With the Class B playoffs on the horizon, the East Hampton girls volleyball (8-2) team fine-tuned its game against some of the toughest competition New York State has to offer at the Horseheads Tournament upstate over the weekend. The Lady Bonackers were one of 16 teams from across the state, which included powerhouse squads such as defending New York State Class B champion Oswego and Class AA powerhouse Baldwinsville. East Hampton finished second in its pool behind Baldwinsville, losing a tight 26-24 set to them. The Lady Bonackers beat City Honors High School in two sets (25-11 and 25-23) and split sets with T.A. Edison (16-25, 25-18). East Hampton met up with Horseheads in the quarterfinals and lost, 25-9 and 25-10.
“It was a great experience for us,” head coach Kathy McGeehan said. “We are still inconsistent, but overall we saw some tremendous growth in our team, especially the defense, and we are feeling more comfortable in a new rotation we have been working on.”
McGeehan said libero Katie Brierley had an “outstanding” tournament, excelling in passing and serving, while Carley Seekamp and Catherine Fleming led the team in hitting, and Cassidy Walsh led the team in blocks. Setter Lydia Budd was solid and consistent as well, McGeehan said.
“We hope they can maintain that level as we push through the remainder of our league season and enter into the postseason,” McGeehan added.
Before going upstate, East Hampton beat Miller Place, 3-0 (25-9, 25-15 and 25-19), at home on October 15 to move to 8-2 on the year. Budd had 25 assists and six aces, while Seekamp had eight kills and Brierley had 11 digs.
As of Tuesday morning, the playoff picture was still a little murky for East Hampton, a Class B school that competes in League VI, a mixed classification league that includes several Class A teams. Bayport (9-0 in League VII) will likely get the top seed in the Class B bracket, and Glenn (7-2 in League VII) and East Hampton would get the second and third seeds. McGeehan was hoping her team would be seeded ahead of Glenn, and thus get home court advantage, since League VI is considered tougher than League VII. If Sayville beats Westhampton in the final regular season match, then East Hampton would be tied for the league title with those two teams, giving them another argument in its favor for being seeded ahead of Glenn.
East Hampton was scheduled to host Shoreham on October 21, and will compete in a tournament over the weekend before finishing the regular season at Amityville on October 27 at 5 p.m.
Like their female counterparts, the East Hampton boys volleyball team is getting ready for the postseason. Last week, the Bonackers got a key win over a potential playoff opponent, beating Sayville, 3-1, at home on October 17 (25-18, 25-15, 22-25, 25-19). East Hampton improved to 6-4 in division play, 7-5 overall, and sat in 10th place overall among all schools in the county, and second among Class B schools, behind only Eastport South Manor (7-3, sixth overall).
Will Mackin led East Hampton with 14 kills, while Pat Silich and Robert Anderson each had 10. Silich also had five aces while Brady Yusko had 39 assists.
Head coach Josh Brussell said he liked what he saw from his team against Sayville (3-7), and is excited for the postseason.
“We played really well,” he said. “We didn’t commit too many errors and played very consistent. We got a lot of production out of our middles which helped a lot. The boys have been working hard during practice and have been making adjustments in practice that I see helping us in the games.
“We got the win because we are really playing as a team and not letting anything faze us during a game,” he continued.
Brussell said he believed his team had done enough to get at least the number two seed, which would give the team home court advantage until the county final, played at a neutral site. The playoffs will start on November 3.