When Adam Bloomfield got the match's final point to clinch Sachem North's victory over rival Sachem East on Friday, his team's struggles early in the match seemed like a distant memory . . . and not just because they took place on Tuesday.
Bloomfield had 16 kills, Matt Grace had 56 assists, and Paul Curaro had 14 kills to lead hosts Sachem North over East in four sets in the resumption of a suspended Suffolk I boys volleyball match. North, the reigning Class A state champions, won 26-28, 25-23, 25-22, 25-18, to take their 25th consecutive match. Rob Nolan added 10 digs, Ralph Lunati had four aces, Sean Hannett had 11 kills, and Neil Tufano had nine kills for Sachem North (7-0).
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The match began on Tuesday, but was suspended after two sets due to humidity in the gym causing wet floor conditions.
"This was a pretty weird experience, dropping a set, and then waiting a couple of days to finish the match," Grace said. "We were really anxious to get back out here."
"There was nothing we wanted to do more than just go back out there and prove ourselves," Nolan said.
Sachem East (2-4), which was the last team to beat Sachem North after an upset win in the 2013 playoffs, came out strong in the first set, taking it 28-26. It was only the second set Sachem North dropped in its winning streak, with the only other coming against McQuaid Jesuit in the 2014 state championship.
The host seemed in danger of falling into a two-set hole, as East took a 21-17 lead in the second set, before North finished the set on an 8-2 run.
"[Coach Matt] Rivera called a timeout, when it was 21-17 and in the timeout, we all looked at each other and said 'there's no excuse to let up and lose another set,' " Grace said. "We played together and gritted it out."
The match was halted afterward, but Sachem North's momentum from the second set was not stunted by the layover, as the host jumped out to an 8-4 lead and eventually built a 20-14 advantage, before closing out the set.
Sachem North then finished the match in dominating fashion, using a 10-3 run to go ahead 20-13 in the fourth set, and won it by seven.
"I thought we passed a lot better, and our defense was really good," Grace said of Friday's sets. "We were really fired up."
"We just wanted to come out, show what we do best, play the game we love and be in the atmosphere with our great fans," Nolan said.
The gym at Sachem North was packed with fans of both teams on Tuesday and Friday, and Nolan was appreciative of the support.
"We have the best crowd in the state. These guys follow you game to game, whether it's in Nassau, Suffolk, or even upstate. It's fun to play in front of them."
Kyle Biggers had 23 kills for Sachem East and teammate Matt Cole added 22.
"We got a bad set out of our system," Bloomfield said, "and now we can just keep pushing forward and focus on winning again like we did last year."