Lancers’ seniors go out winners by capturing conference title

first_imgThe St. John Vianney High School softball team finished the season on a high note. Coming off a loss to underdog Immaculata High School in the NJSIAA Non-Public South Jersey A finals, the Lancers bounced back in the Shore Conference Tournament championship a day later. St. John Vianney came out swinging with six runs in the first two innings, and the Lancers went on to rout Pinelands Regional High School, 12-0, for the title.“You want to go out winning your last game,” head coach Kim Lombardi recalled telling the team’s seniors. “I told them not to leave the field without a win.”Top-seed St. John Vianney got on the board when Demi Rivera came around to score on an error. Junior Jessica Carlucci knocked in another run with a single, followed by an RBI-hit off the bat of freshman Gianna Mavica.Pinelands had three more errors in the second inning, allowing three Lancers to score. In the fourth inning, St. John Vianney broke the game open. A run-scoring hit by senior Katie Baron and a two-run home run by Carlucci made it 9-0.Senior Jackie Gallagher drove in two runs with a single. Sophomore Helena Coppola tacked on another run with an RBI single that scored senior Marlena Bevilacqua. “I didn’t have one player hit below .300 this year. We hit consistently one through nine,” Lombardi said.The conference championship caps a season that began with big questions for St. John Vianney (26-2), which lost standout pitcher and University of Notre Damebound Katie Beriont to an injury before Opening Day. The Lancers dealt with other injuries as well. Junior Claire Stefanelli missed the entire season.Lombardi noted how St. John Vianney showed no signs of slowing down after losing two of its top players right off the bat.“I’m proud of our kids,” she said.Junior Ashley Ventura had a very strong year on the mound, throwing seven no-hitters and four perfect games en route to a 26- 2 record. In the Shore Conference title game on June 4, Ventura allowed just three hits in five innings of work against Pinelands.Lombardi, who completed her 10th season as head coach, said Ventura proved to be a dominant pitcher “for a girl who was going to be at first base this season.”Following last week’s loss in the state sectionals, the Lancers were motivated to win their final game of the year. Lombardi said the team rallied around St. John Vianney’s seniors, who were taking the field for the last time.“I told them they can’t get down,” she said. “They had one more championship to play. They had a chance to redeem themselves.” By MATTHEW ROCCO Correspondent last_img read more

Life’s a beach

first_imgMOST READ Prince Harry: ‘No other option’ but to cut royal ties “We didn’t know how to organize, but we just thought we could do it,” says Tan. “The question before was who’s going to organize these tournaments. We found a niche. It’s untapped in the provinces. It’s a clean slate for us to build on and work on.”At the time BVR was starting to take off, former Lady Eagle Gervacio focused on behind-the-scenes work, liaising with players for BVR, as well as presenting the event to possible sponsors.“From our own experiences playing beach volleyball, there were just no year-round tournaments that offered at least good competition or good organization, aside from the Nestea event before,” Tan says. “We’ve gone through so many tournaments, we’ve seen how it’s done. We saw that we could actually set a standard.”But as if organizing the event isn’t enough, the BVR founders also have to prepare themselves for battle on the sand.“If we’re given a chance, personally I would rather train and get better,” Tan says. “But I can’t think of anyone else willing to invest time planning and organizing a tournament once or twice a month.”ADVERTISEMENT But work doesn’t end after the matches. “After the game and you win, you can’t savor the win because you also have to fix the awarding ceremonies and think about the logistics,” says Gervacio.Tan adds: “It always falls into place, though.”Gervacio says they’ve taken a community approach in their efforts to grow BVR. “Everyone that we meet in our events are open and very willing to help,” she says.“We’re open to ideas on how to improve BVR,” says Tan, noting that the circuit has provided “good teams in the provinces with opportunities to play in competitions.”The BVR founders say their ultimate goal is to make the Philippines a hub for beach volleyball in Asia.“We have so many beautiful beaches,” says Tan. “We can host Asian competitions and even a leg of the Swatch Series. This is realistic because it doesn’t require having a Filipino team as one of the tournament entries. We’re hoping to also help build a program for a team that will contend internationally.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. For the followers of indoor volleyball in the country, the scene must have come as a surprise, considering that they’re used to seeing the six athletes spiking their way to victory on the court. This time, however, they are the ones working behind the scenes to stage Beach Volleyball Republic (BVR), their response to the lack of tournaments in the country.Almost two years after it held its first event—the 2015 Christmas Open at SM Sands By the Bay at Mall of Asia—BVR has grown one of the most anticipated events of the summer for both fans and players of the fast-rising sport in the country.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return“The initial mantra [for BVR] is it’s created by athletes for athletes,” says Soriano, who quit her corporate job to focus on BVR.BVR has gone on to hold some 20 tour legs, including an international tournament last year and a Battle of Champions culminating event in May 2016. Tan, who played for Ateneo, shares that the idea of forming BVR started after a string of postponements hit a local event. ‘Bad Boys for Life’ debuts so good with box office top spot Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos Cignal, Generika-Ayala triumph The press conference was minutes away, but Bea Tan was still on her laptop, putting the finishing touches on their presentation. Outside the room, Dzi Gervacio and Charo Soriano were fixing a standee next to the registration table, while Gretchen Ho, Alexa Micek and Fille Cainglet-Cayetano were chatting with guests waiting for the start of the event’s launch.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Duterte promises to look for funds to establish rail transport in Cebu ‘It’s not my shame’: Why Filipino women are calling out sexual misconduct on social media Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town ‘1917’ takes top honor at the Producers Guild Awards Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ SEA Games 2019: Comaling gives PH another gold in modern pentathlon PLAY LIST 01:06SEA Games 2019: Comaling gives PH another gold in modern pentathlon03:47INSIDE THE WATER JEEPNEY: Manila to Cavite in 20 minutes?03:12Elephants in Thailand ‘broken’ for lucrative animal tourism01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite View commentslast_img read more