Kennedy continues to roll on the boys’ volleyball court, barely experiencing even hiccups on the way to a 14-0 mark (13-0 in Conference III) entering the last week of the regular season. In fact, the Cougars sweep of Jericho on Oct. 17 (25-9, 25-7, 25-15) was its 37th consecutive match victory overall dating back to 2011 and the seventh in a row without so much as a defeat in a single set.
Kennedy has won four of the last five Nassau County championships, as well as last season’s New York State Division title—the first ever for any Long-Island based program.
“The guys have passed on the traditions and their passion for the game,” coach Dennis Ringel said of how the program’s run of success continues to grow. “My first goal is to pass on my love of the sport, and our players are passing their love of the game on to one and other. People get the bug for this game.”
Senior Gary Anderson piled up 17 assists and 11 kills in the most recent win and has built up quite a storied resume as a member of the program. Already a two-time All-County honoree, Anderson also took home the New York State Division II postseason Most Valuable Player award during the run to the state title. “His biggest strength is his ability to make every other player on the court better,” Ringel said of his top setter. “He’s also a phenomenal hitter and leads the team in blocks.”
The biggest scare to the Cougars lengthy winning streak came in a battle with Lindenhurst on Sept. 26. After losing the first two sets, Kennedy stormed back behind Anderson’s lead and has not lost a single set since. He finished with 20 kills, 30 assists and five blocks in the non-conference thriller. Setting alongside Anderson in the team’s 6-2 alignment is senior Andrew Sheehan, and he’s also greatly improved his hitting.
“Not only is he setting well, he’s hitting well,” Ringel said. “He’s a great example of a kid dedicating himself out of season and has turned the corner.”
The setters aren’t taking aim at a tall group of hitters at the net, but the group is quick and consistently poses matchup problems. Six-foot junior Evan Golodner, a lefty, has improved his game on a weekly basis taking big steps forward in his timing and velocity on returns, while classmate Dan Jeong has played well at middle hitter despite it not being his natural position. On the outside, seniors Rick Calia and Justin Ganca have seen time opposite senior Justin Feigeles. A dynamic outside hitter, Feigeles is just 5-11 but puts his vertical leap to good use on the corner. Frankie Galiano, a junior, is in his first season as the libero after being brought up last season and may have turned in his best performance to date last Thursday with a number of big defensive plays and contributions with service aces.
“Not only are they a good volleyball team, they’re a coach’s dream,” Ringel said.