Kings Park clinches League V girls volleyball title

Kings Park's Joell Goldstein spikes the ball between Kings Park's Joell Goldstein spikes the ball between Huntington defenders Mary Grace Tousdell (27) and Lucie Lavelle (11) in the second match. (Oct. 23, 2013) Photo Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

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Calling Kings Park girls volleyball dominant would be an extreme understatement. The Kingsmen are not dominant. They're virtually unbeatable. How good are they? Consider this: Excluding state tournament play, the Kingsmen haven't dropped a match since Oct. 11, 2011.

So, do they think about the streak a lot?

"Absolutely," Amanda Gannon said after Kings Park extended it to 43 consecutive non-state tournament match victories with a 3-0 win over Huntington Wednesday. "Every time we step on the court, we want to bring our 'A' game.''

Their 'A' game was on full display against Huntington. The Kingsmen's 25-10, 25-10, 25-17 victory clinched the League V title -- their third consecutive league championship, a school record, coach Lizz Manly said.

If there's one thing that Kings Park (11-0) has mastered, it's writing a road map to victory. And that map begins with a strong opening game.

"When we have the serve at the beginning of the game, we can go on a run with it," said Joelle Goldstein, who led off in the server's box. "I love the pressure of having to serve. There's nothing better than getting an ace or hitting a serve that they can't receive. As long as I have control of the serve, I have control of the game."

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After Kings Park returned Huntington's opening volley, Goldstein served eight consecutive points -- giving the Kingsmen a 9-0 lead.

"Setting the tone is extremely important," Goldstein said. "If you get down, it takes a lot of focus and hard work to climb back into the game. The biggest thing for us is to go out there, play strong, and take a big lead. That way, if we do make an error, it's only a point or two."

Four consecutive Huntington points midway through the opening game cut the Kings Park lead to 14-6. But, after splitting the next two points, Kings Park took the next four and cruised to a 1-0 lead.

Game Two saw more of the same Kings Park dominance. After a Goldstein ace led the game off, Gannon came alive. She smashed down three of the first six points as the Kingsmen built a 9-2 lead.

With many of Kings Park's starters on the bench to begin the third game, Huntington took an 8-0 lead. But Kings Park fought back to go ahead 20-16. After yielding one more point, the Kingsmen closed it out with five straight points, ending the match in much the same way it began, on a streak.

"Our momentum was strong from the start," Kendall Corcoran said.

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