Make that a lucky 13 for the John Glenn girls volleyball program. The Lady Knights took home yet another Long Island championship, sweeping the Class B finals from Seaford at St. Joseph's College in Patchogue on Saturday.
The previously unbeaten Lady Vikings entered on a roll, having swept the Nassau County Class B and . But they had never faced competition like this. Glenn (15-1) only trailed briefly in the third game, en route to its 11 straight Long Island championship by set scores of 25-9, 25-6 and 25-17.
"The first two games, we came out, played pretty well," said Glenn coach Kevin Harrington. "Seaford gave a real good effort in the last game, I thought we could've played a little bit cleaner in the last game, but maybe [our players] were already thinking a little too far ahead [to states]."
The focus was there the first two games. Glenn scored eight straight points to take a 14-3 lead in game one. A Samantha Courbanou block made it 21-8, and Seaford called time to regroup. It didn't help as a Melissa Rigo spike showed the Knights weren't about to relinquish control, and another Rigo kill ended the first game, 25-9.
"I had a different lineup in game one because I saw who some of [Glenn's] powerful hitters were," said Seaford coach Marie Savage. "I had different people in front, but [our] passes weren't really getting up because [Glenn] was hitting so hard."
Game two was a bigger rout than the first, with Glenn racing to an 18-2 lead, punctuated by an Allison McKenna spike. The Lady Knights had the Lady Vikings running all over, desperately trying to get something going, to no avail. Glenn prevailed 25-6 for the 2-0 lead.
"We definitely wanted to serve tough, have as many unforced errors as we can [from Seaford], and keep our mistakes to a minimum," said McKenna.
The tide turned somewhat in game three. A service error put Seaford up 5-3, but minutes later a McKenna kill put Glenn back up 7-6, and they began to pull away. Jessica Rini, Juliana Puleo and company kept things respectable, but in the end, Glenn won 25-17, with a Rigo kill finishing things off.
Rigo finished with 11 kills and 12 digs, and McKenna also had 11 kills. Jacklyn Malusa chipped in with nine kills for the winners.
Rini had five kills for Seaford, with Puleo adding four along with four digs. Meaghan Curley had eight assists, as the Vikings strong season came to a close.
Harrington knows despite the sweep, the shaky third game shows his club has some work to do before heading to the state championships that start Saturday in Glens Falls.
"There's enough experience where if they're not focused by this point, I'm not sure what I can do about it," he said. "They've been there before, they know you can't give points away like this."
Fortunately, the Lady Knights scored plenty of their own to take home title 13.
Saturday's loss to Glenn ends Seaford's magical season at 16-1 one win short of reaching the state championships
"I'm proud of them, they're great kids," said Savage. "They made it to county champs, they were undefeated, and I'm proud of them."