A most successful season for the Flatbush JV Girls Volleyball program came to an end one round short of the team’s goal, falling by a score of 2 sets to 1 to the Ramaz Rams on Tuesday night (3/7) at the Aux Nest in Brooklyn, NY.
Ramaz was impressive in their demeanor and execution during warm-ups, and it was impressive. Nevertheless, Flatbush came in ready for the challenge of facing the 2nd Place finisher in the MYHSAL Western Division. In fact, Flatbush scored the first point of the match, but Ramaz ripped off the next five straight points before a Becky Warren reverse-faced return stopped the run. Nevertheless, Ramaz got control back and went on another run, this time for another 5 points. However, along the way the Falcons got solid returns from Sarit Alkaada, and the team began building some confidence. Warren was handed the ball next and served Flatbush back into the match, closing the score to 11-8 before Ramaz called a timeout in the hopes of breaking Warren’s rhythm. They did not, but they did take back control of the serve with solid returns. Sally Missry got the serve for Flatbush next and scored two points, but the deficit remained 4. Ramaz took the next two points before handing the serve back Flatbush, having extended the lead to 18-13. Alkaada put in a good serve, but again the Falcon defense faltered, letting the return fall in. Ramaz took the next two points, and the opening set, 21-13.
Facing elimination with a loss in the next set, the Falcon JV’s did what they had done all season, they found an inner reserve and elevated their level of play. Michelle Dweck starting things on the right foot for the Falcons with three straight aces, followed by a sharp Alkaada return to preserve the possession. The score ran to 7-0 with great returns by Alkaada and Danielle Tawil in support of Dweck before the Rams called for a timeout. Ramaz broke Dweck’s serve out of the pause in the game, but handed control right back to Flatbush with a mishit serve. Tawil extended the lead to 11-1 before Ramaz put together their first run of points in set two, closing the gap to 11-5. Again it was Alkaada with the answer to get the ball back for Flatbush. In the meantime, Ramaz was getting some rhythm back, and by the time Flatbush regained control, the gap was closed to 14-9, Falcons. A power return by Tawil gave Flatbush a 6 point lead, and Alkaada added to it with her serve until a foot fault gave the Rams the ball back at 17-11. Ramaz took advantage and ran off 6 straight points to even the score at 17-17 before Flatbush Head Coach Irene Eisdorfer called timeout to regroup. With encouragement from the partisan crowd, Barbara Dayan and Tawil combined on a solid return to take the ball back. Dweck then hit two service aces to get the Falcons to the brink of victory. Her ensuing serve was returned into the net. The Falcons erupted in joy as Flatbush took set two, 21-17, evening the match at one set apiece to set up a third and deciding set.
Ramaz scored first in the final set, but gave the point right back on a serve in the net. But like set one, the Rams put together four solid serves before Missry put an end to that. Warren then served the game back even at 6-6 before yielding the ball back to Ramaz. The Rams went on another run, pushing the lead back out to 5 at 11-6, prompting the teams to change ends (as he rules require in a deciding set). But momentum was clearly on the side of the visitors, and Flatbush had no answer as the Ram server kept the pressure on. In the blink of an eye, Ramaz had a commanding 16-7 lead. At that point, Flatbush stemmed the bleeding, but could not get any traction as the teams traded points, until Alkaada scored on her serve to close to 18-10. Unfortunately, it did not last. Ramaz reclaimed the serve, then took the final two points for a 21-10 set victory, and the match.
The loss ended an amazing season that saw the JV Falcons put together a 7-1 regular season record, good enough to claim the top spot in the MYHSAL East and the Division Title.
Afterwards, Coach Eisdorf had nothing but praise for what the girls accomplished this season. “I am so proud of what they achieved!” she beamed. “The girls really grew as players and teammates over the season, never ever giving up and battling hard in every match. They gave a very good Ramaz team everything they could handle, especially with the play of Sarit Alkaada who had her best performance of the season. We are all disappointed right now that we will not be playing next week for the Championship. But, I am already looking forward to next year. The girls now know what they can do, and we will be ready!”