Calhoun’s Owen Rose is impossible to miss on a volleyball court. The 6 foot, 7 ½ inch outside hitter slams down spikes like he’s trying to remodel the gym. It’s a wonder that the floor doesn’t crack under the sheer power of Rose’s blasts.
But, it’s no wonder that the senior led his team to a dominating 3-0 win over Bethpage, 25-14, 25-20, 25-16, in the Nassau Division II boys final at the Brookside School in North Merrick Tuesday evening.
Calhoun (13-1) did not lose a set in the playoffs and Rose is a gigantic reason why. He had 27 kills Tuesday, many of them monstrous, but some of them with a surprisingly soft touch, showing that his game isn’t just one of power. He added seven digs, as well.
"It’s always fun to bounce balls, who doesn’t love to do that?" said Rose, who will play at Penn State next year. "But, at the end of the day, it’s just what gets the job done and what scores points…When I see that they’re triple blocking and everything is open in the middle, I just make the smart decision."
Rose’s teammate Pat Sanchez had 31 assists and 12 kills. Matt Kalfas added 10 kills and four aces and Chris Zaveckas had seven kills and five blocks.
Calhoun took early leads in the first two sets, jumping out to a 16-9 lead in the first and a 20-9 lead in the second. Bethpage fought back in the second set and closed to within 22-16 and 24-20 before Calhoun was able to snag the final point.
"We try to not let teams go on runs for too long," Kalfas said. "We have to get a reality check and get our heads back in the game. Sometimes we can fall off a little bit when we don’t have our heads in the game, but when we’re on, we’re pretty unstoppable"
In the third set, Calhoun scored nine of 10 points to take an 8-8 tie and turn it into a 17-9 lead.
"When we got to 17-9, that’s when it kind of set in that we were going to win the county," said Sanchez. "We knew we wanted it. We couldn’t let them stay in the game. If they won that set, the whole game changed, so we knew we had to keep our foot on the pedal."