Glenn is finally right where it needs to be.
With a packed gym rocking and emotions running high, the visiting Knights were able to sweep previously undefeated Bayport-Blue Point, 25-23, 25-17, 25-22, in Suffolk VII girls volleyball on Thursday.
“That was great,” said sophomore setter Mia Cergol.
“I don’t think we gave up on one point,” said senior hitter Sarah Weitman. “We wanted to keep pace tonight.”
In a rematch of last year’s Suffolk B final — and a potential preview of this year’s final — Glenn (8-1) never trailed in the opening game but continually fought off the Phantoms, who tied the score six times.
Bayport (8-1) took its first lead of the match at 5-4 in the second, and then led 10-9 before the Knights broke through and won, 25-17.
The Phantoms and star setter Lauren Wilke faltered in the third, facing a 16-8 deficit. Toni Mulgrave rallied her team during a timeout and sparked a comeback that fell just short.
“They obviously have a great coach, and Wilke does a phenomenal job of doing as much as she can,” said Glenn coach Kevin Cook. “I’m sure we’ll see them in the county finals because they’re definitely the best team in our league.”
Whether or not the Phantoms will break Glenn’s streaks of 15 straight Long Island championships and 16 straight county titles remains to be seen, but Glenn has no intention of ending the season without a trip to Glens Falls.
Superb back-row defense from libero Cassidy Evans and others fueled a consistent passing attack, spearheaded by Cergol, who had 25 assists and is Glenn’s only returning starter from last season.
She was able to find her hitters with precision. Weitman (five kills), Emma Hines (nine) and Isabella Sansanelli (seven) each provided different looks to a Bayport defense which was slow to adapt.
“I think we went in there not thinking it was Bayport, and just thinking it was a normal game,” Cergol said. “We wanted to come out doing everything we know how to do.”
Trusting in their game has been somewhat of an issue for the Knights this fall. They lost several key players to graduation, and the current roster includes six sophomores. Cook’s goal has been to get them to reach their potential.
He thinks they have.
“I think they’re finally starting to realize what their abilities are,” he said. “In the beginning of the season, they questioned what they thought they could do.”
With the playoffs right around the corner, Glenn is peaking at the perfect time. Now they know what they can do.