October 22, 2013 | 451 views
Lady Jets eye conference title
East Meadow may have dropped consecutive girls' volleyball matches to Carle Place last Monday (16-25, 25-15, 17-25, 23-25) and Clarke (25-19, 22-25, 13-25, 17-25) on Oct. 17, but entering the final two battles of the regular season, the team still had plenty at stake.
Already qualified for the upcoming Nassau County Class AA postseason tournament, still in play for the Lady Jets (11-2 overall) was the Conference AA-II title. They needed wins in their final two matches — against Uniondale and Valley Stream Central — to finish ahead of Carle Place.
“We’ve had a lot of people play so we’ve had a lot of contributions,” coach Pat Burnside said. “They’re a close knit team. We set the goal at the beginning of the season to win the conference.”
In their first season in Conference AA-II, East Meadow has been led by a quartet of seniors — libero Marrol Cajoles, middle hitters Rebecca Alzfan and Aleksandra Krol and setter Tianna La Rosa. The defensive-minded Cajoles knows one speed — full — and plays the game with the type of reckless abandon that keeps plays alive and her teammates motivated. “The hardest thing is controlling her power,” Burnside said. “She’s very strong and makes a lot of hustle plays. She picks up a lot of balls, and she’s our engine.”
A three-year varsity player like Cajoles, Alzfan is a strong offensive player at the net with good power and placement skills and the hardest hitter on the team. Alongside her stands Krol, who also excels with placement and is among the more vocal members of the team. Junior Jesscia Brass has also logged time at middle hitter.