The Eastport South Manor girls volleyball team got into the win column last week with consecutive victories.
After losing their first match to Kings Park back on September 10, the Lady Sharks defeated Rocky Point 3-1 at home on September 17, then won 3-0 at Harborfields on Thursday, September 19, for the team’s first victories of the season.
ESM (2-1 League V) won the first set 25-18 over Rocky Point last week but then dropped the second set 25-23. The Lady Sharks rebounded by winning the next two sets 25-23, 25-18. ESM senior Morgan Johnson had a career-high 25 kills while senior Nikki Illuzzi had 40 assists. Senior Heather Watson had 22 digs.
Even though Rocky Point won a set, and nearly won another, ESM was clearly the better team. It’s the small things that are holding back the team, head coach Don Consorte explained.
“Sometimes they just lose focus,” he said. “Whatever the case may be, that was the case against Rocky Point. I really think they just get too amped up to play. They’re either passing it too strong, or hitting it too strong so it’s out. I think that’s what we did with Rocky Point. We still served at about 93 percent, which is really good, especially when we have as many jump servers as we do.”
ESM was able to put it all together against Harborfields. The Lady Sharks won in three straight sets, 25-7, 25-13, 25-21. Johnson had six aces and three kills while Illuzzi had 20 assists. Senior Amanda Rose had eight aces, junior Brianna Cunha had eight kills and sophomore Daniela Detore had eight assists.
Consorte said that, even when he had teams that reached the Long Island Championship in the past, they were never able to put together back-to-back dominating sets, as his team did against Harborfields last week.
“No matter which team we were going against, we’d win the first set big, and then in the second set lose focus and it’d be a 25-20 or 25-21 game,” he said. “I just felt like the focus was there and I was really proud of them for being able to keep their focus.”
ESM also hosted its annual invitational on Saturday. Teams from throughout Long Island came to play in what was a pool-play formatted tournament.
St. Anthony’s and Ward Melville met in the gold division finals, with St. Anthony’s winning 2-0. ESM had lost to St. Anthony’s in the semifinals. Sachem East won the silver division, defeating Smithtown West 2-0.
ESM played Shoreham/Wading River, Sachem East and Half Hollow Hills East in pool play before defeating Connetquot in the quarterfinals of the gold division playoffs. Consorte said it was particularly fun to play against Shoreham, since it’s coached by his niece, Katherine Winkler.
The Lady Baymen, as of Monday, sat atop the League VII standings with Elwood/John Glenn with an unblemished 3-0 record after two victories last week. Hampton Bays won 3-0 at home over Babylon on September 17, then won 3-1 at Southampton on Thursday, September 19.
Babylon was 3-0 overall coming into last week’s match but the Lady Baymen took care of the Lady Panthers in three straight sets, 25-19, 25-20, 25-16. Hampton Bays head coach Andy Fotopoulos was extremely happy with the way his players played a team game. Seniors Christen Bellucci, Victoria Laureano, Taylor Link and junior Alex Maitland-Ward all had five kills each while junior Sam Pace had three kills. Maitland-Ward also added four blocks.
Fotopoulos said Babylon features two big hitters in Margo Zamet and Sara Mayo, and because the Babylon head coach decided to keep them on the same line the entire match, Fotopoulos was able to isolate them the entire game.
Hampton Bays won the first set against Southampton last week 25-13 but then lost the second set 25-23. The Lady Baymen came back to win the third set 25-23 before ending the match with a 25-12 victory in the fourth set.
Laureano had nine kills and four blocks in what Fotopoulos said was her best match of the season thus far. Junior Jean Louise Catena had 13 digs and three aces while sophomore Alexis Fotopoulos had 11 assists and 12 digs. Senior Carolyn Muller had nine digs and eight aces and Bellucci had five digs.
ON THE SCHEDULE: ESM—Wednesday, 9/25, at Huntington; Friday, 9/27, at Connetquot, 4 p.m. Hampton Bays—Wednesday, 9/25, at Elwood/John Glenn; Saturday, 9/28, Mattituck Tournament, 9 a.m.