On Friday night, the volleyball team made it a memorable Senior Night with a 3-0 non-league win over St. John the Baptist in front of a packed house in Swanson. The win represented the 40th consecutive victory on the home floor in yet another astonishing milestone for this incredible group. The senior class of Niamh Scanlon, Lilly Keegan, Ava McCormick, Georgia Apazidis, Nikki Carlo, and MacKenzie Zwillman has been the standard-bearer of a volleyball dynasty that began in 2016, maintaining a level of excellence with toughness and integrity despite lofty expectations.
On Friday, the Bears never trailed in the first set, jumping out to a 6-3 lead after a Keegan spike. The Cougars tied the set at 7-7, then again at 10-10 after the Bears took a 10-7 lead following a Keegan ace. St. John’s maintained contact early, using a variety of roll shots and change-ups at the net to neutralize the Bears’ size advantage, but following the 10-10 tie, the Bears went on an 8-0 run, fueled by four Ella Middlekauff aces, to all but put the set away. The Cougars grabbed the next three points to close to within 13-18, but two Scanlon aces, including one that clipped the back line, and an Apazidis kill pushed the Bear advantage to 22-13. A pair of McCormick kills and a St. John’s service error gave The Brook a 25-18 opening win.
In set two, the Cougars grabbed their first lead of the match at 0-1, but it proved to be short-lived as a Gillian Bernier ace gave the Bears a 4-3 edge they would not relinquish. Kills from McCormick, Bernier, and Keegan moved the advantage to 7-4, and a Keegan spike pushed the lead to 12-6 to prompt a Cougar timeout. Out of the break, a Bernier kill rocketed off a receiver, into the ceiling, and down to the deck for an emphatic point that continued what would become a 14-3 run. With the Bears ahead 15-8, they unleashed a 9-0 run, highlighted by a Bernier spike, a Scanlon ace, and a McCormick block, to break open the game and give The Blue & White a 23-9 advantage. A Keegan spike down the line capped the 25-10 win.
In the third set, the Bears again fell behind only briefly, turning a 1-2 deficit into a 10-2 lead with a 9-0 run that was punctuated by three Bernier aces. From there the Bears were untested as the Cougars could muster no response to the Brooker firepower. Keegan took over during one particular stretch with a personal 6-0 run that included four aces and a spike, leaving the Bears ahead 18-7 on the way to a 25-10 win.
The Bears are back in action this afternoon with a non-league match-up at Smithtown East before returning to league play on Wednesday with a chance to clinch their sixth straight outright league title with a win at Martin Luther.
- Aces (21): Scanlon (6), Keegan (6), Bernier (5), Middlekauff (5)
- Kills (26): McCormick (9), Keegan (9), Bernier (8)
- Block (5): McCormick (2), Middlekauff (1), Scanlon (1)
- Digs (51): Keegan (15), Apazidis (13), Bernier (11), Scanlon (5), Middlekauff (4), McCormick (3)