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Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013: Eden wins 14th straight volleyball title

   Leading off today: What's the secret to Eden's four straight NYSPHSAA girls volleyball championships and 10 titles since 1996?

   Well, for starters you have to qualify for the tournament by winning sectionals, and that's precisely what the Raiders did Monday for the 14th straight year by defeating Southwestern 25-22, 25-9, 25-16 in the Section 6 Class C finals.

   “Each year it means more,” Eden senior Lainy Pierce, who has played for five titlists, told The Buffalo News after finishing with five service aces and 38 assists.

   Eden will begin pursuit of New York State Public High School Athletic Association trophy No. 11 on Wednesday against Section 3 champion Cazenovia.

   Glenn advances on PKs: John Glenn ended a frustrating streak against East Hampton by advancing on penalty kicks in the Section 11 Class A boys soccer semifinals.

   Junior defender Andrew Pick scored the decider in a 4-2 shootout vs. East Hampton after the teams finished regulation and overtime knotted at 1-1. East Hampton was 7-0-3 in its previous 10 games vs. John Glenn, including a victory in the 2012 Suffolk County finals.

   John Glenn is ranked 10th and two-time defending champion East Hampton sixth this week by the New York State Sportswriters Association. (Full rankings here.) John Glenn moves on to the final vs. No. 3 Sayville, which eliminated Miller Place in the other semi.

   With his team up 3-2 in the PKs, senior goalkeeper Max Karen -- the hero of last year's ridiculous 20-round PK shootout vs. Miller Place in the tourney quarterfinals -- lunged to his left to knock Bryan Oreamuno’s shot off the post and safely out, setting the stage for Pick's winning kick.

   “I’m so happy for him, proud of him, he’s our captain and he’s a great kid," John Glenn coach Lou Hanner told MSG Varsity. "I hope he gets an opportunity to keep playing because that’s what he wants to do.”

   Tradition temporarily on hold: Archbishop Stepinac and crosstown rival White Plains -- located two miles apart -- have played each other on Thanksgiving Day for 42 straight years, a tradition that will fall by the wayside this month.

   Due to NYSPHSAA rules applying to teams not in the state tournament, White Plains cannot participate this year because it will reach its limit with this weekend's Section 1 Class AA title game vs. North Rockland, MSG Varsity reported.

   “We've known for years about this possibility and White Plains has done everything in its power for the last 10

  
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years or so to do whatever they could to keep the game alive,” Stepinac coach Mike O’Donnell said. “There’s going to be some pressure from outside the two schools (on Section 1 and the NYSPHSAA) to get the game played, but we heard that (Section 1) said it’s not happening.”

   Stepinac, which has qualified for the CHSFL playoffs, is looking for an opponent on Thanksgiving to maintain its tradition.

   “We can’t be worrying about this every year and its not White Plains’ fault, but we might have to look elsewhere permanently,” said O’Donnell, who's in his 34th season. “We’ve had offers in the past to start a new tradition and break our contract with White Plains, but we want this game to be what it is and we want it for the entire city.”

   Thanksgiving Day games used to be common in Westchester County -- New Rochelle and Iona Prep, Yonkers and Gorton, Saunders and Roosevelt and Eastchester and Tuckahoe all used to meet on the fourth Thursday in November. White Plains' tradition actually began in 1932, chiefly against out-of-state opponents.

   Football schedule: With the Long Island sections, CHSFL and PSAL all having wrapped up their regular seasons, we've added a page that summarizes all of this weekend's football playoff pairings.


  
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  • 11/19: Assorted N.Y. high school sports notes
  • 11/18: NYSPHSAA soccer finals recap
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