Goldstein, Kings Park take down Eastport-South Manor
It was business as usual in the gymnasium at Kings Park High School. Just like their first five matches of the season, the Lady Kingsmen volleyball team used a dominant offense to take down their opponent. This time it was number nine-ranked girls volleyball team according to MSG Varsity’s Girls Volleyball Power Rankings, the Eastport-South Manor Sharks.
Outstanding juniors Joelle Goldstein, Kendall Corcoran, and Tara Trapani led the way for top-ranked Kings Park as they improved to 7-0 on the season with a 3-1 (25-11, 25-15, 19-25, 25,22) victory over the Sharks (6-1).
The dynamic duo of Corcoran to Goldstein proved devastating offensively, while defensively Trapani thwarted many ESM potential kills.
Corcoran led the way with 34 assists, 16 digs, four kills, and two aces. Meanwhile, Goldstein finished with 11 kills and Trapani added 24 digs on the afternoon of what appeared to be a super-charged match-up of two of Long Island’s best teams.
“Well we have always player ESM with a little bit of passion in us because we wanted to beat them so many times,” says Goldstein. “Last year was the first time we beat them in so many years, so this time we really wanted to come out strong and beat them again. So that first game was all the fire with us. We just wanted to come out and give them our all, and we did.”
In Game 1, Kings Park came out as hot and inspired as a team could.
The first eight points went in the favor of the Lady Kingsmen. Even when Eastport-South Manor was able to break up the rally, Kings Park went right back to work as they outscored the Sharks 12-to-5, en route to a 25-11 victory.
Game 2 was much similar to the first in outcome, but not necessarily how it got there. With the Lady Kingsmen leading 12-5, ESM would rattle off 6 of the next 7 points to put themselves right back into striking range at 13-11. However, the firepower of Kings Park was too much. They would score five consecutive points, and cruise from there to a 25-15 win in Game 2, capped by two superb serves from Amanda Gannon.
“We came out very, very strong,” says third-year Head Coach Liz Manly. “A little adversity was good for us sometimes because we haven’t had that yet this season. Eastport did a nice job of adjusting their defense and sticking with us, but overall I’m proud of the way the girls played.”
That adversity came during Game 3.
For the first time this season, Kings Park fell in a single game. Eastport-South Manor’s change in defense and execution on offense was able to hold off a late surge to claim Game 3 and cut the lead to two games to one.
Goldstein talks about the defensive audible Eastport made in Game 3, “they started to see where we were hitting, so they started putting up more blocks, which was messing with us a little bit. Towards the end we started to see that and hit the ball where they weren’t. We were trying to place it, and that’s how we won it in the last game.”
Game 4 was no walk in the park for Kings Park though. A newly reinvigorated Eastport squad would take the court and go blow for blow with the Lady Kingsmen. With the score knotted at seven, Kings Park went on a six-point streak, only to see that lead cut in half when the Sharks reestablished possession.
In the final game it was the defense and serving that proved to be the difference for Kings Park.
“We serve so tough, and the girls on the team like Athena [Rine] and Amber [Walters] serve so strong and that’s one of our strengths,” says Goldstein. “We try to keep it away from their setter, and I think that helps us in the long run.”
With Kings Park clinging to a 21-20 lead, the Lady Kingsmen earned the serve to make it a two-point then rallied off two more points to get themselves to match point. However, the Sharks had no quit in them and got within two, before eventually falling at 25-22, dropping the match in four games.
When asked what to expect out of her junior-dominated team, Coach Manly explained simply. “What’s great about this team right now is that all these girls have been in these pressure situations, they’ve been in the county final, they’ve been in the Long Island Championship, and they’ve been to states. So I think our experience from last year will really help us push through to get there again this year. They want it more than anything, to get back to the county championship.”
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