Jaden Garelle wasn’t shying away from the moment.
Coming out of a timeout with the set score tied at 1 and South Side one point away from taking the third set, the South Side senior wanted the ball.
“I told my setter Faith (LaMacchia), ‘Give me the ball,’” Garelle said. “I felt like it was coming.”
And she was spot on. Garelle delivered the final kill of the third set, but she wasn’t done from there. She also had the final two kills in the fourth set en route to a 15-25, 25-15, 25-23, 25-23 victory for host South Side over Lynbrook in Nassau A-I girls volleyball Tuesday night.
“I just felt the adrenaline going through my body,” said Garelle, who had 16 kills and five blocks. “Lynbrook did a great job with their defense and had awesome serves, but I just felt ending the point right there was the easiest decision for us to make.”
The Cyclones also had previous matchups on their minds. Lynbrook knocked off top-seeded South Side in the Nassau Class A semifinals last year and defeated the Cyclones in three sets in their first matchup this season.
“We were so excited to play Lynbrook,” said Annaliese Zola, who had eight kills,11 digs and five blocks. “Right now they are first in our conference so we knew they were going to be one of the best defensive teams that we’re ever going to play and I think we did a really good job of mixing up the ball and matching their defense.”
Lynbrook (9-3) took the opening set before South Side (8-4) rallied for the win.
“I think that we are a very capable team and after the first set we really took control,” Zola said. “We were able to work their defense and keep them off their toes.”
Camryn Hoffman had 34 digs, Sophia Jackson added 25 and Maddie Gamberg had nine blocks in the win, as coach Cheryl Scalice was most impressed by her team’s composure in key moments.
“Each match they are working and doing the stuff we want to see them do,” Scalice said. “Consistency, calmness when everything should be hectic … I liked that they calmed themselves down all day and that’s what you want them to do.”