For the fifth straight season, the Eastport South Manor boys volleyball team has earned a berth in the Suffolk County Division II Championship following a straight-sets win at home over Hauppauge on November 3.
The second-seed Sharks will face top-seed East Hampton tonight, Thursday, November 6, at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood for the county title.
It’s a spot the Sharks program is more than familiar with, even though the team lost to Sayville in last season’s title match. ESM won the Long Island title in both 2010 and 2011 before being crowned Suffolk champs during the 2012 campaign.
“This is the tightest, closest team I have ever been on so I don’t want to lose a game with this team,” ESM junior Josh Undari said of the importance of the match against Hauppauge. “I want to go all the way.”
The Sharks and Eagles met in the first match of the season almost two months ago with ESM scoring a 3-1 victory that night. During that match, ESM head coach Bruce Stiriz said Eagles captain Andrew Tsororos was pretty much running the show for Hauppauge, something he expected to change this time around.
“We knew Andrew was a very, very good player and I figured he was going to be as good, if not better than before. He was a one-man team at the beginning of the season but we knew they would have had to develop another player or two throughout the season,” he said. “We were going to have to do some in-match adjustments once we figured out what they had. And I think we did a pretty good job of that.”
The Sharks didn’t seem to skip a beat this time, easily winning in straight sets, 25-13, 25-12 and 25-19.
Kyle Allen-Morabito led the ESM offense with 15 kills followed by Tyler Brandow with 10 kills to go with seven digs. Josh Undari put up 17 assists while Parker Bachisin added 14 assists and six digs.
With just two days between the semifinals and finals, the Sharks knew they had two important practices ahead of them to prepare for the Bonackers, who beat the Sharks, 3-2, just more than a week ago.
“We have practice like we did with the practice before this match,” Undari said of preparing for the county final. “We went really hard in that practice and I think that really translated into this game.
He continued, “We have to practice hard to get the most out of it. We only have a few days left as a team so practicing and working as hard as we can is what we have to do.”