Riverdale/Kingsbridge fell in the last two PSAL Class B city title matches, but this one was suppose to be different.
Fort Hamilton, which won this year’s Class A crown, was no longer standing in the Tigers wasy and they had beaten final opponent Leon Goldstein in the semifinals a year ago. Riverdale-Kingsbridge didn’t play like it had all year when it mattered most and got sucked into Goldstein’s style only to see the Dolphins hand it a 25-19, 25-15 loss in the PSAL Class B girls’ volleyball final at Hunter College on Nov. 25.
“Today was about not getting into system play,” RKA coach John Reingold said “We didn’t get our big horses going.”
Much of that happened after the Tigers were penalized for serving out of turn. Goldstein (17–0) was also given a point by rule. It negated a potential 18–14 lead for the Tigers. Riverdale/Kingsbridge (16-1) earned the next point thanks to a Goldstein service error, but Dolphins rolled after that. They scored 10 of the last 11 points to close out the set.
From that point on Riverdale/Kingsbridge could mount a consistent attack. Top outside hitter Reighan Alston, who dominated in the quarterfinals, was a bit more tentative as the match went on. The senior had a big impact at times early on in the first set, but couldn’t do it consistently. The Tigers were put on the defensive instead and never got its hitters, including Taina Strickland and Hualeska Garcia going.
“That was the difference,” Reingold said. “We do have the offensive fire power.”
Riverdale/Kingsbridge rallied to tie the score at 11-11 in the second set on a kill by Strickland. Goldstein would score the next six points to retake control of the match. The loss leaves the Tigers needing to wait another another season to bring home the elusive crown.
“This was out shot,” Reingold said. “We just didn’t play well. They did enough. They were the better team today.”