Gary Anderson was a marked man Saturday. That was nothing new for the senior who was named the MVP of the state tournament in 2012.
The Sayville front line made sure to call out Anderson by number and keep him in their sights at all time.
It didn't matter, as Anderson still had 17 kills, 17 assists and 12 digs as Bellmore JFK (20-0) defeated Sayville, 25-23, 25-18, 25-20, to capture their second straight Long Island Class B championship. Bellmore also got big contributions from seniors Justin Feigeles and Justin Ganca.
"This was our goal -- to get back upstate," Bellmore JFK coach Dennis Ringel said. "Anything after that is gravy."
The versatility of Anderson opened up space for Feigeles -- who finished with 14 kills, six digs and an ace -- and others to operate. Feigeles came away with three big kills late in the third game and it was Ganca with a key kill off an Anderson assist that stemmed a late rally by Sayville (12-7).
"Justin Ganca came up with some huge kills right when we needed them," Ringel said. "Zach Goldhirsch, who's been pressed into action due to an injury, came up with a couple of big kills."
Locked in a tight back-and-forth first game, Feigeles would not be denied. Feigeles' first kill attempt was blocked at the net and his second attempt at a quick tip was sent back. It took a third attempt before Feigeles was able to get the kill that ended the game.
"It's really wonderful to be able to do this again," Feigeles said. "We have a great team that's very well rounded."
Ganca, Goldhirsch and libero Frankie Galiano showed that with their contributions. "We have our guys who are our go-to guys but at the same time, without the plays by the other guys, we don't do this," Ringel said.
Now Bellmore JFK is one step closer to a second consecutive state title. Said Anderson: "If we play consistent volleyball and we have our fundamentals down, we are going to have that state title."
Sachem East wins A. Trailing 12-5 in Game 3 of the Long Island Class A championship, Sachem East coach William Kropp called timeout to settle down his team.
"I told them that we've come back from bigger deficits and we can do this," Kropp said.
The message worked, as Kropp was able to convene with his players again after they forced a Port Washington timeout, trailing 19-17. The tone of that timeout was much different.
Sachem East continued the comeback behind the play of Ryan Cole and Tyler Jones to secure the Class A championship with a 25-23, 25-18, 25-20 sweep.
"Coming in as a four seed, we had a chip on our shoulder," Cole said. "We wanted to take down any team that got in our way."
Cole, who finished with 11 kills, four blocks and three digs, used his powerful serve to help Sachem East creep closer in Game 3. Jones contributed eight assists, five digs and two kills. Michael Barfield had 11 digs and 10 assists.
"Everyone plays a huge part in our team," Jones said. "It doesn't matter if its game point or the first point, we can go to anyone on the court."