Tags Posts tagged with "Girls Volleyball"

Girls Volleyball

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Centereach senior co-captain Stephanie Gatto led her team with 10 kills and seven blocks, senior Natalie Walsh killed eight with six blocks, and sophomore Erin Lema had three blocks and seven kills to sweep the visiting Wolverines 25-18, 25-12 and 25-21 Sept. 27.

Centereach Cougars girls volleyball remains undefeated in League III at 5-0, 8-1 overall, where they’ve allowed their play to go beyond three sets only twice this season. Centereach sits atop the League III leaderboard one game ahead of Smithtown West and will retake the court on the road against Hills East Oct. 3. First serve is 4 p.m.

The loss drops Newfield Wolverines to 3-3, and they are also back in action Oct. 3 when they host the Bulls of Smithtown West. Game time is 5:30 p.m.

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The Commack girls varsity volleyball team was proud to defend its title as Suffolk County’s Class AA champions Nov. 8. The Cougars tore apart Connetquot, 3-0, at county finals held at Suffolk County Community College’s Brentwood campus.

This is the second straight year that the Cougars have gone undefeated in Suffolk with an overall record of 13-0.  The Commack girls volleyball team competed against Long Beach vying for the Long Island Championship title Nov. 11 and came up short 2-3.

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Kings Park varsity girls volleyball showed its dominance on the court defeating No. 2-ranked Westhampton, 3-1, Nov. 8 to bring home the Suffolk County Class A championship title.

The Lady Kingsmen finished their regular 2018 season with a 10-2 record, earning them the No. 5 seed as they entered the season playoff.  Kings Park came in the underdog taking down Islip, before claiming victory over No.1-ranked East Hampton in the semi-finals Nov. 5 in order to advance to the county finals.

Kings Park came up short against Wantagh, 3-2, in the Long Island Championship match held Nov. 11 at Farmingdale State College.

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Kings Park girls volleyball defeated visiting Hauppauge in four sets, 3-1, Oct. 22.

The win improved the Lady Kingsmen’s record to 9-2, putting them in second place in League V with one game remaining in regular season play.

Kings Park will hit the road to play Harborfields Oct. 25 at 5:45 p.m. in their last 2018 league match.

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By Bill Landon

The Miller Place Panthers girls volleyball team defeated the Shoreham-Wading River Wildcats Oct. 11 at home three sets to two, though everyone involved was a winner that day. The game was part of the annual Dig Pink initiative held during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October in which the teams partner with the Sideout Foundation to to raise money to benefit the North Shore Neighbors Breast Cancer Coalition, a local nonprofit dedicated to helping families with someone battling the disease.

 

Harborfields varsity girls volleyball dug deep but fell 3-0 to the visiting Eastport-South Manor Sharks Oct. 1. The loss dropped the Tornadoes to an even 3-3 in league competition this season. Harborfields will host Islip at home Oct. 4 at 4 p.m. before holding a tournament Oct. 6.

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We are all proud of our children. It’s part of the perks of becoming a parent. We beam when they can walk, we celebrate what they say. We applaud their gold stars on their homework sheets, positive comments from their teachers, and their contributions to transformative musical performances that echo long in our minds.

Recently, I attended one of my daughter’s volleyball matches. She is on a new team and I didn’t know most of the other players. As soon as the first set started, it was clear that two of the girls were the leaders, covering tremendous ground to get to a ball, setting the ball from impossible distances to the net, and flying high in the air to spike a ball onto an open spot on the floor.

These two girls were inspiring their teammates with their play, even as they seemed to demand more from themselves with each set.

During the downtime between sets, parents came over to share congratulations, to offer apple slices, and to step away from the loud gym where other girls and their parents were screaming at and applauding each point.

Recognizing this will be a long season and that we’re in this together, I started chatting with several of the other parents, especially when all the children dove headlong into their cellphones during their downtime.

“My daughter is No. 7,” said a beaming woman whose daughter was about 4 inches taller than she was.

