Mattituck girls volleyball falls in state tournament

Mattituck's Shannon Dwyer tips the ball over the Mattituck's Shannon Dwyer tips the ball over the net against Eden's Briana Tutuska in the New York State Public High School Girls Volleyball Class C state pool-play semifinals. (Nov. 16, 2013) Photo Credit: Tim Roske

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GLENS FALLS, N.Y. -- It was a bounceback season for the Mattituck girls volleyball team. Granted, the team's appearance in the county semifinals in 2012 was not much of a fall, but for a team that went to consecutive state tournaments in 2010 and 2011 being back in Glens Falls was satisfying.

"To get back to states was really quite a battle," senior Shannon Dwyer said. "Of all the volleyball teams I've played on, this was the most improved team from the beginning of the season until the end. We really changed a lot."

Although Mattituck was not able to win a game in pool play, the team's play Saturday at the Glens Falls Civic Center mirrored its season.

After getting off to a rough start against two-time defending Class C state champion Eden, dropping games by the scores of 25-4 and 25-11, the Tuckers proved to be a tougher out in pool play against Millbrook and Voorheesville.

Eden and Millbrook will meet in the state final at noon Sunday.

Mattituck lost to Millbrook 25-10, 25-12 and fell to Voorheesville 15-25, 5-25.

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"We definitely knew what we were coming into -- we knew they were going to be good but we didn't know they were going to be that good," senior Laurel Bertolas said.

Both Dwyer and Bertolas were members of the 2011 team that won Long Island and headed to the state final four.

"It's definitely a lot better this time because I'm a lot more involved and a captain and trying to lead the team," Bertolas said.

The Tuckers split the season series with Babylon but beat the Panthers when it mattered most in the county championship. Mattituck followed that by beating perennial Nassau power Carle Place to earn the trip upstate.

"Just to get out of the league and make the playoffs -- we play a lot of tough teams -- and getting the .500 record was tough," coach Frank Massa said. "Things had to click for us and they did and we got the chance to come back up here and it was a great experience for the girls."

It was an experience Dwyer will never forget.

"It's crazy -- it's really like nothing else," Dwyer said. "Just to see the best of the best is a neat thing. I wish that I could drive up here next year to see the next round. Just to see what level of competition is out there is nice."

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