Less than an hour earlier, Amanda Glodowski’s teammates were singing her praises as part of Fontbonne Hall’s Senior Day festivities. But in the huddle, after the Bonnies dropped their first league set since the season opener, coach Linda Strong called out her 6-foot-1 middle hitter.
“C’mon, it’s Senior Day,” Strong recalled telling Glodowski. “This is your last home game. Put that ball down.”
Glodowski responded. She had five of her eight kills in the fourth set and a huge block late that forced an Archbishop Molloy timeout to lead Fontbonne to a 25-14, 25-23, 17-25, 25-20 win last Friday in CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Division I girls volleyball in Bay Ridge. Glodowski had four blocks in the match.
“It hit me,” she said of Strong’s speech. “This is the last time I’m gonna play in my house.”
The coach couldn’t have been more proud of Glodowski, who never touched a volleyball before coming to Fontbonne.
“I said, ‘Tall girl, you’re on the team,’” Strong said with a laugh. “I didn’t even know her name.”
Glodowski has made a name for herself this year and last. Fontbonne (5-1) has, too. This victory solidifies them as the No. 2 in CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens behind St. Francis Prep, the team the Bonnies lost to in that season opener.
But walking away with a happy ending on Senior Day was up in the air in that third set. Molloy sophomore Madeline Casello went on a 9-0 service run that turned a 13-all tie into a 22-13 Stanners advantage. Molloy (3-3) would cruise the rest of the way in that set and had all the momentum.
Fontbonne, though, responded impressively after that, leading the fourth set just about the entire way. Molloy got within 20-18 on a 3-0 service run by Casello, but the Stanners made two straight errors and Glodowski put down a devastating block to make it 23-18. She added a kill after a timeout that gave the Bonnies match point.
“She definitely showed what she’s made of,” junior middle Lauren Ganun said of Glodowski.
Ganun, who is rounding into one of the best players in the division, was her consistent self at the net and serving. She had 11 kills and nine aces. Mary Kate Nestor, who is more known for her superb serving than her attacks, had 11 kills and Katie Lang had 38 assists. Libero Victoria Starace had 17 digs, Siobhan Sammon had eight kills and six digs and the only other senior, Brianna Johnston, had eight digs, four kills and three aces.
Those dig numbers are telling. If Molloy didn’t get a strong swing, the ball just wasn’t going down. Fontbonne picked it all up. That was the key to last year’s run to the CHSAA Brookyn/Queens title match, too. The Bonnies were the first Brooklyn team to get there since 2001.
“We work on our defense every day,” Strong said. “If their defense is really, really good, then I let them hit.”
Strong said she felt after the first set that Friday would just be Fontbonne’s day. Instead, the Bonnies showed their mettle by coming back after losing a set. It’s something they couldn’t do against St. Francis Prep two weeks ago.
“I thought we picked ourselves up off the floor well,” Glodowski said.
And she certainly put the ball on the floor in the fourth set.