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Bethpage volleyball wins Conference IV title
Bethpage head coach Chrissy Bennett knew she had a talented group of sophomores two seasons ago.
Blending in with four seniors, Greg Gerber, Stephen DiSalvo, Dennis Costa and Tommy Fraher helped lead Bethpage to an 8-7 record and a playoff berth.
Graduation left a large hole in the lineup and resulted in Bethpage finishing 1-11 last season. But through it all Bennett never wavered in her belief that Bethpage would field a strong team this season.
“We have experience and we took the loses that we had last year and it made us tougher,” Bennett said. “I knew we would be good but that it would take time.”
The goal from the opening day of practice this season was to be conference champions. On Saturday morning the dream was realized as Bethpage (16-1) knocked off rival Great Neck North (14-2) to clinch the Conference IV title.
The core group -- supplemented with players like Deniz Soybas, Chris Tempesta, Andrew Ritchie and John Tierney -- dropped the first game to Great Neck North 25-21.
But there were no worries, even though Great Neck North had delivered Bethpage its only loss on October 9.
“It didn’t get to them,” Bennett said. “We still felt like we were going to win the game. We knew we needed to make certain adjustments and we did right away.”
Bethpage rattled off three straight wins, with Fraher and Tierney combining for 51 kills and Soybas recording 15 kills and five blocks.
“We have very intense practices and they’re very focused,” Bennett said. “They’re the ones that worked hard for this. I kept drilling into them that they were going to be great as seniors.”
Now the group as a whole has the opportunity to add to a season that was years in the making.