Bronx Science bounces back against Engineers
With his team down in the third set and in danger of being eliminated in the playoffs, Jeremy BasSie momentarily stepped out of character to wake his players up.
"My wife and assistant coach Danielle [BasSie] told me prior to the timeout that I had to lace into them because they needed a wake up call to know that it wasn’t over,” said BasSie, the Bronx Science head coach. “Thankfully, right away we got back into the match. I’m pretty stoic but when I pick my spots, I usually hope they respond to it.”
“It woke us up,” junior setter Jerry Henriquez said. “We were screaming at each other and yelling about our mistakes, but he told us to stop complaining and just play calm like we usually do. It was a little surprising, but he had a right to because we weren’t playing like we should have been.”
The unexpected pep talk proved pivotal as the Wolverines overcame a 9-3 deficit on their way to scoring five points in row to get them back into the action. Bronx Science took a tough 25-21, 24-26, 25-21 victory over sixth-seeded Brooklyn Tech in the PSAL semifinal Tuesday night at Hunter College.
Coming in, the Wolverines (14-0) knew they would face a boisterous crowd and Brooklyn Tech’s contingent did not disappoint as they cheered the Engineers on with gusto.
“I certainly thought it was going to be a real struggle with Tech’s crowd and momentum,” Bassie said. “We just didn’t quit and went on several runs.”
Very similar to the previous semifinal between American Studies and Cardozo, the second set proved to be a doozy as both teams waged epic back-and-forth volleys. Brooklyn Tech (15-1) came away with the lead at the end of the second set and carried the momentum into the third.
“We just saw Cardozo have a very similar first two sets and the precedent was there,” BasSie said. “From the beginning of the second set we were fighting uphill for most of the last two sets. We just had a late burst to pull it out.”
“I’m not surprised because we always come back from second set deficits,” Henriquez said. “I’m happy that everyone was able to keep their heads in that situation.”
Senior middle Preet Singh was important to the Wolverines comeback and points back to Bassie’s speech as the pivotal moment in the game. Singh finished with 13 kills, four blocks, four steals, and four service points.
“He’s never gone off like that ever, but thankfully he gave us the right message,” Singh said.
Bronx Science is now set to take on top-seeded American Studies Thursday at Hunter College and will be looking for a measure of revenge given its non-league defeat to them earlier in the season.
“I’m very excited because we lost to them earlier in the season and we’ve been practicing to beat them, so I want to see if our practice pays off,” Henriquez said.
“We’re going to have to be on top of our game to compete with them,” Singh added. “But we’re confident. Let’s see what happens.”