The East Hampton girls volleyball team shook off first-set jitters to go on to a 3-1 home win over Westhampton Beach on Thursday, September 12, in the League VI opener for both teams.
After dropping the first set 26-24, the Lady Bonackers won the next three with scores of 25-23, 25-22 and 25-10. Libero Katie Brierley was the standout player for East Hampton, finishing with 28 serve receptions, seven aces, and 25 digs.
“She really gave us a chance to get our offense going with tremendous passing and served a set point ace in set two,” East Hampton head coach Kathy McGeehan said. “We had quite a few attack errors and service errors [in the first set] that always kept us fighting from behind. But we found a way to work through them and really settled down and played together as the match went on.”
Raya O’Neal led the team with 11 kills, and added 12 assists and five blocks. Lydia Budd led the team with 18 assists and had 12 digs and six kills. Jenna Budd had 18 digs, eight kills and four aces. Christina Cangiolosi, Cassidy Walsh and Carley Seekamp each had six kills.
McGeehan said that the Lady Hurricanes were a tough team and she expects them to be even stronger when they meet again in the second half of the season.
“Westhampton has improved so much,” she said. “They are young and will definitely be a tough opponent next time around and in the future. We will have to work hard to reduce our unforced errors as the season progresses in order to be where we hope to be at the end of the season, but overall we were pleased with their efforts.”
Like their female counterparts, the East Hampton boys volleyball team also got a win over Westhampton Beach last week, prevailing 25-21, 25-18 and 25-17. Head coach Josh Brussell said he is still tinkering with his starting lineup and trying to decide what type of offense to run and where to put players, but he said overall he felt his team improved after a season-opening loss to Sachem North.
“We definitely played better and more as a team,” he said. Brussell added that the battle for supremacy among the Division II (small school) teams, including his own, Eastport South Manor, Sayville and others, is more up for grabs this year than ever.
“I really don’t know what to expect in each match,” he said. “We just have to play our best.”
Brussell said he was particularly happy with the play of sophomore hitter Will Mackin, who had five kills, three aces and a block. Senior Henry Whitney also had five kills, while Pat Silich added fives aces and seven digs, Jack Abrams-Dyer had four aces, and Brady Yusko had nine assists.
ON THE SCHEDULE: Girls—Wednesday, 9/18, vs. Miller Place, 4:15 p.m.; Friday, 9/20, at Bayport/Blue Point, 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9/21, at tournament, 8 a.m.; Tuesday, 9/24, at Sayville, 5 p.m. Boys—Thursday, 9/19, vs. Commack, 5 p.m.; Saturday, 9/21, at Half Hollow Hills Tournament, 10 a.m.; Tuesday, 9/24, at Hauppauge, 5 p.m.