One of the more phenomenal statistics surrounding the Bronx Science girls volleyball team — or unsettling, if you happen to be a Wolverines’ opponent — is this: The Wolverines have not lost a single set so far this season.
OK, it’s just been two games. So maybe that doesn’t quite blow you away. But a quick perusal of last year’s schedule reveals the Wolverines posted a perfect regular season by going 12-0 without losing a single set. Pretty heady stuff, no?
But wait, there’s more.
As a matter of fact, it has been quite some time since the Wolverines last lost a set in the regular season. And while no one can point to the specific date, head coach Dan Skilins can help put a more definitive timeframe on it.
“We haven’t dropped a set since I’ve been coach here,” Skilins said. “And this is my seventh year.”
So with 12 regular-season games a year, and Skilins having already completed six full seasons, figure the Wolverines came into the season toting a 72-game, regular-season streak without losing a set. There’s a word for that. It’s called “domination.”
But after a season-opening, straight-set victory over Mott Haven, Bronx Science extended its streak to 74 straight when the Wolverines knocked off Clinton 25-9, 25-12 to open the season undefeated.
It comes as no surprise the Wolverines are up to their usual antics again this year. But this is a season that comes with high hopes for an elusive city championship as every player from last year’s team returns this season. A true rarity.
“I still think we have a long way to go, and I think we still have a lot of improvement in our future,” said senior co-captain Amanda Maeglin. “We’re so driven. This can be a big year for us.”
One other element — other than Science’s awesome track record — that might give opponents palpitations this season is the fact this may just be the deepest Science team in memory. Everyone is ready — and expected — to contribute this season.
“We have a lot of confidence in each other,” said Darya Lollos, the Wolverines’ other co-captain. “We know we have the capability to be our best selves.”
The Wolverines’ deep talent pool was on display last week when Science made quick work of Clinton. They opened the first set with a flurry, jumping to a 10-3 lead, then extended it to 20-6 before cruising to the 25-9 victory.
The second set was a carbon copy of the first as Science built a 15-8 lead midway through the set before hitting cruise control and outscoring Clinton 10-4 down the stretch.
And just as Maeglin and Lollos pointed out, contributions came from everywhere.
Maeglin finished with four aces and two service points. Lollos logged four aces, six service points and four kills. Lollos’ sister, junior Anya Lollos, registered four kills.
Grace Lorch chipped in four assists while Jasmine Posner and Melanie Chuu had four service points apiece. Samantha Ho posted four digs.
“We have a pretty solid roster of 17 people,” Maeglin said, “and I’d trust all of them to go out on the court and play well.”
Skilins thinks the driving force for his team this season will be his senior co-captains, and his team’s desire to send them off as possible champions.
“We try to push ‘let’s win it for them,’” Skilins said. “You’re not going to find better captains. These two, they can do it all. They can run a practice, they can run the whole show. Their big thing is they’re emphasizing energy, teamwork, commitment and honesty. I really love the way they’ve been working on team chemistry and team building.”
Knowing their final season is at hand, Lollos and Maeglin want to make the most of every time they step on the court.
“This is the last year that we’re going to be playing volleyball, and the last year that we’re going to be seeing everybody on this team,” Lollos said. “So we have to appreciate every game, and just play as hard as we can.”
Lollos, Maeglin and the Wolverines will look to continue “the streak” Oct. 3 when they face off with Roosevelt. Another opportunity for Science to flex its muscle and march toward what it hopes will be a magical ending to its season.
“The goal is to continue our winning streak,” Maeglin said. “We’d hate to be the captains that stopped that. Obviously we want to make it to the finals this year, but we’re taking it one game at a time.
“We have the skills, the drive and the energy. But we’re focused on one game at a time.”