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Pelham Volleyball to Play in Breast Cancer Event

MONTROSE, N.Y. -- The Breast Cancer Awareness Volleyball Tournament, hosted by Hendrick Hudson, annually is near-and-dear to coach Diane Swertfager.

Swertfager, who created the tournament, first with the Junior Varsity, has two close friends and assistant coaches -- Marlene Gillis and Kathy Turkewitz, who are breast cancer survivors.

“Kathy and Marlene are volunteer assistants I am very happy they are survivors,” Swertfager said. The 10th annual varsity tournament will commence Saturday, 8:30 a.m. Hen Hud is the defending champion.

The 20-team field includes Ardsley, Pelham, Fox Lane, Westlake, Scarsdale and Harrison as well as North Rockland and Clarkstown South, both Rockland County schools.

Horseheads, from Section 4, led by former Briarcliff coach Patti Perone, is planning to compete. Massapequa, a Long Island power, is coming, as are Northern Valley at Old Tapppan and Northern Valley at Demarest of New Jersey.

Old Tappan was the 2010 New Jersey state champion. It’s only loss last year came to Hen Hud at the tournament. The field will be divided into four pools of five.

Following pool play, the teams will be ranked one through 20 with the each playing a round robin. The top two teams will play for the championship.

Pelham coach Mark Finegan looks forward to this tournament each year. “This is the most competitive tournament in our area with some of the best Section 1 teams and top teams from outside the section and state,” Finegan said. “You are guaranteed to get an early test and a good idea of what your teams strengths are and what you need to work on.”

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