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Cecil, Keller Fuel Pelham Volleyball's Title Goal

PELHAM, N.Y. -- Loren Cecil and Lauren Keller met in kindergarten, became immediate friends and later blossomed into outstanding volleyball players for Pelham. The senior tandem, now in their third year on the Pelham varsity volleyball team, are aiming to take the Pelicans to their ultimate goal -- a Section 1 Class A championship.

Cecil, Keller and their teammates embarked on this Monday, when varsity practice began. “When we were younger, we always talked about playing volleyball together,” said Keller, a 2010 all-section choice. “Loren, Meghan McDonough and I all played on JV as eighth-graders. We’ve all grown in this sport together.”

“We’ve been best friends since kindergarten,” Cecil said. “It has been a great experience playing with her.”

Marissa Volpe, along with Cecil, Keller and McDonough, are the four captains. Last year, they were instrumental in leading Pelham to the sectional final where it ran into Hen Hud, which won its fifth consecutive sectional title.

Even though Pelham did come away with a title, the Pelicans continue to annually be one of Section 1’s premier teams. Cecil, Keller and their fellow captains have contributed to this building tradition.

“I remember going to an open gym when I was a seventh-grader,” Cecil said. “I saw, for the first time, just how great the varsity players were and that made me want to be a part of it. It made me excited to play volleyball and be on the varsity team with Mr. Finegan.”

Keller agreed with her teammate and close friend. “I love coming to volleyball because it’s a lot of fun,” Keller said. “Coach Finegan is my favorite coach that I’ve ever had. He makes volleyball enjoyable and fun for everyone.”

The Lorens said the team has been working extremely hard through the first two days because they want to be prepared for the season-opener. The Pelicans will face Hen Hud.

“Since we lost to Hen Hud, we’ve been working harder, including playing summer league,” Keller said. “Everyone has the mindset that we want to win the section.”

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