Lady Baymen will be young but could vie for playoff berth

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The defending Long Island Class C champion Hampton Bays girls volleyball team got its first win of the season, a 3-0 victory at Wyandanch on Wednesday, September 15. The Lady Baymen followed that up with a 3-2 non-league loss to Rocky Point at home on Thursday. The girls lost their first match of the season 3-0 at home to Mt. Sinai on September 13 and are 1-1 in League VII play, 1-2 overall.

Senior captain Liz Raimo led the way for Hampton Bays in the win over Wyandanch as the Lady Baymen won in three straight sets, 25-10, 25-15, 25-7. Raimo had eight service aces and 10 assists while sophomore Andrea Tufano had six kills. Sophomore Megan Walker had six aces and four kills, sophomore Analiese Algieri had eight aces and junior captain Lexi Giannone had four kills.

Hampton Bays head coach Andy Fotopoulos said, just like his team, Wyandanch is young and inexperienced.

“It was a good win,” he said. “Sometimes you go there and you play down, but we didn’t.”

After getting up 2-0 on Rocky Point with set wins of 25-15, 25-21, the Lady Eagles responded with three straight set wins of 25-15, 25-23 and 25-14 to take the match.

Giannone had 10 kills and three aces for Hampton Bays while Walker had nine kills and two blocks. Tufano had seven kills, two blocks, Algieri had five kills, two blocks and Raimo had 13 assists, five aces. Sophomore Colleen Lawrenz had 12 assists.

Fotopoulos said his team played well against one of the better teams in League VI.

“The team played great the first two sets then it played OK after that,” he said. “The passing broke down and [Rocky Point] has three jump servers, one of them is really good.”

Hampton Bays went down 11-1 in the fourth game, but got it to 24-23 before the Lady Eagles scored the set-clinching point after a long rally. Fotopoulos said he knew if his team didn’t win its third straight set it was going to be tough to win the match because the momentum shifted all the way into Rocky Point’s favor.

Hampton Bays graduated four girls from its Long Island champion team a year ago. April Bennett, who is now playing at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue, is gone along with Rachel Tufano, both were three-year varsity captains. Morgan Orego and Sarah Young are also two starters who graduated from last year’s team.

This year’s team will be led by a strong sophomore group of Tufano, Walker, Algieri and Lawrenz, but, senior captain Raimo and junior captain Giannone should provide the team with upperclassman leadership.

Fotopoulos said his team is going to have to beat some good teams in order to get to the playoffs this season. League VII consists of Elwood/John Glenn, Mt. Sinai, Southampton, Mattituck, Bayport/Blue Point, Babylon and Wyandanch. If his team can go 2-0 in its matches with Babylon and Wyandanch—the two weaker teams of the division—and pull out wins against Southampton, Mattituck and Bayport/Blue Point, Fotopoulos said they could possibly find themselves back in the Suffolk County Class C playoffs.

ON THE SCHEDULE: Tuesday, September 21, vs. Babylon at 4 p.m.; Friday, September 24, at Mattituck at 4 p.m.; Monday, September 27, vs. Southampton at 7 p.m.

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