The first-year Commodores coach used to run the team at Bowne, and essentially, she had both coached - and coached against - most of the players on the court.At the end of the day, Palotti's Bayside squad won, 25-9, 25-15, on a dominant performance by its athletic front line."Individually, they've got great skills," Palotti said. "They mesh well and they're used to each other."Mervin Tekie (5 kills, 2 blocks) led four Commodore hitters in out-hitting Bowne, 10-5, and in the deciding set, Michael Tomashoff landed 5 aces during a 10-point service run that gave Bayside (4-1) a 21-8 lead."He was giving us some hard serves, and for some reason we couldn't stop them," said Bowne junior Jeffry Tobon, who led the Wildcats with 4 kills and 4 digs.Bayside's one loss this season came at the hands of Cardozo last Friday on its home court. It was the same day that Bowne (1-4) recorded its first win in four years, a two-set victory over Francis Lewis. "At practice we work so hard to improve," Tobon said. "We're playing way better than we were, and we've got a lot of good players."Cardozo 25-25, Francis Lewis 11-6. For most boys volleyball teams, the graduation of a few important seniors and a season-ending injury to a 6-foot-4 starting blocker would throw a wet towel over the season. But Cardozo is not like most teams."We've been able to make adjustments on the fly," coach Danny Scarola said. "Even with the losses, we're a much faster team than last year. We pick up a lot of balls that we didn't pick up last year."A pair of senior outside hitters, captains Jeong In Lee and Peter Jung, have helped the Judges (5-0) remain dominant despite the torn ACL and torn meniscus which their 6-foot-4 middle hitter Adrian Concepcion, suffered a few weeks ago. Lee landed 8 kills and Jung had 7 during the Judges' win over Francis Lewis Monday at Bayside.Lee led Cardozo's offense last year, too, but did it quietly. And Jung has already surpassed last year's offensive stats from the entire season. "(Lee) isn't just hitting. He's calling plays and he's playing well defensively this year," Scarola said, "and (Jung) is more than just a contributor now."Setter Jin Tae Kim had 12 assists and Daniel Kim scored a game-high 9 service points, with 3 aces for Cardozo."We're more unified than we were last year," Lee said, speaking in Korean while teammate Jung translated.Added Jung, "At tournaments, we used to say, 'Wow, look at that team,' Now, we consider ourselves equals."James Ha had 3 kills and a game-best 5 digs for Francis Lewis (2-2), whose lineup features just two returning players and many first-year players. "We're playing a complex rotation and it's working out nicely," Francis Lewis coach Lou Volpato said. "We pretty much have our lineup, but we're always open to growth."Reach contributing writer Christine Sampson by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.
©2005 Community News Group
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