The Westhampton Beach girls volleyball team appears to have turned a corner, putting together three convincing victories over the past week.
After beating Mount Sinai, 3-0, on September 24, the Lady Hurricanes defeated Miller Place, 3-1, on their home court last Thursday, September 26, and, the following day, picked up another home win, a 3-0 non-league victory over Islip.
The wins improved Westhampton Beach to 3-1 in League VI, which put them in a tie for second place with Sayville. East Hampton leads the league with a 5-0 record.
The Lady Hurricanes are three wins away from clinching a berth into the Class A playoffs.
Westhampton Beach head coach Lenny Zaloga said he was impressed with the way his team played last week, especially against a tough Class A team in Islip. The Lady Canes had to come back in every set to beat the Lady Buccaneers and, in the end, won in straight sets—25-23, 27-25 and 25-22.
“That was the first time, I think, they never let their energy down in an entire match,” Zaloga said of his players. “They were not trying to force things, especially when we got behind.
“It was a great match and one of those fun matches where, win or lose, it doesn’t matter because both teams are playing so well,” he added. “Realistically, one or two points here or there, and either team could have won.”
Morgan Tiska had eight kills for the Lady Canes while Sarah Culver finished with six. Brenna Hogan contributed with four kills.
Westhampton Beach was looking for a little bit of revenge against Miller Place last week. The Lady Panthers defeated the Lady Canes in the final regular season game of last season, eliminating them from postseason contention.
The Lady Canes played extremely well in the first two sets, winning 25-16 and 25-14. After dropping the third set 25-15, Westhampton Beach came back to win the fourth set, 25-19, to take the match.
Culver led the offense with seven kills while Lauren Lorefice had 15 assists. Alexa Smith collected 10 digs.
Westhampton Beach handled Mount Sinai with ease, winning 25-19, 25-11 and 25-14. Culver led the way once again with five kills.
The Lady Canes also participated in the Lindenhurst Tournament on Saturday. They defeated Bayport/Blue Point in the opening round of the playoffs of the tournament before falling to Smithtown West, which lost in the finals to St. Anthony’s.
The Elwood/John Glenn girls volleyball team has not lost a set in league play in a dozen years. For that reason alone, Hampton Bays head coach Andy Fotopoulos said he tries to keep his expectations in check, describing success as scoring 10 points against the Lady Knights in a single set.
Based on that standard, the Lady Baymen were very successful in their match against Glenn on September 25, scoring 22 points in the first set before eventually losing. Hampton Bays, however, could not stop from getting swept.
Still, the Lady Baymen came very close to handing the Lady Knights their first set loss in 12 years. But while tied at 22-22, Hampton Bays made two unforced errors and then, after a long rally, Glenn scored the winning point. The Lady Knights went on to win the following two sets, 25-10 and 25-9.
“In the past we’d be happy to score 10 points against them,” Fotopoulos said. “But they’re not the same Glenn team of old. They’re beatable. We can take a match from them this year, I think.”
Alex Maitland-Ward had three blocks and five kills for the Lady Baymen. Jean Louise Catena finished with 12 digs while Alexis Fotopoulos contributed with eight digs.
Hampton Bays competed in the Mattituck Tournament on Saturday, even though it was missing two key players in Alexis Fotopoulos and Christen Bellucci. The Lady Baymen defeated host Mattituck 25-3 in their first playoff set, but were down 24-17 in the second set. Victoria Laureano made eight straight serves for the Lady Baymen and they went on to take the set, 26-24. The Lady Baymen then lost to eventual champion Riverhead in the semifinals.
The Eastport South Manor girls volleyball team lost 3-0 at Connetquot in a non-league match on Friday. The Lady Thunderbirds won by scores of 25-19, 25-22 and 25-19.
Individual stats were not provided.
ESM is now 3-1 in League V and 3-2 overall.
ON THE SCHEDULE: Westhampton Beach—Wednesday, 10/2, vs. Shoreham/Wading River; Thursday, 10/3, at ESM, 4 p.m. Hampton Bays—Friday, 10/4, at Pierson, 4 p.m.; Monday, 10/7, vs. Bayport/Blue Point, 4 p.m. ESM—Thursday, 10/3, vs. Westhampton Beach, 4 p.m.; Wednesday, 10/9, at Rocky Point, 4 p.m.