SPC First Round Friday

Sam Chambers
St. John’s Mavericks started strong in the Friday morning games at SPC.  Boys’ Volleyball and Field Hockey won their opening round games to advance to the right side of the bracket to the SPC semi-finals.  Volleyball swept FWCD 3-0 and Field Hockey blanked Holland Hall 2-0.  Both teams lost their Friday afternoon semi-final games, and along with Maverick Cross country, they are ready to finish strong on Saturday. 
Round two on Friday afternoon pitted the Mavericks against Casady in volleyball, and Hockaday in field hockey.  Casady, the team that knocked out St. John’s 3-2 in the 2013 semi-finals, did it again in a 3-0 sweep. 
“Today we did not get it done but we played hard,” said Cameron Crain ’15.  “This team has a lot of juniors and next year’s team has a good shot.” 
St. John’s Boys’ Volleyball lost last year’s third place game to Greenhill, and will face the Hornets once again for a chance to improve on their last year’s final standings.
“We need to go  in with the right mentality,” said co-captain Marcus Manca ’16.  “Just because we are not playing for a championship, we still have something to play for.  As long as we can stay calm and not get too tight we can win.   We have trained enough to know how to play and as long as we can get in the right spot mentally, we can finish.
Field hockey dominated Hockaday in the first half.  The Mavericks took twice as many corners as the Daisies, but Hockaday snuck in the lone goal early in the second half.   The Mavericks ran out of time for the equalizer, and will have to settle for the third place game on Saturday against the Casady Cyclones. 
“The team played a great game, and it was difficult given how the game went, but the bottom line is we did not score,” said Head Field Hockey Coach Craig Chambers ’81.
Boys’ and Girls’ Cross country, the top seeds from the SPC South, had their pre-race practice run at Norbuck park today.  The Girls have won the last two SPC championships and are looking to “three-peat.”  The boys, runner-ups in their last two bids, are trying to get back to the top.  Hills at the end of the first and second mile might not pose as much as a problem as the narrow stretch about 200 meters after the start.  Hemmed in by trees on both sides, runners need to move through this area quickly or run the risk of hitting slow traffic and losing time.
“The big thing is to not be caught in the pack and get slowed down early,” said assistant coach Joey D’Eramo.  “The start will be key.” 
“The hills are not much of a concern for us,” said Head Girls’ Cross country Coach Rachel Fabre.   “Everyone has to run the same 5K course.  They’re ready, they’re motivated, and using our team’s motto, it’s time to ‘win the day.’”
Boys’ ten runners in the field are: Akshay Jaggi ’15, Joe Faraguna ’16, Sam  Ho ’18, Jake Schick ’17, Jayan Hanson ’17, Alex Cherches’ 15, Julian Henry ’15, Connor Eichenwald’ 15, Ian Thakur ’18, and Pearse Higason ’18.   Alternates are: Frank Spence ’15, Pete Bechtol ’16, and Zach Boroughs ’18.
Girls’ ten runners in the field are: Peyton Brown ’17, Lillian Chen ’16, Margaret Trautner ’16, Olivia Havel ’16, Jordan Kramer ’18, Noel Higgason ’16, Julia Moody ’16, Zoe Margolis ’15, Maya Bhandari ’16, and Ellie Faraguna ’17.  Alternates are: Molly Issac ’18, Sarah Bland ’16, Christina Ru ’17, and Nancy Cheng ’16.
As the Mavericks gear up for their games and runs on Saturday, whether its for third place, a championship, or a three-peat, in order to accomplish those team goals, they will have to win the day!

Sam Chambers - Athletic News