“Great,” I nodded appreciatively. “How long did it take you to drive here?”

The conversations were fairly mundane until one of the fathers of the two stronger players shared a plug to charge his iPhone.

“Your daughter is a great player,” I acknowledged.

“Thanks,” he said with a smile. “She’s a survivor.”

“Excuse me?” I asked.

“Yes, she had cancer when she was 1 year old. The pediatrician was doing a routine exam and found something. We sent her for tests and, sure enough, she had cancer.”

“Wow,” I said, stunned that the conversation wasn’t about the weather, if a ball was in or out in the last set, or what we should all do for dinner if we had to stay much longer.

“We went to a bunch of doctors and, finally, we decided to have surgery. Good thing we did, because it was malignant,” he offered.

She probably doesn’t remember it, I thought, because she was too young.

“She actually got cancer again when she was 6, and had to have surgery and chemo when they found out it was malignant again,” he said.

“She’s recovered well,” I admired.

She isn’t particularly tall, but she flies around the court, setting the ball from almost any angle without ever seeming to tire.

“Oh, yeah, well, she goes for testing regularly now, just to be sure,” he said.

She volunteers at a hospital where other children have cancer. She encourages other children and tells them that she knows how they feel. When they seem to doubt it, she shows them a copy of a picture in his wallet of his two daughters when they were 8 and 6. The older girl towers over the younger one, who is impossibly thin and bald.

Looking into this father’s face, I could see that he wasn’t only proud of the difficult journey his daughter had taken but he was inspired. So, too, as it turns out is someone else in the family.

“Yeah,” he said with a nod. “It’s why her older sister is now going to school to become a nurse.”

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Ward Melville's Victoria Tilley and Alex Stein grab a block at the net in the Patriots' 3-0 loss to Connetquot in the Suffolk County Class AA finals on Nov. 12. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

It was a battle of the undefeated teams, but Ward Melville fell short. The Patriots girls’ volleyball team was able to power past Smithtown East but had trouble doing it again, and fell to No. 1-ranked Connetquot, 27-25, 25-18, and 25-20, Thursday in the Suffolk County Class AA finals.

Ward Melville senior Alex Stein scores a kill shot in the Patriots' 3-0 loss to Connetquot in the Suffolk County Class AA finals on Nov. 12. Photo by Bill Landon
Ward Melville senior Alex Stein scores a kill shot in the Patriots’ 3-0 loss to Connetquot in the Suffolk County Class AA finals on Nov. 12. Photo by Bill Landon

The Thunderbirds broke out to an early 10-4 lead, but the Patriots made it a one-point game later in the set to trail 19-18, forcing a Connetquot time out. Ward Melville scored next to tie the game at 19-19, but Connetquot rattled off five more points to surge ahead 24-21.

It was advantage Ward Melville when the Patriots scored the next four points to take a 25-24 lead, but the Thunderbirds were the No.1 seed for a reason, and dug out two more points to retake the lead, 26-25, and aced the final point to put the set away, 27-25.

“I felt like we got robbed in game one — I thought we had it but got a bad call there,” Ward Melville head coach Charles Fernandes said. “But I’ve got to be honest, I don’t think we played like we normally play. We didn’t pass very well and when we don’t pass well we don’t get into our offensive system.”

In a repeat of the first set, Connetquot broke out to a 10-4 lead and edged ahead 12-5 in the second set, before the team jumped out to a 20-8 lead. Ward Melville battled back to trail 22-14, and both teams traded points as Connetquot took the set to the brink, leading 24-14 before Ward Melville rattled off four unanswered points to trail 24-18. The Thunderbirds scored next though, to claim another set, 25-18.

Ward Melville junior Cierra Low sets the ball in the team's 3-0 loss to Connetquot in the Suffolk County Class AA finals on Nov. 12. Photo by Bill Landon
Ward Melville junior Cierra Low sets the ball in the team’s 3-0 loss to Connetquot in the Suffolk County Class AA finals on Nov. 12. Photo by Bill Landon

Fernandes spoke to his team following the second-set loss about what it took to battle back, being down two games to none.

