Kings Park clinches League V girls volleyball title
Calling Kings Park girls volleyball dominant would be an extreme understatement. The Kingsmen are not dominant. They're virtually unbeatable. How good are they? Consider this: Excluding state tournament play, the Kingsmen haven't dropped a match since Oct. 11, 2011.
So, do they think about the streak a lot?
"Absolutely," Amanda Gannon said after Kings Park extended it to 43 consecutive non-state tournament match victories with a 3-0 win over Huntington Wednesday. "Every time we step on the court, we want to bring our 'A' game.''
Their 'A' game was on full display against Huntington. The Kingsmen's 25-10, 25-10, 25-17 victory clinched the League V title -- their third consecutive league championship, a school record, coach Lizz Manly said.
If there's one thing that Kings Park (11-0) has mastered, it's writing a road map to victory. And that map begins with a strong opening game.
"When we have the serve at the beginning of the game, we can go on a run with it," said Joelle Goldstein, who led off in the server's box. "I love the pressure of having to serve. There's nothing better than getting an ace or hitting a serve that they can't receive. As long as I have control of the serve, I have control of the game."
After Kings Park returned Huntington's opening volley, Goldstein served eight consecutive points -- giving the Kingsmen a 9-0 lead.
"Setting the tone is extremely important," Goldstein said. "If you get down, it takes a lot of focus and hard work to climb back into the game. The biggest thing for us is to go out there, play strong, and take a big lead. That way, if we do make an error, it's only a point or two."
Four consecutive Huntington points midway through the opening game cut the Kings Park lead to 14-6. But, after splitting the next two points, Kings Park took the next four and cruised to a 1-0 lead.
Game Two saw more of the same Kings Park dominance. After a Goldstein ace led the game off, Gannon came alive. She smashed down three of the first six points as the Kingsmen built a 9-2 lead.
With many of Kings Park's starters on the bench to begin the third game, Huntington took an 8-0 lead. But Kings Park fought back to go ahead 20-16. After yielding one more point, the Kingsmen closed it out with five straight points, ending the match in much the same way it began, on a streak.
"Our momentum was strong from the start," Kendall Corcoran said.