When the Glenn girls volleyball team scores, Mia Cergol almost always is part of the reason why.
The sophomore setter combined instinct, deception and court awareness Monday against visiting Mattituck, getting 10 assists and four kills in a straight-sets win (25-18, 25-23, 25-23) win in Suffolk B-VII.
“I think we all know that we’re the underdogs because we lost a lot of our big hitters, but I think that makes us work harder,” Cergol said.
Mia’s older sister, Grace, graduated after last season and was a member of Newsday’s All-Long Island first team. She was a weapon for the Knights, leaving somewhat of a hole to fill on both offense and defense.
“Grace was my right hand,” Mia said. “I always knew she was going to get a kill.”
But a number of players have emerged in her place for the defending Long Island Class B champions. Senior Emma Hines had seven kills, displaying solid rhythm with her setter. Maggie McGuckin is also expected to be a threat.
“We have a lot of dependable players, and we’ll do a great job as long as we keep working hard,” Hines said.
The Tuckers (2-1), facing their first true test as members of Class B after winning the Long Island Class C championship last season, tested Glenn’s mostly inexperienced roster. After Glenn (2-0) held on for a 25-18 win in the opening set, Mattituck fought tough in the second.
The sixth lead change of the game had Mattituck taking a 23-22 lead, but Glenn rallied back and picked up the set on an ace by Cergol.
Mattituck never led in the fourth, but the Tuckers overcame a 14-3 deficit by tying the score at 23. A poor serve by Mattituck and a kill by Isabella Sansanelli sealed the win for the Knights.
“I think we played the way we needed to play,” Hines said. “We definitely have some improvements to make, but it’s early in the season and I have confidence in the potential of our team.”
Part of Hines’ confidence stems from improved serving. McGuckin (five), Cergol (four), Sarah Weitman (three), Cassidy Evans (two) and Hines (two) totaled 16 aces, giving the Knights instant points at times when the offense stalled.
“I’ve seen a lot of good stuff just in the past couple of weeks,” Hines said, “so I can’t wait to see where we are at the end of the season.”