Gary Anderson helps Bellmore JFK win Nassau volleyball title again
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The last time Bellmore JFK lost a game against a Nassau County opponent was the second game in last year's Class B championship match against West Hempstead.
Wednesday night, No. 2 Long Beach (12-5) challenged the Cougars in another championship match at Old Westbury with a late lead in the second game.
But Nassau County opponents will have to wait until next season for another shot at Bellmore JFK, which won, 25-16, 25-22, 25-23, to claim its second consecutive Nassau title.
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Bellmore JFK (19-0) moves on to face the winner of Eastport-South Manor and Sayville in the Long Island championship on Saturday at Hofstra.
Senior Gary Anderson helped the Cougars get off to a strong start and set the tone at the beginning of the match with consecutive kills. Long Beach closed the gap, getting to within 14-12 but the Cougars had a strong finish as well, winning 25-16.
Long Beach's game plan centered on keeping Anderson off balance and disrupting his game at the net. Anderson, who was named the tournament MVP, still managed 13 kills and three blocks and also added 17 assists.
"You can't just go out and crush the ball every time," Anderson said. "You need to be smart. If they're sitting four hands on me I need to think tactically and be smart."
In the second game, Long Beach gave Bellmore JFK a scare, holding a 22-21 lead. After Bellmore tied it at 22 it was Anderson who came up with a big block to put the Cougars ahead. Senior Justin Ganca finished the game off with a kill.
Long Beach never led in the third game but battled back to tie the game at 23. Bellmore took a 24-23 lead before the match ended the way it started -- a kill for Anderson.
"I called for the set and I was hoping he would give it to me," Anderson said. "It was a great feeling to get that last kill."