutton. Sarah Khezrie and Raquel Shalam proved equally reliable, landing key serves and providing solid returns on defense. With the road win, the Varsity is now 2-1 on the season, and looks to build on the success of the Westchester comeback.
Co-Captain Evelyn Tawil applies the secret weapon!
Mimi Zenilman rips off one of her big serves
The JV is also experiencing the highs and lows that come with team competition. After opening the season with three straight losses, the young team was feeling as if they might never feel the joys of victory. That would all change on Tuesday afternoon. The team had a secret weapon. Paint! Well, facepaint, to be exact. The brainchild of Sophomore Co-Captain Evelyn Tawil, the team took the floor sporting Flatbush’s traditional Maroon and gold in splashes under the eyes, along with renewed determination and a sharper focus. They would not be denied! Behind the power serves and strong returns of Co-Captains Mimi Zenilman & Evelyn Tawil, the team moved out to an early lead and never looked back. The team received a surprise boost from the inspired play of rookie Esther Oved and fellow reserve Michelle Zalta who sparked the team with great service returns, keeping the pressure on and helping to close out the visiting team from HAFTR.
The Falcon JV girls win notch their first victory of the season
The Falcon JV girls win notch their first victory of the season
Nest Notes: Both the JV and Varsity teams return to action next Wednesday (11/14) as they go on the road for a doubleheader out on the Island against rival SKA High School for Girls. Before taking to the road, the team looks to get in a scrimmage against a team of Falcon alumnae in preparation for their game in Long Beach.