By Bill Landon
When you think of girls’ volleyball, you think Kings Park.
The Kingsmen have been a powerhouse for years, and despite losing strong seniors each year, the team continues its winning ways. In the still early season, Kings Park has managed to sweep all five of its opponents leading up to the Sept. 19 matchup against Comsewogue, which was no different.
The Kingsmen invaded Warrior territory, and although Comsewogue came close in the second set, the five-time Long Island champions prevailed, defeating their opponent 25-7, 25-17, 25-6.
Kings Park head coach Ed Manly was happy with the result the team put up despite its much different roster.
“We had a little bit of a different [mix] out there today, so that was an adjustment for our girls,” Manly said. “If you haven’t seen us play before, you wouldn’t know we’ve had a serious adjustment to our lineup.”
Sophomore Carly Esterson set the tone early with an unbroken service rally that put Kings Park out front 11-1. It was the setter’s first varsity start, but you wouldn’t know it, as she settled in scoring point after point.
“I don’t really play much, but we were together mentally on the floor,” Esterson said. “We had good communication.”
Comsewogue struggled at the net — having a hard time finding a rhythm — as Kings Park demonstrated why they’ve gone to the New York State quarterfinals four out of the last five years.
Momentum shifted in the next, as Comsewogue closed within three points midway through the second set, trailing 17-14. It would be as close as the team would come though, as Kings Park slammed the door, taking the set 25-17.
Manly pushed deep into his roster throughout the game, and each player on the team saw action.
“Everyone from the first kid on the floor to the last kid on the bench got after it tonight,” he said. “They played hard, they were loud and vocal, so there’s a real sense of family on the court. They feed off of that.”
The Kingsmen turned up the heat in the third set, jumping out to a 13-3 advantage, forcing Comsewogue to call a time out. Looking for the first win of the season, Comsewogue head coach Kevin Parker did not doubt Kings Parks’ power.
“We knew Kings Park was going to be good — we know their reputation,” Parker said. “But our girls have been putting in a lot of work this year. We’re building, and the hope is to turn this program around.”
Senior outside hitter Lauren Kloos said her teams’ preparation was no different from any other game, and Kings Park put the matter to bed, and dominated the final set, claiming a 25-6 set to sweep the match.
“We faced Comsewogue like we prepare for any [team],” she said. “We put in our practice and we get ready. Our sophomore setter [Carly Esterson] — the way she stepped up — she completely killed it, so to be able to communicate and adapt to a new setter on the court, we did it really well. I don’t think we could’ve done it any better.”