Today’s news:

Fontbonne Hall Bonnies lose to Archbishop Molloy

Sandy-ravaged volleyball squad spikes storm depression

Brooklyn Daily

Fontbonne Hall’s volleyball team may have lost its semifinal match, but to the Hurricane Sandy-scarred squad where 10 out of 11 players were left homeless for weeks, playing was more important than winning.

Despite the hardships they were facing, the Bay Ridge high schoolers said they wanted to play as a way to get back to normal.

“Coming back out and seeing your teammates, playing like we have before, cheering each other up, smiling, laughing, we haven’t done that in awhile,” said junior Casey McDade, whose house burned down when a fire sparked by Hurricane Sandy ripped through Breezy Point. “It’s great to come together again.”

There were tears during the squad’s post game meeting following a, 25–15, 25–21, and 25–20 loss to Archbishop Molloy at St. Francis Prep on Thursday night.

Coach Linda Strong, who also lost her home in the Breezy Point fire, told her team how proud she was of them for just being out there.

“We wanted to play for each other,” junior co-captain Kristen Sullivan said.

The Blue Devil’s courage wasn’t lost on the team’s opponents either — it only raised Molloy’s admiration for the squad.

“Our hearts go out to them,” said Molloy’s Emily Rabot. “I know it’s really hard. We give them props for coming out here tonight.”

The Blue Devils played to bring back some normalcy to players lives — but this wasn’t the same squad that lost to Molloy in five sets in all three regular season matches.

Strong said she the team just went through the motions and lacked a killer instinct, but she didn’t want to shout at them because she knew what they were going through.

“I didn’t want them to feel bad about their performance,” the coach said. “I don’t think I could have gotten out on the volleyball court and played half as well as they did.”

Even in the darkest moments, players say they are amazed at the generosity that surrounds them. Fontbonne Hall has put together drives for essential household items and gave each of them new school supplies. McDade said teachers and students approach her all the time and ask her what she needs.

“People are coming up to me and giving me money,” she said. “Everyone wants to be such a big help. I feel like I don’t have nothing anymore.”

Strong, who recently found an apartment in Bay Ridge, said she and the players have been living a nomadic existence since the storm, as they bed at different friends or family members.

Junior Daisy Trustumm couldn’t make it to the game because she is living in Connecticut. Also, eight members of the school’s first-place junior varsity team were also affected, adding to an already difficult situation.

“It’s really, really tough on these kids,” Strong said. “They are too young to have to experience this. It’s horrible.”

Many of the players have been back to Breezy Point and what’s left of their homes. Sullivan called it “pure devastation”: in some sections there’s nothing but burnt house and houses collapsed inside of others.

It didn’t feel like home, but doesn’t mean it won’t be home again in time, McDade explained.

“My family is very determined to rebuild our house were it was,” McDade said. “But it’s gong to take awhile.”

Reach reporter Joseph Staszewski at jstaszewski@cnglocal.com. Follow him on twitter @cng_staszewski.

Pin It
Print this story

Reader Feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynDaily.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynDaily.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

CNG: Community Newspaper Group