BY DAVID RUSSELL
The Queensborough Lady Tigers are looking to repeat at CUNY champions after the volleyball team dominated Kingsborough in the title match in 2015.
“This is the deepest and most experienced team I’ve had in a long time,” said head coach Jason Demas. “We have six girls who can get double-digit kills on any night. That’s more than any team I’ve ever had.”
Joining the team are three talented freshmen: Paige Hughes from Long Island, Joelle Desrosiers from Francis Lewis High School, and Melissa Dominguez from Staten Island. “The freshmen didn’t need to be taught that much,” Demas said. “There were no growing pains. From day one they knew what they had to do.”
There are six returning players, so this is a golden chance to make a deep run in the Region XV playoffs in addition to the CUNY playoffs. Zuri Williams, a middle hitter who was one of the key members of the 2015 championship match, is back for her second season. Other returners include Kiara Reyes, Kiara Lugo, Mballou Berete, Carmen Clavijo and Brittany McNally. “We have a good chance to do some special stuff this year,” Demas said. “I know this is my window. We just have to make sure we come together. The girls just have to get used to playing with each other. That’s the hardest thing in any community college sport.”
While the team chemistry builds, the coach is happy to have the players that he has. “We’re very balanced.” Demas said. “That’s what makes us so good. You can’t lock onto one player.”
Queensborough was nationally ranked in the preseason and was number one in the Region XV preseason rankings. The Lady Tigers played well in their scrimmages. The team beat New Rochelle, John Jay and Baruch. There was a close loss to Queens College, a Division II team, and a loss to highly ranked Mount St. Vincent.
The Lady Tigers registered an impressive 25-14, 25-17, 25-8 win over Nassau last Thursday. “We’ve looked like a well-oiled machine in the first couple of weeks,” Demas said.
Now Queensborough hopes that carries over into the conference matches.