Don’t ever count out the Commack girls volleyball team.
Emily Haber’s ace clinched the biggest win in program history, a 25-21, 25-20, 25-18 triumph over Connetquot on Thursday night at SCCC-Brentwood in the Suffolk Class AA championship, and the celebration was fitting of the moment.
The athletes piled on top of each other. Coach Anthony Barone embraced his assistant coach and let out a hearty, “Woo!” There were plenty of photos with the hardware.
It was a long time coming for second-seeded Commack (17-0), which lost to Connetquot in last year’s county final. Connetquot, the No. 4 seed and winner of two of the last three state championships, earned the chance to compete after besting top-seeded Smithtown West.
Next up for Commack is Long Beach in the Long Island Class AA championship at 7 p.m. on Sunday at Farmingdale State.
“I can’t even explain how excited I am,” Abby Harper, who had 12 kills and six aces, said. “Last year, even though we made history by making it to counties, this year beating Connetquot and winning the county title, it’s the best feeling.”
Commack worked to earn its straight sets win in a match so closely contested that the final score could be deceiving. Connetquot (15-3), riding the play of Kiarra Roth and Julia Patsos, held significant leads in each game of the match — including 16-10 in the first game and 10-5 in the second game — but Commack’s resilience shined through behind the standout play of Abbey Dummler.
She stymied Connetquot with her defense and recorded 10 kills, many in key spots. “The biggest thing was to maintain composure and keep applying the pressure,” Barone said.
Korinn Bischoff was a key in the opening game. She had three blocks and tied the score at 21 with a booming kill. Harper registered consecutive kills for a 23-21 lead.
“We all know we can do it if we work hard and push ourselves; I think that’s what keeps us going,” Bischoff said.
Commack can attack from all angles. With so many moving parts, defenses can struggle to keep up. Has any team done so this season?
Said Harper: “Well, I mean, we’re county champions, so…”