Peace out Fall Sports 

Football, Girls’ Varsity Volleyball, and Girls’ Varsity Soccer Win Championship Titles


Maerose Daniels, Editor-in-Chief

Two of Poly’s sports teams secured the title of New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) champions. Girls’ Varsity Volleyball and Girls’ Varsity Soccer were victorious in their championship games on Monday, November 7. This is the fifth year in a row that Girls’ Varsity Volleyball won the NYSAIS championships. Boys’ Football took the  Metropolitan Independent Football League championship on Sunday, November 14, closing out an undefeated season — an improvement from last year’s loss in the finals. (NYSAIS does not have a football league, so Poly Football participates in the Metropolitan Independent Football League.)

The Girls’ Volleyball team dominated all season, going undefeated in the Ivy Prep League. The championship volleyball game featured Poly vs. Avenues on the Fieldston campus, taking away a home advantage. A fan bus ferried students over to bring Poly Spirit. “Polyball was in control the whole match. Our energy on the court and the energy from the crowd was crucial to our victory,” said Ariana Rodriguez (Rodriguez is committed to the University of Miami to play Division I volleyball). 

In order to claim the NYSAIS volleyball championship title, a team must win at least three of five sets. Poly swept Avenues in three straight sets, eliminating the need for additional sets. They won the sets respectively 25-18, 25-21, with the final game being 25-12. “Each player did their job on the court and were responsible for contributing to this triumph,” said Rodriguez. 

  Polyball had previously lost to Avenues outside of the Ivy Prep League this season. Heading into the championship game, the Poly and Avenues teams were riled up for the competition. “There was tension before. We are all competitive people. The rivalry fired us up,” said Senior player Elektra Urbatsch. 

Head Coach Benjamin Diaz guided the practices in preparation for the championship.“Our game plan was very effective for the championship game,” said Diaz. “Our backrow passers passed very well in order for us to run the offense that we wanted. Our setters did a good job as well, spreading out love to the rest of the players.” He recognized teamwork as the primary ingredient to the winning recipe. 

 “We did have a couple standout players. I thought Ariana did a great job with the big hits. Elektra did a solid job offensively running the plays for the middle. Maeve [Igoe ’23] did a great job around the middle, getting touches on the block, going to spots. Our outside hitters did a great job hitting the ball aggressively,” said Diaz. He then commended a play executed by Seniors Adele Hoinacki, Isabella Nash, and Victoria Gontowicz. “Our passing was probably our best… I thought they did a tremendous job,” he said. 

Girls’ Varsity Soccer earned a NYSAIS championship title against Packer at Randall’s Island on the same day as Volleyball. The final score was 1-0. They had fallen to Packer earlier in the season, as well as being defeated by them last year in the NYSAIS playoffs. 

No one had scored for the entirety of this year’s championship game, resulting in overtime. Senior captain Zoe Wells said, “I was feeling pretty confident and I knew that at some point we would put one in. It was just a matter of keeping the confidence throughout the game.” 

 It was Junior Iliana Borges’ penalty kick during overtime that secured the winning goal. “Iliana Borges was able to step up in a big way for the team. Having the pressure of a penalty kick in a final is not easy, and she was able to stay calm and put the ball in the back of the net for the team,” wrote Head Coach Tara Heatley in an email to the Polygon. 

Wells also highlighted Borges’ efforts, “Especially when [Borges] is under pressure, she can perform well,” Wells noted.

Throughout the game, Kaia Scott ’24, the left-back defender, was working hard. “[Scott] was on top of the Packer girls. She was kicking the ball out. She had some really amazing longballs,” said Wells.

 Captain Nicole Bogdanos has been an asset to the Girls’ Varsity Soccer team for the past five years. “The weeks leading up to the playoffs we had been working mostly on staying positive and team bonding. I think our positivity and closeness really helped us go all the way,” Bogdanos said. Overall, teamwork was the most crucial factor in the win. “In order to win it was going to be a complete team effort and that’s exactly what it was,” Bogdanos added. 

Poly Football faced off against Rye Country Day for the 2022 Metropolitan Independent football league for their championship game. The final score was 42-7, finishing off the team with an undefeated 9-0 season. Last year, the team lost in the championship game. Poly Football and Rye Football traveled to the Brunswick school in Connecticut, a neutral territory. In preparation for the big game, Senior George Thanopolos said, “We are watching the other teams film and how they play, this time more than ever we are changing what we do, studying their plays and tendencies in the football team room.” This championship win finishes off the first season with Head Coach Jerell Jones. “I couldn’t be more proud. I am especially happy for all of the seniors, and I commend them for all of their hard work and leadership throughout the season,” Jones wrote in an email to the Polygon. 

Football, Soccer, and Volleyball were the only teams that finished off the season with championship titles, but there were many individual achievements in the other fall athletics teams. Sophomore Holyn Karp is currently ranked as the 2 seed in the NYSAIS 2022 Girls’ Tennis Singles. Her tennis efforts this season are not to go unnoticed, as her record for this season was 11-0, and she finished the NYSAIS tournament in 2nd place. 

As for cross country, although both the boys’ and the girls’ teams did not win first overall at the NYSAIS, Sophomore Izzy Leyton finished 4th overall at the NYSAIS Championship and qualified for the New York State Federation Cross Country Championship. Freshman Zoe McCullough finished 8th overall at NYSAIS

Boys’ Varsity Soccer ended their season with a loss to Fieldston in the Semi-Finals 1-2. Captain Sam Kagen ’24 said, “It was an amazing season for us. I thought the team really bonded and that was the reason we were able to pull through and perform as well as we did. It was an unfortunate loss in the semifinals, but overall we had an amazing run.” 


Additional reporting by Chelsea Lin and Jordan Millar