“This has happened before — teams pull this out,” he told his team. “You’ve got to get the first one and that’s the hard one.”

With their backs against the wall, the Patriots broke out to an 8-2 advantage in the third set as the team tried to avoid elimination, but after a Connetquot time out, Ward Melville struggled to maintain the margin, and the Thunderbirds bounced back to tie the game 10-10.

Connetquot scored next to take its first lead, but the set was retied at 16-16 courtesy of a kill shot by Ward Melville senior outside hitter Alex Stein. The Thunderbirds edged ahead 20-17, then 22-19 and again brought the match to the brink leading 24-20.

Stein said that her team’s performance was not up to par with the level her team usually plays at.

“I don’t know if we were nervous, anxious or just all over the place mentally, but we did not click as a team,” she said. “Our defense was all over the place and it’s just not how we play.”

The Thunderbirds scored next to sweep the Patriots and advance to the Long Island Championship round against Massapequa, where the team beat the Nassau County champs for the Long Island championship title.

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By Bill Landon

Just call it the fabulous fifth.

The No. 2 Kings Park girls’ volleyball team defeated No. 1 Westhampton Beach in three straight sets Thursday, 25-23, 25-20 and 25-17, to claim the school’s fifth straight Suffolk County Class A title.

The Kingsmen took seven straight points in the first set, and broke out to a 10-6 lead as both teams continued to trade points until Kings Park was ahead 17-12 at the first time out.

The Hurricanes battled back with several long volleys to close the gap to 20-18, but the Kingsmen rattled off four more points to take a 24-20 advantage. Kings Park looked to put the game away, and did, but not before Kings Park took three more points, to win the first set, 25-23.

“Our team is about coming out and doing what we have to do,” Kings Park junior outside hitter Lauren Kloos said. “We come out with so much excitement, so this win is just amazing for us.”

With the teams tied 7-7 in the second set, Kings Park surged ahead 24-17, but Westhampton Beach scored the next three points to trail 24-20. Again, the Kingsmen found a way to dig out the last point, to win the second set 25-20.

Kings Park sophomore middle hitter Erika Benson said her team has a winning formula.

“I think it’s the passion we have for each other,” she said. “All three matches were close, and they played really well, but in the end we came out stronger.”

Westhampton Beach struggled, and fell behind in the third set 8-2 in a must-win set to stay alive. The Hurricanes would not go quietly though, and battled back to close within four points late in the match.

Kloos finished with 14 kills; senior middle hitter Lauren Kehoe added 12 kills and 16 digs; senior outside hitter Jaclyn Wilton had 12 kills and 16 digs; sophomore libero Meagan Murphy had 25 digs; and senior setter Stephanie Cornwell added 31 assists.

“We communicate really well; Meagan Murphy, Lauren Baxter and Kayla Buell played really great defense,” Kehoe said. “Lauren Kloos and Jaclyn Wilton were swinging great and Stephanie Cornwell was serving really well, so it was just a good performance all around.”

It was the third time the teams faced each other this year, and although Kings Park won the second meeting between the two, the Hurricanes handed Kings Park their only loss in the season in the first game of the year.

Wilton said Westhampton Beach is a much stronger team this season compared to last.

“We lost to them in our first game, we’ve been undefeated in my high school career and that first lost hurt,” Wilton said. “I never knew what that felt like, but since then, I knew that I never wanted to experience that again.”

And so far, they haven’t.

With the win, Kings Park advances to the Long Island championship round.  The team will return to Suffolk County Community College’s Brentwood campus tomorrow, Nov. 14, to face Wantagh at 3 p.m.

