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Kings Park wins battle of undefeated teams

Kings Park outside hitter Amanda Gannon #10, who

Kings Park outside hitter Amanda Gannon #10, who had 16 kills against Bayport-Blue Point, celebrates a third-set point during a game Monday, Oct. 6, 2014. Credit: Daniel De Mato

In a battle of unbeaten teams, the Kings Park girls volleyball team Monday displayed the talent and depth that has led it to three straight Long Island titles.

Amanda Gannon had 16 kills, Kathleen Benson had eight kills and Emily Stephens had seven blocks to lead Kings Park to a 25-16, 25-22, 25-17 non-league win over host Bayport-Blue Point.

Stephanie Cornwell added 36 assists and Erin MacDougall had 25 digs for Kings Park, which improved to 9-0 this season and has not lost to Suffolk competition since October 2011.

"Everyone worked together to get this win," said Benson, a middle hitter. "It's a definitely a big win. We can say that we're still undefeated."

Bayport-Blue Point (7-1) had not dropped a game since its season opener and the Kings Park players said they felt the magnitude of the match.

"Knowing there's another team that's undefeated gets you a little pumped up and a little excited," said Stephens, a middle hitter, who also had five kills.

"I think [the win] just shows that if we put our minds to anything, we can accomplish it," said Gannon, a senior outside hitter who has over 1,000 career kills.

"On 37 attempts, she had 16 kills," Kings Park coach Elizabeth Manly said of Gannon. "She leads our team [and] her supporting cast also stepped up. She leans on them and they lean on her and that's what's important."

Among those supporting players, Manly said Stephens was one of the difference makers. "I told her before the game, I need her to block. She led the team in solo blocks, which was exactly what we needed from her."

Stephens said the all-around effort Monday was indicative of the team's cohesiveness, which is part of what has made it so successful.

"We're a very interesting team," she said. "We have a lot of loud people. We're all very supportive of one another [and] we're all really great friends so that definitely helps and carries over to the court. You definitely see that in the way we interact and support each other. That's definitely an integral part of our team."

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