Clarkstown South High School has played host to a large volleyball tournament each year since 1994, and today will see the tournament return to some former practices.
While the tournament was bringing in about 20 teams a year in recent years, the number this year has increased to 24 teams from Rockland, Westchester and other parts of New York and New Jersey, including Pearl River. South Head Coach John Pardy said the tournament used to have 24 teams, but trying to work in all those games on just a few courts ended up taking more than 12 hours on occasion.
To combat that, this year two groups will have their pool play at Clarkstown North to help speed things up. Pardy added that previously, South used two locations for the tournament when there were only two courts opposed to the four the school has now. The teams that advance from pool play will continue on at South. The tournament starts at 8 a.m. and Pardy said he hopes it’ll finish up by 6 or 7 p.m. on Saturday.
There are a lot of reasons Pardy said tournaments can be beneficial to a team.
“It’s the amount of play you get,” he said. “You get to try all these different combinations you can use on your team, and it doesn’t affect your win or loss record for the regular season. You get the experience playing so many different teams all of different calibers.”
It’s also a good way to get extra games in because each team can only play 20 games a season and an entire tournament counts as just one game, according to Pardy.
South senior Taylor Carroll said the tournament is her favorite one of the year.
“It’s always a lot of fun. The parents all bring food for us to eat between games,” she said. “Plus, you see so many different teams you might not see otherwise.”
The tournament also has some added weight for Taylor and her twin sister Kiana Taylor. Last year, along with their mother, Maureen Carroll, and others, they sold t-shirts at the tournament with all proceeds going to Cystic Fibrosis research. Taylor and Kiana Taylor’s cousin, Emma Hudson, 11, has Cystic Fibrosis.
“We were sitting down at dinner one night and talking about different things we can do to help out,” Taylor Carroll said. “Kiana suggested making t-shirts and it sounded like a good idea.”
This year, they’re selling t-shirts, bracelets and will have a raffle, all to raise money. Taylor Carroll said her cousin has recently taken an interest in raising money for Cystic Fibrosis herself and sold hot chocolate at church. Carroll added they all participate in a yearly walk for Cystic Fibrosis.
“Over the summer, we go over to their house and hang out,” Carroll said. “They have a pool, so we go over and play in the pool. We do a lot of normal hangout stuff. We all like to go to the movies.”
Pardy said plenty of other schools raise money for various causes at their tournaments, and so it seemed like a good idea to raise money for a cause that had a personal component for members of the South volleyball program.
“South is always willing to support students who want to raise money for good causes,” Carroll said. “South is always willing to help out. They never say no when you want to raise money and try to help a cause.”