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Smithtown East's Jackie Cuccarello and Kendra Harlow leap up to block a spike by Ward Melville's Alex Stein. Photo by Desirée Keegan

Victoria Tilley said that despite the Ward Melville girls’ volleyball team blanking 12 of its 13 regular-season opponents 3-0, the team has always had to battle back — and Monday was no different.

The Patriots had only lost one set the entire season and found themselves down 2-1 to another undefeated team, Smithtown East. Ward Melville wouldn’t go down without a fight though and won the fourth and decisive fifth set to secure its spot in the Suffolk County Class AA finals, 25-21, 21-25, 20-25, 25-23, 25-14.

“It’s amazing how we came back,” the senior middle hitter and blocker said, grinning from ear to ear. “We’re sometimes late starters and it comes back to us. We trail a lot with teams, but we always know how to clam down and talk to each other, and it works every single time.”

Smithtown East had contributions from Kendra Harlow (19 kills), Haley Anderson (15 kills and 12 digs), Morgan Catalanotto (15 digs) and Jackie Cuccarello (42 assists) and went on a five-point tare in the third set and opened up the fourth with another five straight points before the Patriots put themselves on the board, but Ward Melville sophomore outside hitter Ashley Fuchs was the difference maker.

With the fourth set tied 14-14, a slide across the baseline for a dig helped put her team out in front and forced Smithtown East head coach George Alamia to call time-out. From there, although the Bulls tied it at 15-15, the Patriots never trailed again.

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Alex Stein serves up the ball in Ward Melville’s 3-2 Class AA semifinal win over Smithtown East on Nov. 9. Photo by Desirée Keegan

“We were making some hitting errors which is fine, and it’s hard to adjust to some hits off the net, but we all came together,” Ward Melville junior setter Cierra Low said. “We were down at some points but we always know we can come back together. We work as a team and when we got down we get in that huddle and tell each other to relax, that it’s all good and we’ll get back there and we did. We won.”

The Patriots’ defense was a weak point throughout the match, but the team continued to bounce back.

“We talked about some things that we wanted to do defensively and didn’t do it until the fourth game, but it did finally work out,” Ward Melville head coach Charles Fernandes said. “They were very calm; there was no panicking.”

As the Patriots climbed back to win the fourth set and fans cheered across the gymnasium, Ward Melville senior Alex Stein said she knew her team had it in them to pull through once more.

The outside hitter, who finished the game with 28 kills, 10 digs, three blocks and two aces, said she knew from the start that the team had a lot of potential.

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The Ward Melville girls’ volleyball team celebrates a point in the Patroits’ 3-2 win over Smithtown East in the Class AA semifinals. Photo by Desirée Keegan

“We knew we could go far if we worked for it, so it’s nice to see that we didn’t roll over and let them win,” she said. “Every game where there’s been a challenge we’ve been able to overcome it, especially when we’re down that’s when we really focus and work together. We’ve wanted this the whole season. We’ve been working as hard as we can since preseason for this moment, and we just took it.”

Tilley finished with 14 kills and four blocks, Fuchs added eight kills and eight digs, senior libero Claire O’Hern had nine digs and junior left side hitter Lara Atalay had 14 kills and three blocks.

With the win, Ward Melville moved on to face No. 1 Connetquot in the Suffolk County Class AA championship at Suffolk County Community College’s Brentwood campus today at 8 p.m.

Stein, who is the only player on the team to have also competed with the Patriots’ 2012 county champion team, is looking forward to the matchup.

“It’s not going to be easy but we’re going to work as hard as we can,” she said. “Connetquot is a very good team and we know that their ball control is very good and they’re going to depend on us making mistakes so we’re going to work hard to eliminate the errors.”

Fernandes said that although he’s been coaching volleyball for years and made it to the county finals before, going back with these girls makes it feel like the first time.

“The girls hung together, they understood that if we executed our game plan we could be successful, and they did,” Fernandes said. “This is a very good volleyball team and if anything, our route to the finals has battle-tested us. I just can’t wait to see these kids in that room.”