The momentum had swung in Hauppauge’s favor and it was time for junior outside hitter Tyler Anderson to take over.
Anderson unleased his game midway through the third set and helped Bellmore JFK turn a one-point deficit into a 20-17 lead on the way to a 25-20 win. The switch in momentum helped Bellmore JFK go on to a 25-22, 17-25, 25-20, 25-21 over Hauppauge and claim the Long Island Class B boys volleyball title last night at LIU Post.
“We have a special player in Tyler Anderson,” said Bellmore JFK coach Dennis Ringel. “He can start a match in a passive manner but when he turns it on he’s a different kind of player, a real aggressive player.”
Bellmore JFK (17-3) claimed its eighth Nassau title in Ringel’s 10 years with a big win over Bethpage earlier this week. The Cougars earned a third Long Island championship under Ringel, and will battle for the state title at Suffolk CCC Brentwood Saturday at 10 a.m.
“There was one particular play that stood in that pivotal third set,” Ringel said. “Ringel had multiple swings and they dug him and he just reset and absolutely crushed the ball. It started a four-point run and keyed the win. ”
Bellmore JFK took the fourth and clinching set behind senior middle blocker Steven Carlson, who helped the Cougars control the tempo, and Josh Kaplan, who bailed them out in big spots with a key dig or a big play to push them over the top.
“Carlson always has the right attitude and enthusiasm and hypes the team when they need it,” Ringel said. “And he calms them down when they need it. He has a real good vibe for the game.”
Bellmore JFK, a state runner up in 2013, last won the state title in 2012.
“They’re a strong team and we probably struggled a little with our serving and some of our blocks were not there,” said Hauppauge coach Chris Varthalamis. “Bellmore was still carrying some of that momentum over from the big win over Bethpage.”
Neither team featured any real long scoring runs and the games by putting the emphasis of winning one point at a time.
“We play each point for what it is and our guys don’t allow huge momentum shifts,” Ringel said. “We have excellent team chemistry and we can turn the page on bad points and celebrate good points but move forward immediately. The right mentality at this level, with the stakes so high, can carry you through. We didn’t play perfect volleyball tonight but we found a way.”
Hauppauge finished the season at 11-7. Senior outside hitter Adam Gorgone was the Eagles MVP throughout the championship match. Varthalamis said junior setter Anthony Ferrara and senior Nick Crociata, who had some key blocks in the second set win, played stand out volleyball.
“We lost six serves in the first set and we were sporadic with our serve throughout the match,” he said. “And when you don’t play at your peak in these kinds of matches you just can’t win.”