No one expected undefeated Kings Park, the defending girls volleyball Long Island Class A champions with a playoff berth well in hand, to look past its final match of the regular season and lose against winless Huntington at home.
And no, don't get ahead of yourselves, that didn't happen.
The Lady Kingsmen approached this match like any other, and defeated Huntington, 25-7, 25-11, 25-15, to finish 13-0 in League V.
Now they can set their sights on defending their championship.
"The feeling is amazing to know that we're the team that everyone wants to beat," hitter Joelle Goldstein said. "It gives us motivation to know that and lights our fire to make us play even harder."
Kings Park took the first game easily, closing it with a big spike at the net by Amanda Gannon. Huntington (0-13) kept it closer in the second game, getting to within 15-8 midway through, but consistent serving from Goldstein and Kendall Corcoran led a 10-3 Kings Park run to seal it. In the third, the Lady Kingsmen sat most of their starters. "We only have 13 girls on the team and it's important to play everybody in a game like this," Kings Park coach Lizz Manly said. "We want to keep our morale positive and have everybody think they're an important part of the team. That's what got us to the championship last year."
Goldstein finished with seven aces and five kills, Gannon and Emily Stephens also had five kills each, and libero Tara Trapani had 16 digs. "This match was still important because we clinched our league, but our goal now is to finish undefeated," Trapani said. "I've never been on an undefeated team before and it'd be really cool."
Kings Park honored Trapani, the only senior on the team, before the match.
"She's an outstanding leader," Manly said of the four-year varsity player. "She's always positive on the court and she really runs the defense in the back row. She keeps everybody levelheaded and has a great attitude. She's a coach's dream."