Will Flohr, Jerry Matcovsky and Lindenhurst boys volleyball are peaking at the right time, and the Bulldogs continued their late-season surge with a win Tuesday night.
Flohr had 14 kills and 11 digs, and Matcovsky had 36 assists to lead Lindenhurst to a straight-set victory over visiting Smithtown West in Suffolk I. Shaurya Patel added 13 digs, Sebastian Stolba had eight kills, and Jason Koehler had seven kills for the Bulldogs, who won, 25-21, 25-20, 26-24.
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"It's a special win," Flohr said of Lindenhurst's seventh victory in a row. "We've been working hard every day, and my team backed me up. We pulled through."
"We got off to a slow start, getting two losses early, but we've been blocking well, playing good defense, and we feel like we have momentum going into the playoffs," Flohr added.
As has been the case for most of the year, the combination of Flohr's scoring and Matcovsky's passing was effective for Lindenhurst (11-2).
"When my hitters are on, I know I can set whoever I want at any time and they'll put it down," Matcovsky said. "I'm pretty confident setting the ball to these guys."
Lindenhurst won the first two sets comfortably, making it apparent to Patel that the Bulldogs would be tough to beat.
"Throughout the year, we know when we're on and we know when we're off," Patel said. "Tonight was a night we were on. We were passing well, hitting well, blocking when we needed to. It was a great win."
Smithtown West (9-4) pushed the hosts in a tight third set. The visitors tied the match at 16, preceding a run in which neither team led by more than a point. This stretch continued until Lindenhurst set up match point by taking a 25-24 lead, when Matt Ciecka earned the game-winning point with a block.
"It's unreal. They told me, 'go get the game-winning block,' " said Ciecka, who added it was a proud moment for him and reflected the work he has put in to improve his blocking.
Lindenhurst also got contributions from Jon Meyer (10 digs), Jacob Malinowski (seven digs), and with a home playoff game already secured, the Bulldogs' focus will be on maintaining their hot streak.
"We're looking forward to our next push," Patel said, "and that's the playoffs."