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Smithtown East Girls’ Volleyball

By Bill Landon

The Smithtown East girls volleyball squad entered the Class AA finals as the only undefeated team in Suffolk County at 16-0 when they squared off against Eastport-South Manor (12-4) with home court advantage Tuesday, Oct. 31.

The Sharks made it close staying within striking distance, but the Bulls played mistake-free ball and swept the match in three sets 25-23, 25-21, 25-19.

Sarah Moyer and Karson Catalanotto combined for 21 kills, while Mia Sullivan delivered five service aces in the win.

The win propels the Bulls to the championship final Friday, Nov. 3, at Center Moriches High School where they will face No.2 Hauppauge.

Game time is slated for 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at: gofan.co/app/school/NYSPHSAAXI.                     

— Photos by Bill Landon

Newfield senior Catarina Pacheco keeps the ball in play. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

The Bulls of Smithtown East looked to make it four wins in a row when they traveled to Newfield for a League III matchup, where they dominated the first two sets winning 25-14, 25-13 in the Sept. 12 contest. Newfield rallied in the third set, leading by three points late in the match, but the Bulls made fewer mistakes to win by four points for the 3-0 sweep.

The win lifts the Bulls to 4-0, not having lost a set and blanking all of their opponents in the early going while Newfield falls to 1-4.

Both teams retake the court Thursday when Newfield travels to North Babylon with a 6:45 p.m. start and Smithtown East hosts West Babylon at 5 p.m.

— Photos by Bill Landon 

Mount Sinai’s girls’ soccer team celebrates its Suffolk County title win. File photo by Desirée Keegan

Success isn’t given, it’s earned, and our North Shore teams this fall have earned it.

Our student-athletes aren’t just building character through lessons of teamwork, or gaining strength and endurance, or learning about winning and losing — they’re leaving legacies.

Port Jefferson’s varsity girls’ soccer team celebrates a second consecutive state championship. Photo from Port Jefferson school district
Port Jefferson’s varsity girls’ soccer team celebrates a second consecutive state championship. Photo from Port Jefferson school district

Some teams may have seen their losses as failures, but we can’t forget the history that was made this season. Centereach’s football team made the postseason for the first time since 2002; Ward Melville’s field hockey faced off in the state finals for the second straight season; and Mount Sinai’s girls’ soccer team made it to the Long Island championship after claiming the program’s first county crown.

Newfield’s soccer team also made big moves this season. The boys played in the county finals for the first time, and the girls, who were part of a developmental league in 2012 — designed for weaker teams to play competitive games without the possibility of postseason play — won 11 games this season and made it to the Suffolk quarterfinals. Smithtown East’s girls’ volleyball team had a near-perfect season. They lost just one game heading into the Suffolk finals. Northport made it back to the girls’ soccer county finals after two seasons, getting over the semifinal hump. And Ward Melville’s football team will be playing in the county finals for the first time in three decades this weekend, after upsetting No. 1-seed and previously undefeated Lindenhurst last week.

And then there was total dominance by teams like the Port Jefferson’s girls’ soccer team, which brought home back-to-back state titles after its third-straight almost perfect season. Kings Park’s girls’ volleyball team cruised to its sixth straight county and Long Island titles, and plays in the state finals this weekend, and Smithtown West’s boys’ volleyball team, which brought home the school’s first county and Long Island titles this year, will also play in the state tournament this weekend.

We have fully enjoyed covering our sports teams this season and are proud of their success. Of course it’s fun to watch and write about victory, but it’s also gratifying to see the student-athletes in our coverage areas working hard to make their communities proud.

We also would like to commend all of the hardworking coaches — who are volunteers, in some cases — for their dedication to bettering our youth. With so many opportunities available for kids to stray down the wrong path, it is a breath of fresh air to see our athletes thrive.