Look to the beginning of the second set of Saturday’s Long Island Class B girls volleyball championship to get a sense of just how dominant Glenn can be when everything’s working.
The Knights run two setters, Mia Cergol and Caroline Miller, because both are also accomplished hitters. This versatility can cause fits for a defense, making it difficult to anticipate who will set and when.
Cergol had 17 digs, 15 kills and 15 assists, leading Glenn to a 25-21, 25-18, 20-25, 25-15 win over Wheatley at SCCC-Brentwood. The Knights, six-time state champions, will play in the state tournament at the Glens Falls Civic Center beginning next Saturday.
“I think it’s hard for other teams because me and Caroline both set with different styles,” Cergol said, “and it’s hard for them to read where we’re going to set because we have so many good hitters.”
Those good hitters put on a show in the second set, helping the Knights get out to a scorching 23-8 lead. Cassidy Evans (47 digs) was integral in giving accurate first passes, and Miller and Cergol did the rest.
It wasn’t until Wheatley earned a point at 23-9 that the Wildcats were able to rattle off a few points to cut into the deficit.
“If we keep setting one hitter, that’s how the other team is going to know who we’re setting,” Cergol said. “It’s hard to make sure that we’re using everyone so the other team doesn’t know who we’re setting.”
Mia Sansonelli had nine kills, Caroline Garretson had nine and Jennifer Breneisen had eight. Miller swung often and had two kills as well.
“We’re all such dominant hitters, and the fact that we can share the wealth, in a sense, we really do well and get the ball down,” Miller said.
It wasn’t always as easy as it was early in the second set, however. Sofia Greenfield put up a strong block for Wheatley (17-2), forcing Glenn to work around her. Greenfield keyed Wheatley’s comeback in the third set from a 19-18 deficit, tallying four of the team’s final six points. Jessica Hastings and Mary Ma also played big roles.
The fourth set was close until Cergol took the service line with a 16-15 lead and served out the rest of the match.
When everything comes together for Glenn (14-1), the Knights are a force. Now back in the state championship tournament after a brief hiatus last year, they could do some damage.