The Flatbush Falcons and Magen David Warriors faced off on the volleyball court Tuesday night (3/27), and the two rivals needed the maximum five sets to decide a winner, with the visiting Warriors coming from behind and pulling away late to win the epic match by a score of 3-2 at the Aux Nest in Brooklyn, NY.
In the opening set, Flatbush jumped out quickly and took a 6-2 lead behind sharp serving from Sonny Cayre and a compliment of Ohad Reichman digs. Hustle from Sophomore floor general Ricky Sasson and strong net play from Senior captain Sammy Burekhovich soon let Flatbush build a 9-3 lead. A possession change was secured by a power spike from Jack Mishaan, giving Flatbush a 10-4 lead and prompting a Warriors timeout. A mini Magen run closed to 14-8, but a serve in the net gave the ball back to Flatbush. A Sasson set to Burekhovich for a spike made the score 18-10. Burekhovich served the Falcons home for a 21-14 opening set win.
In set number two, a Sasson dink gave Flatbush an early 4-3 lead. But, unforced errors by the Falcons let Magen take an 8-6 lead. The Warriors built some momentum, and extended the lead to 13-7, forcing a Flatbush time out. It took three more points before a Mishaan spike took control back for the Falcons, but by then they trailed 16-8. Sasson served Flatbush back to 16-11, before miscommunication let an easy ball drop. Flatbush closed to 19-14, but that was it. Magen took set number two, 21-14, evening the match at one game apiece.
A power spike from Burekhovich and a sweet dig return from Sasson pulled Flatbush even at 2-2 early in set number three. But, the Warriors soon jumped out to a 5-3 lead. Trailing 7-4, Coaches Charles Harary and Abie Silvers took a proactive step, calling an early timeout to refocus their Falcons. It paid quick dividends, as the Falcons took the serve back. But it was short lived, and soon it was 9-5 Magen. The unforced errors continued, and soon Magen had a 10-point lead. At that point, the wheels came completely off, and Magen cruised to a 21-7 win, and a 2-1 set advantage.
Needing a win to extend the match, Flatbush came out with the intesity and focus they showed in the opening set, and took a quick 6-1 lead on solid Cayre serving and a big Burekhovich spike. A huge Mishaan dig return of a power spike lifted Flatbush to an 8-3 lead, and brought the fans in the crowd to their feet!
The Falcons extended to 13-7 before ceding the serve on a misplayed ball. And shortly, Magen closed to 14-12. In no time, it got closer as the Warriors kept the pressure on, making it a 17-16 ballgame. A Burekhovich spike got it back to a two point lead, but Magen took the serve right back. Burekhovich came up with another spike for a 19-17 Falcons lead. Burekhovich served the falcons to the brink, but the next play went for a Magen point. Then, at 19-20, Magen served a serve that never left the servers hand, forfeiting the point. Flatbush took the 21-19 win, and the match was headed to a fifth and deciding set.
Another Sasson well-placed dink got Flatbush on the board, and another Sasson set for a Burekhovich spike made it a 2-2 game. In no time, though, Magen turned a 2-point deficit into a 4-point advantage at 9-5, before putting the ball in the net and giving the serve back to Flatbush. Trailing by two, Sasson came up with a dig of a Spike, but the point ended up on Magen’s side, lifting them to an 11-8 lead, and a change of sides. Magen added three more points before serving into the net, but Flatbush could not hold the serve. Soon, it was 17-9, Warriors, and Flatbush called a needed timeout in the hopes of swinging the momentum back in their favor. It did not work. Magen scored again out of the timeout. It was only a matter of time. Flatbush continued to battle, with Burekhovich driving the ball down for a big point. But the hole was too great to climb out of. Magen closed out the set, 21-15, and the match, 3-2.
Afterwards, though clearly disappointed, the Flatbush coaches stressed the positives. “Though we fell short of the goal, we really saw some strong plays from the boys. We know we have the skills. we now need to make sure we keep up the confidence as the game progresses.” opined Coach Silvers. Coach Harary echoed the sentiment. “We are right there, and there is a lot of volleyball left to play. This team is coming together, and I am confident that when it comes down to it, we will challenge for the League championship!”
NEST NOTES: The loss evens the Falcons record at 1-1 on the young season. The team now will take time off for the Pesach holiday. They will look to get back on the winning track when they next take the court on Thursday, April 12, when they host the Frisch Cougars. Game time at the Aux Nest is 8:00 pm.