Kennedy takes third place

Kennedy senior Arturo Cabrera tries to his past two blockers. Photo by Damion Reid/Five Boro Sports

It wasn’t just that John F. Kennedy was playing in the consolation match that bothered Arturo Cabrera. The Knights’ senior outside hitter looked into the gym as defending champion and No. 1 Cardozo and No. 7 McKee/Staten Island Tech – the championship participants – were warming up and shook his head.

“I feel like we were the team that could have beat Cardozo,” Cabrera said.

Instead, Kennedy was the team that finished in third place. No. 3 JFK defeated No. 12 Brooklyn Tech, 25-15, 22-25, 25-17, on Thursday night at Hunter College in Manhattan. Coach Iris Bromfield said the consolation prize was “better than nothing.”

“You’re still finishing your year on a win,” she said. “It’s a positive note, be it in the city championship or the third-place game.”

Added Cabrera: “It’s something.”

Bromfield and the Kennedy players stayed around after to see Cardozo beat McKee/Staten Island Tech, 17-25, 25-21, 25-18, in a hard-fought final. Of course, the Knights’ thinking was, “what-if?” JFK fell to MSIT on Tuesday night in the semis.

Senior outside Ross Vizcaino had 16 kills and 10 blocks, Cabrera had 14 kills and 11 digs, senior middle Joel Gomez had eight blocks and sophomore setter Hansel Collado had 28 assists to lead Kennedy (13-2). The Knights rebounded from a loss to Walton, their first league defeat since 2001, to beat the Wildcats twice more and then make it all the way to the semifinals.

Brooklyn Tech (15-2) really had nothing to be upset about either. The Engineers were given the No. 12 seed and essentially written off, but they battled all the way to the semifinals, where they lost to Cardozo on Tuesday.

“I’m a proud parent right now,” coach Noreen Begley said.

Junior outside hitter Jonah Park continued his incredible playoff run with 11 kills, nine digs and four aces, junior middle O’Shane McRae had seven kills, junior middle Max Laskowski had six kills and three blocks, junior outside Brian Ryu had six kills and junior setter Adrian Liang had 29 assists for Brooklyn Tech.

That’s a lot of juniors, meaning the Engineers should be one of the teams to beat in the PSAL next season. Begley is expecting just that.

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