Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Pak Helps Pascack Hills Rally for Victory

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Pak Helps Pascack Hills Rally for Victory

Article excerpt

FRANKLIN LAKES - Eunice Pak went all-out from the first serve of this rare Friday matinee and, one by one, her Pascack Hills' teammates fed off her energy.

The 11th-seeded Cowgirls rallied to defeat No. 6 Ramapo, 20-25, 25-10, 25-17, in the second round of the state Group 2 girls volleyball tournament and the credit for the comeback belongs to their senior libero.

Pak dove all over the court, several times at the feet of hesitating teammates, to keep the ball alive, and the sophomore- laden Cowgirls followed her lead in the second and third sets.

"Just the fact that it was an elimination game, and it could have been the final game of my high school career, I think that fueled me to have a lot of energy," Pak said after collecting 19 digs. "And I wanted to feed the girls my energy."

"That was the best match she's played in her four-year career," said Pascack Hills coach Shawn McDonald. "And if we didn't have that energy in the beginning, we couldn't have come back in that second game."

During two timeouts in the first set, McDonald was heard challenging players to step up, and they responded. Following a first set in which Pascack Hills (13-12) handed 13 points to Ramapo (15-9) on miscues, it had 16 kills and only five miscues in the second set. In the third set, the Cowgirls opened a 6-1 lead and held on.

"We came out slow and sluggish, so we really turned it around," McDonald said. "I called out a couple of them and said, 'You need to pick it up,' and they did, which is a big sign of maturity for my team, which we've been working on all season."

"The key to this was their passing was outstanding, and that was the difference," Ramapo coach Dave Van Hook said, "It's always that first-ball contact."

Elsewhere in Group 2:

RIVER DELL 25, 25, CHATHAM 16, 19 (at Oradell): Senior Kalette deMarrais, who had been sidelined with a hip injury, had 14 assists in her season debut for No. 3 River Dell (18-6).

BARNEGAT 25, 25, MAHWAH 22, 22 (at Mahwah): Britni Jaskot had 14 assists and Taylor Jaffe seven kills for No. 8 Mahwah (18-9).

CALDWELL 25, 25, INDIAN HILLS 10, 17 (at Oakland): Senior Jewell Smolenski had 13 assists to finish her career with 1,003 for No. …

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