Sports columnist Marc Maturo’s official column
King, Blue Angels having a (volley)ball
Meghan King of New City has an affinity for volleyball, and her love of the sport has proven to be a perfect match at The College of New Rochelle.
The Clarkstown North HS alumna, a junior standout for the Blue Angels, is also a key player at first base on the Blue Angels’ softball team under Coach Georgia Efthalitsides – who happens to be her coach on the volleyball squad.
Volleyball, however, is central to King’s athletic life. It’s a sport she first picked up as a seventh-grader at Felix Festa Middle School in West Nyack, and one she quickly enveloped to the extent that competition in other sports were put to the side.
“A friend of the family got me interested (in volleyball),” recalls King, who recently became just the second Blue Angel with more than 500 career kills in a sweep against Sarah Lawrence.
“I tried out for the middle school team, made it, then played club and progressed from there,” she continued. “It’s been my whole life ever since.”
King’s success and persona is nothing new or a surprise to Coach Georgia Efthalitsides.
“(She) has been a tremendous asset to CNR,” the coach says. “I have known Meghan since she was in HS and when she played for my club at Alpha Gamma Volleyball. Her personality then and now has not changed. Very outgoing, humble, kind-hearted, strong work ethic and her determination to succeed has made her the person she is now.”
The coach added that an off-season strength program, in addition to her regular workouts, have only made King that much more of a threat.
“Meghan is the strongest this year I have ever seen her,” the coach continued. “There is no doubt in my mind that she will continue her success and record-breaking this season. She will also come back even stronger next season for her final year in her volleyball career at CNR.”
King no longer plays club volleyball, but this winter she will enter her third season as an assistant coach at Westchester-based Alphn Gamma.
King said her decision to attend CNR, after also considering Mercy College (her mother Jill’s alma mater), turned out very well.
“I’m very happy with my decision,” said King. “I didn’t know anyone, but when I met the team I knew it was a great bunch of girls. We connected right away and became a family, and still are.”
The Blue Angels, unbeaten in four matches in the Hudson Valley Interscholastic Athletic Conference, are hopeful of repeating their championship run of 2009 and 2010. The last two seasons CNR lost in the semifinals to eventual champions Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park and Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville.
Toward this end, the Blue Angels will have whatever home-court advantage might exist when they host the tournament Oct. 27, with the semifinals at 2 p.m. and the final to follow at 4 p.m.
“It would feel great to win the conference,” concluded King.
The Blue Angels have already defeated Sarah Lawrence, and host the Culinary Institute at Oct. 14 at 11 a.m., another team considered of championship caliber.
On the links
St. Thomas Aquinas College, sparked by fourth-place finisher Thomas Linehan of Dansville, was fourth in the team scoring at the two-day 7th Charger Challenge hosted by Dominican College at Spook Rock Golf Course in Suffern.
The host Chargers, led by Keith Prokop of Boonton, N.J., tied for sixth while Nyack College finished fifth.
Bentley University in Waltham, Mass., won the team title.
Prokop’s score of 77-81—158 earned a 19th-place tie. Other scorers for the Chargers were Jacob DeMoura, Michael Morton, Andres Forese and Brian McGuigan.
Elliot Wakefield, tied for eighth at 77-74–151, led Nyack College. Other scorers for the Warriors were Matt Yun, tied for 10th, Alejandre Sanchez, Sean Lawrence and Kyle Matteson.
Linehen’s effort (74-75—149) for the Spartans was supported by Kai Rastetter, tied for sixth, Kevin Gately, Brendan Hunter and Niklei Koerner.
Mustangs ride high
Senior linebacker Ruben Demosthene of New City, a Clarkstown South HS alum, had three tackles as the Monroe College football team upended 17th-ranked Louisburg of North Carolina, 21-17, on the campus of SUNY Purchase.
The Mustanges, in only their second year of existence on the gridiron, were led by Rudolph Henriquez of Irvington, N.J., with three touchdown receptions.
The Hurricanes came into the game with a 5-0 record while Monroe is now 2-3 on the season.
Monroe will travel to Hudson Valley CC in Troy for a 1 p.m. game on October 12. The Mustangs return home to play their first-ever regular-season game in their home city at City Park in New Rochelle on October 19. It will be a 1:30 p.m. kickoff against Lackawana College of Scranton, Pa.
Chargers vault over .500
Steven Henger of Pomona played the final 15 minutes in net as the Dominican College men’s soccer team improved to 5-4-1 overall and 3-2 in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) with a 6-1 victory over Goldey-Beacom College at Churchman-Sawin Field in Wilmington, Del.
In the women’s game, Dominican prevailed 1-0 on a goal by senior midfielder Jamilyn Snyder of Lacey, N.J.
Chris Walsh of Baldwin led the men with two goals and two assists as Dominican outshot the Lightning, 15-12, and held a 5-3 advantage in corner kicks.
Henger, a freshman out of North Rockland HS, got into the game after standout senior standout Andres Ruiz of Medellin, Colombia, had made six saves.
QUICK HITTERS: Senior Caryn Kelleher of Suffern is a member of the women’s volleyball team at SUNY Potsdam, which entertains Geneseo on Oct. 11 as SUNYAC Pool Play begins at the Bears’ Maxcy Fieldhouse. The match is set for 5 p.m. Potsdam has two matches scheduled on Oct. 12, meeting Plattsburgh State at 10 a.m. and Fredonia State at 3 p.m. … Anna Palmer of Nyack is unbeaten in singles and doubles on the women’s tennis team at SUNY Purchase. Palmer, a sophomore, is 2-0 in singles and 4-0 teamed with freshman Emma Yavel of Brooklyn. The Panthers visit St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue on Oct. 12 at noon, and then host Mount Saint Mary College of Newburgh on Oct. 14 at 3 p.m. … Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry will host its annual Maverick Madness event to tip off the official start of the 2013-14 college basketball season on Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. Prepping for his first season as head coach for the women’s team is Rashidi Aitkens of Nyack. The 2001 Nyack College graduate is also operations director for the Mavericks’ new state-of-the-art fitness center. … Junior Nancy Varughese of Blauvelt, a Tappan Zee HS alumna, is a member of the tennis team at The College of New Rochelle. The Blue Angels visit John Jay College of Criminal Justice on Oct. 15 at 4 p.m., and return home on Oct. 18 to host Cedar Crest College of Allentown, Pa., at 4 p.m. … Fans of Rockland Country high school cross country should mark these dates: Oct. 24, county championships at Bear Mountain; Nov. 1, Section 1 Championships at Bowdoin Park, Wappingers Falls. … Suffern native Makenna Clavell had 23 assists and North Rockland HS graduate Dominique Bucci recorded 22 digs as the Rockland CC women’s volleyball team broke into the win column, defeating host Bronx CC, 3-0. … Senior Candace Young of Tappan won the 3-meter dive, sparking the Northeastern University women’s swimming and diving team to a convincing season-opening victory over Boston College, 186-109, at Barletta Natatorium. Megan Rutter of York, Pa., was second for the Huskies, and the tandem also ran 1-2 in the 1-meter event. The Huskies travel to New Hampshire on Oct. 26 for a 12 p.m. meet with the Wildcats. … Ramapo HS alum Christian Diaz scored in the second half as the Rockland CC men’s soccer team (6-7) salvaged a 2-2 tie against nationally ranked Suffolk CC.