CORTLANDT MANOR – Walter Panas may be one the few high schools were football does not reign supreme, and the student fan base is quite alright with that.
Hen Hud students tried trolling the Panthers with a “1-7!” chant — a knock against the Panas football team’s record — during the schools’ marquee volleyball matchup Monday, to which Panthers student quickly replied, “We hate football!”
When you have the top-ranked volleyball team in the area and swept Hen Hud twice after Monday’s 25-16, 25-16, 25-21 win, it’s easy to see why Panas fans come out to watch matches.
“Our whole school shows so much pride towards our volleyball team and we just love the support,” said Panas setter Julia Fields, who was one of four seniors honored during the pregame Senior Night ceremonies.
Fields, one of five remaining players from the Panthers’ 2012 Class A state semifinalist squad, is hoping Panas (15-1) can make one more run to Glens Falls before her high school career comes to an end.
“We just need to keep practice intense like we always do and that will get us through,” she said.
Hen Hud (16-2) could very well join Panas in Glens Falls, as the Sailors — the second-ranked team in the area — are heavy favorites to win the Class B section title and advance to the state championships.
Fortunately for Hen Hud, it won’t have to deal with Panas anymore — particularly sophomore standout Yvette Burcescu, who finished with 20 kills on Monday; giving her 49 for the six sets against the Sailors this year.
“They’re really good. And to be honest, I think they’re going to go really, really far,” Panas head coach Joe Felipe said. “This year, we had their number. They don’t have much of an answer for Yvette.
“Not many people do.”
Panas locked up the No. 1 seed for the Section 1 Class A tournament, which begins Thursday, with the win. Even though it lost Monday, Hen Hud will take the No. 1 seed in Class B after Peekskill’s win over Putnam Valley gave it an extra bonus point for its seeding score.
Official tournament seeds will be released Wednesday afternoon.