Bellmore-JFK's Matt Murphy and Gary Anderson were a combined offensive juggernaut against the West Hempstead defense in Monday's Class B boys volleyball championship game at Roslyn High School.
Anderson, who plays the right outside hitter position for the Cougars had 18 kills, 2 aces and 27 assists on the day. Murphy stifled the Rams with his powerful serve and his thunderous spikes at the net to help give Bellmore-JFK the 3-1 victory.
"We thought we had an advantage coming in because of our size and our blockers," said West Hempstead coach Andrew Wilson. "But their team played great today, especially their outside hitters."
Every game in the match was a close one and there were multiple lead changes throughout. Bellmore-JFK won by game scores of 25-19, 23-25, 25-22, 25-20.
After losing the first game and trailing 15-9 in the second, the Rams needed a quick burst of energy on offense to get them going. They received that jolt from senior outside hitter Chris McAvoy and middle blocker Liam Donovan. The duo helped the Rams tie the game at 18 a piece with their strong play at the net. Senior Terry Oh threw in some nice serves for the Rams, helping them build their lead to 24-20. Bellmore-JFK got the next three points to make things interesting but junior Darren Davy had the last word with his tap at the net, which sent the ball between the Cougar defenders, giving the Rams the 25-23 win.
West Hempstead looked like they had new life going into the third game and promptly built up an 11-6 lead. But just like the Rams had done in the second game, Bellmore-JFK was able to even the score and eventually take the lead, 18-17. Both teams battled back and forth but the Cougars were able to pull away and win the game, 25-22, with a strong kill from Matt Murphy at the net.
The Rams needed to even the score going into the fourth game to stay alive in the match. They got out to a quick lead, 14-9, and it looked like they would force Bellmore-JFK into a fifth and final game. But the Cougar superstars, Anderson and Murphy, had other plans and helped Bellmore-JFK tie the score at 17. Their work wasn't done as they smashed shot after shot at the West Hempstead defenders, giving the Cougars a 22-18 lead and an eventual game victory, 25-20.
"It was a great match all around," said Wilson. "But they just played better than we did today and they deserved to win."
Scoring 1 2 3 4 F
Bell-JFK 25 23 25 25 3
WH 19 25 22 20 1