Tag Archives: high school sports

Commodores catching fire with win over Wildcats


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

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No one needed to remind Bayside Commodores outfielder Julian Rodriquez what a big moment it was when he came to bat in the fifth inning against John Bowne on Monday.

The Commodores were leading the Wildcats 3-1 when Bowne’s freshman pitcher, Elvis Torres Devargas, started to lose control.

He walked the bases full, and Bayside coach Pat Torney turned to Rodriguez, a sophomore who didn’t have a single hit for the season in seven at bats, to pinch hit. Rodriguez’s at bat defined Bayside’s season. The Commodores have lacked offense against the conference’s top teams early in the season, resulting in a slow start.

But in this situation, Rodriguez smacked a double to drive in three runs and lead Bayside to a 9-4 victory over John Bowne. The Commodores (3-4 PSAL) are now hoping that with the win over the tough Wildcats (5-2 PSAL), they can continue the offense and turn around the season.

“We are starting to hit,” senior Elijah Leerdam said. “We weren’t hitting much before. Last game we didn’t come through for [our pitcher].”

Before the holidays, Bayside suffered a devastating 5-3 defeat to John Bowne, the conference’s second place team, after the team’s ace Jeremy Arenas pitched eight innings. Before that the Commodores dropped a pair of embarrassing losses to the perennial conference champs, the Benjamin Cardozo Judges, by a combined score of 27-0.

But the Commodores aren’t going to see the Judges again for the remainder of the season. And here they were with another opportunity to top the Wildcats, if only they could keep up the offense. Rodriguez waited patiently for Torres Devargas to throw a fastball down the middle of the plate, and blasted the double over the center fielder’s head, unloading the bases.

“I had to come up big,” Rodriguez said of what he was thinking while at the plate. “I was a little nervous at first, but then I just made contact with the ball and it went far.”

Arenas gave up three runs in the bottom of the inning, but held the Wildcats for the remainder of the game. He pitched a complete game with three strikeouts in the Commodores’ most impressive win of the season.

The team moved into a three-way tie for fourth place in the Queens A East division, and they believe if they can continue to pick up the bats like Rodriguez did, they might be able to pull this season out of the gutter.

 

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Holy Cross hockey cruises past Iona


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Holy Cross forward Steven Cacchioli knew that his team needed to be more aggressive.

Having dropped two consecutive games, the team was desperate to get back on the winning side, and Cacchioli, a captain, blamed the team’s recent losses on a lack of aggression.

So, he stepped up and drilled two goals to lead the Knights to a 3-1 win over Iona Prep on Jan. 11. The Knights (CHSHL 5-4-0) were dominant through the game, resulting in a 33-23 shots-on-goal advantage.

“We wanted to get to a quick start. We didn’t want them getting momentum,” Cacchioli said. “We knew we were the better team and we wanted to take it to them.”

At the end of the first period, the Knights were in a tough position, but Cacchioli’s aggressive shot selection paid off.
Tied at 1-1, the Knights Vincent Cennamo was sent to the penalty box and Iona Prep (CHSHL 1-10-1) was on a 5-on-4 power play.

Despite the disadvantage, Cacchioli was able to steal the puck, stick handle through defenders and net a goal with 59 seconds remaining in the first period, giving the Knights a 2-1 lead.

“He (Cacchioli) played fantastic today,” coach Kevin Leonard said. “He played really well and took some good shots.”

The Knights stayed aggressive and with just 18 seconds into the second period, forward Joe DeMarco scored a goal, expanding the lead to 3-1.

“We wanted to dictate the pace, we did a good job ending the period and starting off strong,” Cacchioli said.

The Knights controlled the puck through the rest of the game and didn’t allow Iona to score again.

 

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Benjamin Cardozo volleyball player is a dream on the court


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Anja Malesevic came to the U.S. in search of the American Dream, but she turned out to be the fantasy of every volleyball team.

Malesevic, who emigrated from Serbia in August, is finishing her senior year of high school at Benjamin Cardozo and is making waves as one of the city’s top volleyball players this season.

Following a victory against Francis Lewis on October 21, the Lady Judges are undefeated 8-0, and Malesevic leads the city in kills with 95 in seven matches. The next player has just 73.

“She’s a tremendous player,” said head coach Daniel Scarola. “She’s well-rounded in her skills and she hits really hard. She’s been a great gift to have.”

Scarola said he was informed that Malesevic, a long, sturdy outside hitter, was coming to the school over the summer. Since she grew up playing volleyball in Serbia, when the coach met her he instantly knew she was a great player.

“I was like ‘wow, the height, the athletic ability, it was just what we needed,” Scarola said.

When Malesevic first came to the country she said she had to overcome some challenges, such as the separation from her family and friends and using English as a primary language.

But she had no problems fitting in with the team.

“They were just so excited,” Malesevic said. “They wanted to know how tall I am and they accepted me from the first day.”

Malesevic, who towers over most of her teammates, is 6’2”. Her ability to spike the ball is a lethal weapon for the other players, who frequently look to feed her the ball for kills.

One of Cardozo’s key players, senior setter Zhan Cheng Yin, who had 20 assists in the game, leads the league in assists, 149, primarily because of Malesevic’s success.

Last year Yin had just 115 for the entire season.

With Malesevic, the Lady Judges are once again competitive and in the hunt for their seventh PSAL City Championship.

“I feel great helping these girls, this coach and this school,” Malesevic said. “It’s a huge step in my life. But I really like it here.”

 

PSAL QUEENS  A EAST GIRLS VOLLEYBALL STANDINGS – 10(23)2013

Benjamin Cardozo                                    9  -  0

Townsend Harris                                             5  -  3

Bayside High School                                      4  -  4

Francis Lewis                                                    4  -  4

Queens High School of Teaching              2  -  5

Martin Van Buren                                            0  -  8

 

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