The Flatbush Falcons closed out their home regular season on Monday night (5/7) looking to secure a playoff spot for the first time in school history, but after taking a 1-0 lead, the Falcons dropped three straight close sets to the visiting North Shore Stars, falling by a final tally of 3-1 at the Aux Nest in Brooklyn, NY.
Coming into the game, the two teams both sported 4-2 records, and sat in a three-way tie for 2nd Place in the MYHSAL (the other school at 4-2 is Ramaz). The winner would have a leg up, and be a virtual lock for the playoffs, as both Flatbush and North Shore already defeated Ramaz earlier in the season.
Flatbush jumped out to a quick early lead on a number of sweet Ricky Sasson to Sammy Burekhovich set-spikes. But NSHA came back to take a 7-5 lead. Jack Mishaan spikes and Jason Dayan serves took the lead back for Flatbush at 10-9. But, NSHA scored the next 5 straight points. Flatbush closed to 15-14, then tied it at 16-16. And, then took the lead on solid Sonny Cayre serving. A Burekhovich block made it a two point Falcons lead, and after a Sasson dink, the Stars called timeout, trailing by 3. A Sammy Vaysman dig and a placed ball by Sasson got Flatbush to the brink. And, a Burekhovich block closed out game one for Flatbush, 21-17.
North Shore swung the momentum immediately with 5 straight points to open the second game. And after yielding the serve at that point, took it right back on a strong block of a hard Burekhovich spike. Solid defense and more Burekhovich slams brought Flatbush even at 9-9, and two more Falcon points later, Flatbush had an 11-9 lead, and NSHA wanted time out. It was well spent, as the Stars won the next point, then took back the lead. Now, with NSHA up 13-11, it was Flatbush’s turn to call timeout. The teams traded points the rest of the way, which was not good for Flatbush. Down 20-18, the coaches subbed in Vaysman to serve, and he served a beauty. But, the Stars’ return just cleared the net, falling just out of reach of the closest Falcon. North Shore took game two, 21-18, and the match was even at one game apiece.
Game three saw Flatbush take an early 3-0 lead behind Mishaan serving and Reichman digs. Soon the Sasson-Burekhovich duo was at it again. Three straight set-spikes made it 7-1, Flatbush. But, North Shore was not going to go quietly. Three straight Stars points prompted a Flatbush timeout to regroup. It was well spent, as Flatbush took back control on another Burekhovich spike. But, two consecutive misshit serves and a pair of misplays let North Shore right back in the game, as it became tied at 11-11. In no time, it was soon a Stars lead at 14-12 leading to a Flatbush timeout. Once again, the teams traded points, and again it was not a good thing for Flatbush. The Falcons has six unforced service errors in the game, and they could not overcome it. North Shore won game three, 21-19 to take a 2 games to 1 advantage.
Game four started like game three, with Flatbush jumping out to an early 3-0 lead, but this time North Shore came right back to even the game at 3-3. Flatbush soon moved out to an 8-4 lead, but NSHA came right back to even the game again at 8-8. NSHA moved ahead for the first time in the game at 10-9, with Flatbush evening it up at 10-10. NSHA took its first two point lead at 14-12, and after a nice Mishaan redirection for a Flatbush point, extended the lead to three at 16-13, bringing the Falcons’ coaches to call a refocusing timeout. After what looked like an errant serve, the Stars were given a reprieve (the official ruled she had not blown her whistle marking the ball ready for play, and awarded the Stars a repaly), and they made it count. Flatbush got the serve back at 19-15, but a North Shore power spike took it back. On the next play, an errant Flatbush pass to the net actually set up the other team. A North Shore hitter took the freebie and knocked it down for the decisive point, closing out the game at 21-15, and sealing the 3 sets to 1 victory.
It was a very frustrating loss. “We talk about making positive plays all the time,” an exasperated Coach Abie Silvers lamented afterwards. We made some great plays tonight, but we committed too many unforced errors. I talsk with the boys about making sure to put the ball in play on our serves, and not doing that clearly cost us game two. And, though we really got great play at the net from Ricky and Burk all night, we had too many passes at the net that actually set up the other team.” Nevertheless, the coaches were still confident that good things are in store for these Falcons. “We will clean it up,” shared Coach Charles Harary. “We have one more game, and if we play like I know we can, we will make the playoffs. Then, it will be our time!”
NEST NOTES: The Falcons have one more game left to play in the regular season. They travel to SAR on Thursday, May 10, where they will take on the Sting (presently they are 2-4, and are playing Ramaz tonight). A will will secure one of the top six spots in the League, and a playoff berth. Game time in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, NY is set for 7:30 pm.