BY DAVID RUSSELL
When the Queensborough CC women’s volleyball team won the CUNY title on Monday in straight sets over BMCC, it was different from the previous school titles.
“There was a lot more pressure on us to perform because we were undefeated,” said head coach Jason Demas.
BMCC almost came back to win the first set but the Lady Tigers won 25-23 and didn’t look back, winning the next two sets. “BMCC played the best they’ve played against us,” Demas said. “We were not expecting that even though I kept telling them. It got me nervous but we settled down after the first set.”
Queensborough has its eyes on the Region XV title. They are three wins away from going to nationals. The Lady Tigers are the favorites, having an undefeated record in the region. “Everything has fallen into place,” said Demas, who was named Coach of the Year. “I never imagined us having an undefeated year.”
Queensborough’s only loss was to Division I Monroe. In fact, the Lady Tigers have only lost two sets in regional play all season. One was to Suffolk and one to Rockland. After Rockland took the first set, Queensborough won the second set 25-3. “That was a defining moment of showing we could overcome a little adversity when we get angry and motivated,” Demas said.
It’s been a team effort for the Lady Tigers. Middle hitter Zuri Williams was named Region XV Player of the Year. Setter Kiara Reyes was named All Region 2nd team, as was outside hitter Paige Hughes. Libero/setter Brittany McNally was All Region Honorable Mention. Middle hitter Joelle Desrosiers was named CUNYAC Rookie of the Week and has stepped up for QCC. “I thought she would pick a position and be a role player but she’s really stepped up,” Demas said.
And 2013 title team member Carmen Clavijo returned to help the Lady Tigers win another CUNY title. “I knew she was good but I didn’t know how good she would be,” Demas said of the outside hitter.
The head coach realized going undefeated could lead to a little overconfidence, but isn’t too worried about it. “I tell them, ‘Don’t let us beat us.’ We do what we’re supposed to do and we should be fine,” Demas said.