Once Mikalah Curran finds her rhythm the Commack girls volleyball team is tough to beat.
Curran had 26 kills, 14 digs and an ace to lead No. 4 Commack to a 15-25, 29-27, 26-24, 25-20 win over No. 2 Ward Melville in the Suffolk Class AA final Monday at Hauppauge High School.
“Words can’t even describe how happy I am,” the senior said. “There was a lot of pressure, but we all thrive under that pressure.”
The win marks Commack’s first county title since 2018. The Cougars (14-2) will face No. 1 Massapequa in the Class AA Long Island championship on Thursday at 5 p.m. at Hauppauge.
Commack seemed outmatched after a lopsided first set, but maybe it had something to do with facing an unfamiliar opponent.
“It was a wake-up call,” said Emma Santa Maria. “We hadn’t played Ward Melville all season, so we knew what we were dealing with after that first set.”
The senior captain had six digs, two kills and two blocks.
“We had a realization after the first set that this could be it for us and we really needed to push hard,” Curran added.
Curran helped shift the momentum in the second set, earning a kill for the 28th point. Her sister, Kaitlin, served an ace for the final point to even the match at one set apiece.
“They never count themselves out,” coach Tracie Morenberg said. “It’s something I really can’t teach them, but it’s so important. We dropped the first set horribly and we came right back.”
The Curran's again made a difference in the third set, with Kaitlin earning points 24 and 25 and Mikalah clinching the set with an emphatic kill.
Commack seemed to be on its way to a victory early in the fourth set, jumping out to a 17-12 lead. But Ward Melville tallied five straight points to even the score at 17.
The Cougars answered with a 6-0 run to take a 24-18 lead, which consisted of three kills from Mikalah, two aces from Kaitlin and a block by Molly Singer.
Mikalah put the match away with one last kill as the ball landed in the middle of the floor.
“Even though they were gaining points, we had a sense of calmness,” said Kaitlin, who had 15 digs, eight kills and two aces. “We knew it was right there in front of us and we just had to work a little bit harder.”