GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP -- Girls volleyball may be a relatively new sport in our region, but that doesn't mean you can't happen upon a high-powered matchup in the sport in the area ... it just takes a little research.
Take Tuesday afternoon's Absegami-Williamstown game, for instance. Before the first ball was served, Absegami was 5-0 while Williamstown was 8-1. If that's not must-see high school sports, I'm not sure what qualifies as such.
But, hey, that's fine ... sometimes it takes a few months (or years) for a sport to catch on at the scholastic level around here. Think of how vital boys and girls soccer is now, and lacrosse is making a play to become a major regional player.
And if Absegami girls volleyball coach Kerry Flukey has any say in the matter, gyms will be packed with fans in just a few short years. As they say, if you build it they will come, and Flukey has a great team assembled at her school right now.
The Braves lost to Williamstown 2-0 on Tuesday (25-13 and 25-21), but the scoreline didn't indicate how close the match really was. In fact, I thought the Gami girls dominated the second set and were more than a bit unlucky to walk away as the losing side.
Gami's teamwork and athleticism was on full display, especially by senior Sarah Street. I coach 7th- and 8th-graders in local youth soccer, and if just one of them had the unwillingness to lose shown by Street then we'd be in much better shape.
That said, Flukey has this team playing like a well-oiled machine. I'm not so sure that they ran into a better school on Tuesday ... it was more like Williamstown was a team accustomed to winning. That kind of swagger, for lack of a better world, isn't there yet for the Braves.
But there's no doubt in my mind that it will come. I spoke with Street afterward about the camaraderie on the court, even when it seemed the Gami cause was well past trying to save. She told me that this team never quits, and that was evident in Tuesday's match.
One of my favorite sayings is that the eyes don't lie. In that regard, Gami is by far the best girls volleyball team among Cape-Atlantic League schools. How that translates on a statewide level is yet to be seen, but I have a hunch this Braves team can drive itself (by sheer willpower) on to great things.