Volleyball Tops Ross in Homecoming Win

Volleyball 2019
Kang in action earlier this season (PC: Bruce Jeffrey)

Since the close of the 2016 fall season, when the volleyball team made an improbable run to the Suffolk County Championship, the team has enjoyed an incredible era of success. Two consecutive undefeated League Championships followed in 2017 and 2018  and the Bears look poised to make it a trifecta with two more league matches remaining this season. During this run of success, numerous numbers stand out, including 23 consecutive league victories since 2016. Coming into Saturday’s Homecoming non-league match with the Ross School, they had won 18 straight home matches, the last 11 by sweeps. They had also not dropped a single set at home since October 13, 2017, a 3-1 Homecoming win over Port Jeff, which is what made Saturday’s performance so impressive.

In set one, the Bears raced out to a 6-2 lead, punctuated by a pair of kills by Nadia Hall and a thunderous spike from Bekah Detwiler. The Ravens responded with four straight points to take their first lead, but the Brook grabbed the advantage back at 11-10 when Detwiler found the left sideline with a deft touch kill. That lead grew to 15-11 after two unforced errors from Ross, but the visitors followed with five straight points to retake a 16-15 edge. The Bears tied the match at 16-16 when Detwiler capped off an exciting rally with a spike after Leslie Kang kept the play alive with a hit that just curled over the net, but from there the Ravens closed on a 9-3 run, powered by their serve, to steal the first frame, 25-19.

After dropping their first set at home in nearly two years, a lesser team might have crumbled, had their confidence shaken, or descended into negativity. Our girls simply raised their game. Ross scored the first two points of set two, capping a run of eight consecutive spanning the two games, but it would be their last lead of the game as a 16-3 run followed that left the Brook up 16-5 on their way to a decisive win. The crucial point of the run came with the score knotted at 4-4, when Kang kept the rally alive with a brilliant dig, long enough for Natalie Stefaniuk to hit a blind shot over her shoulder and into the back left corner. Three aces from Elizabeth Robbins, a Detwiler spike, and a Niamh Scanlon block followed as the Bears built the commanding 16-5 edge. From there aces from Kang and Stefaniuk and two Detwiler kills helped close the 25-9 win.

The Bears leveraged their regained momentum into a 5-0 early lead in set three, powered by a pair of Detwiler kills and a Kang ace. A relentless assault continued as the Bears racked up nine more kills, five coming off the hand of Shannuel Lamptey to build an insurmountable 21-6 advantage. A Hall block pushed the lead to 23-9 and a Stefaniuk ace closed out the 25-12 win.

Set four followed a similar script to the third as the girls ran out to an early lead. After a third block, this time shared by Scanlon and McCormick, the Bears held a 10-2 lead that only grew as the game wore on. A Robbins ace painted the line, Detwiler found the deck yet again, and Lamptey registered another emphatic kill as the advantage swelled to 16-3. Detwiler registered kills on two of the final four points to close out the emphatic win, 25-10.

Detwiler notched 15 kills while Robbins registered 55 digs and 6 aces to lead the Blue & White.

The Bears are back in action on Tuesday in a home Senior Day match-up with LuHi with a chance to clinch the outright PSAA East Division title for a second straight year.


Bear Paw Thumbnail

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