Fast forward to 2008 and Kennedy once again finds itself with a perfect record, most recently, on Thursday, May 1, dominating the co-ed Alfred E. Smith team, 25-6 and 25-9, to once again complete the season with a 10-0 record, and what coach Iris Bromfield hopes is a much longer playoff run ahead.
“Last year, I had an amazing team,” Bromfield said, noting that many believed Kennedy would repeat their 2006 championship win. “I don’t know what happened. They just folded once they got into the playoffs.”
It was that loss, Bromfield believes, that put them back on a winning track. “We regrouped,” she said, noting that only two starters from last year returned for the 2008 season. “I recruited a player from the basketball team and I have one from the soccer team – we also have volleyball classes and I chose students there. They got together and played volleyball all summer on a club team. They are doing very well.”
Similar to the rookie team that made up the girls’ varsity squad earlier in the fall, the boys’ team actually learned from their female counterparts, coming together as a family in order to work as a team.
“We were a different team last year,” said Christopher Valverde, a returning senior, who picked up 7 aces, 12 serving points and 7 kills against Smith. “We had some difficulties inside the team; we were not a strong unit,” he continued.
“We’re a family now,” continued Aruni Piantini, another returning senior, who picked up 7 aces, 10 service points, and 20 assists during their latest win. “I think the year before, since we had won a championship already, we thought it would be easy,” he continued. “Now, we are together. We learn from our mistakes and practice each day to get our skill levels up.”
And it shows. Kennedy has dominated everyone in their path during the season, not giving up one set to their opponents, and only losing close match ups in non-league tournaments to Cardozo and Grover Cleveland; losses that show Bromfield a lot of promise as playoffs get set to begin.
“We’re learning with each game,” Bromfield said. “Those losses will prepare us for the playoffs. The next time we meet, it could be an entirely different story.”
Seeding for the upcoming volleyball championship are not expected to be released until Wednesday, May 7, at the earliest.
©2008 Community News Group