Coming off a 13-win season and a trip to the Nassau Class AA girls’ volleyball playoffs, Freeport set a lofty goal this fall and is more than halfway to accomplishing it after sweeping Malverne on Monday evening, 25-14, 27-25, 25-17 to stay perfect atop Conference AA/B3.
The Red Devils, led by seniors Talia Gunter (24 kills, 5 blocks) and Tayla Baskin (22 kills, 5 service aces), improved to 9-0 and hold a two-match advantage over Malverne and Valley Stream Central with seven matches remaining.
“I want nothing more than to see these girls go 16-0 in the conference and put a banner on the wall, especially for the seniors,” said coach Lolita Beathea, who returned for a second stint leading the program. “We’re not afraid to talk about it, but we’re taking it one match at a time,” she added. “Tonight was one of our biggest challenges along with Valley Stream Central. Malverne battled and I’m expecting another tough match when we go to their gym in a few weeks.”
Malverne, which has 10 seniors, was led by libero Kristina Gray, Sarah Boubert and Xiang Chin. “We had too many missed serves against a good team and their middle hitters as well as their above-average serves created challenges for our defense,” Malverne coach Danish Nadeem said.
Gunter is a powerful right-handed hitter, while Baskin swings left-handed. Baskin served for 12 straight points in the opening set as Freeport set the tone for the night. However, the Mules responded in a back-and-forth second set and rallied from a 19-14 deficit after an incredible dig by Baskin using the tip of her toes to lead 25-24 before the Red Devils, with sophomore Khamiya Hudson serving, scored the final three points to win it.