Volleyball Sweeps Panthers to Open Season

Scanlon in action (PC: Bruce Jeffrey)

On Friday night, the undisputed queens of the PSAA returned to the court to begin defense of their four consecutive undefeated league championships. Their 3-0 sweep of Portledge extended their league winning streak to 33 matches, their home winning streak to 29 matches, and their string of consecutive sweeps to 12. They have not dropped a league match since 2016 and have not lost a regular season PSAA match since joining the league in 2018.

Portledge began game one with a pair of points, but the short-lived 2-0 edge would be their only lead of the entire match. Two straight kills from Ava McCormick and three consecutive Niamh Scanlon aces vaulted the Brook into a lead they would not relinquish. The Bears showed some expected rust in the first match of the year, allowing the Panthers to stay within striking distance at 10-7, but Lilly Keegan registered three aces in a four-point span to build a 16-7 advantage. A deft touch kill from Gillian Bernier and a McCormick spike gave the Brook a 19-10 edge before Scanlon earned a kill and consecutive aces to all but put the opening game away. A Keegan kill ended it, 25-13.

In game two, the Brook looked much sharper as they rode five Scanlon aces and a kill apiece from McCormick and Keegan to a 13-0 lead. Ella and Lily Middlekauff notched consecutive kills to push the Bears’ advantage to 19-2 before a McCormick ace hit nothing but deck. Lily Middlekauff served the game out with a pair of aces and a no return to close a dominant 25-3 win.

In game three, Scanlon’s serve again staked the Bears to an early lead before consecutive aces from Bernier extended it to 6-2. After a Lily Middlekauff kill pushed the lead to 7-3, Carmen Alvarez Herrero registered an ace on each of her first four serves as a Bear. Keegan followed with a spike before Alvarez Herrero added another ace to build a 13-3 advantage. Aces from Daido Ouattara and Georgia Apazidis and a Bernier spike pushed the lead to 20-6 before Bernier closed the match with a pair of aces as the Bears took game three, 25-9.

The Bears are back in action on Monday in a non-league match-up at public school power Smithtown East.


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