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South Side tops Kings Park to win LI Class A girls volleyball crown

Sophia Jackson of South Side gets her hands

Sophia Jackson of South Side gets her hands on the block from the spike off of Liv Benard of Kings Park during the Long Island High School girls class A volleyball championship in Hauppauge on Saturday, November 16, 2019. Credit: Dawn McCormick

The South Side girls volleyball team found themselves in an early hole and searching for answers against an undefeated opponent.

Once the Cyclones found those answers, they stood at midcourt raising a Long Island championship plaque.

“Kings Park is always such great competition, and I feel so accomplished,” said leading outside hitter Katelyn Tollefsen, who propelled South Side to a 19-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-14 victory over Kings Park in the Long Island Class A championship at Hauppauge on Saturday afternoon. “The team did so well today.”

South Side (17-4) advances to the New York State tournament semifinals Nov. 23 at Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls.

“We’ve been working so hard this season,” outside hitter Jaden Garelle said. “Every single practice and game. This has been in the works for so long and I’m so excited.”

After tying the score at 10 in the final set, South Side began to take over behind a quality attack that centered around Tollefsen. The Cyclones built an 18-13 lead and surrendered a point before going on a championship-winning spurt of seven unanswered points.

“Towards the end of the match I was a lot more hyped up,” Tollefsen said. “We improved overall and it just progressed from there.”

The Cyclones took control of the third set after Kings Park tied the score at 18. South Side ripped off six consecutive points to move ahead 24-18. Both sides then proceeded to send serves into the net, giving South Side a 2-1 advantage in the match.

South Side built a 19-13 lead in the second set, but Kings Park climbed back in and cut the deficit to 20-18. The Cyclones quickly responded with three consecutive points following a timeout, and later received two kills from Sophia Jackson to clinch the second game, 25-20, tying the match at 1-1.

Kings Park (14-1-1) claimed the opening set with a 25-19 win after Delaney Miller ended the game with a strong kill to the right side.

“We’re thrilled,” South Side coach Cheryl Scalice. “We started out this match nervous but then we put our stuff together and it was really great to see it happen.”

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