As sectionals approach, the Pawling High School volleyball team has high hopes for the Section 1 Class C tournament. The Pawling’s 11-4 record entering Tuesday’s match at Our Lady of Lourdes includes three-set victories over such bigger squads as Roy C. Ketcham and Mahopac, a four-set loss to Class AA contender Arlington and two losses to state-power Haldane.
One of the driving forces behind the Tigers’ success this season has been outside hitter Jaclyn Smith, a junior who has topped 20 kills in three matches this year, including a 39-kill performance in a five-set loss to Haldane on Sept. 11, the Tigers’ lone five-set match.
The Tigers last won a Section 1 Class C title in 2010.
Recently, Smith discussed her team’s success this year, her toughest opponent, and her love of “Suits,” with the Journal.
How do you feel the season has gone overall this year?
I think it’s gone well. We’ve been working hard in practice, going for that section title. That’s all I can hope for.
Speaking of, what are you looking forward to most about the postseason?
We’re just going to take it one game at a time. You can’t take any team for granted. Everyone’s tough. They are all after us.
Who was your toughest opponent this year?
Probably Haldane. But we’re not sure who we’re up against going into the postseason.
What is the strongest facet of your game?
Probably court awareness; smart plays and knowing where you are and what to do with the ball at all times.
You’re a junior. Have you thought about college yet?
I have a little bit. Still thinking.
Do you hope to continue your volleyball career in college?
I hope so. I really want to.
What is your favorite sport other than volleyball?
Softball. It’s another team sport. I like team sports, and being able to feel like part of a family.
Favorite professional athlete?
Probably Kelly Walsh Jennings. She’s just an overall great beach volleyball player. She strives to be the best.
What sort of music do you listen to before a match?
Anything that pumps me up. It depends.
Favorite subject in school?
My volleyball coach (Jessica Pulford) was my math teacher last year.
Any shows on television you’re currently crazy about?
“Suits.” It’s not on anymore, but it’ll be back in the winter.
I just like the whole lawyer aspect of it.
A.J. Martelli: [email protected], 845-437-4836, Twitter: @AJM_PoJoSports