Sachem East takes Class A boys volleyball championship
There was a lot for the Sachem East boys volleyball team to overcome in Thursday night's's Suffolk Class A championship at Westhampton High School.
In addition to trying to win the county title as the fourth seed, the Flaming Arrows were also riding an emotional high off their upset of top seed and crosstown rival Sachem North in a semifinal on Monday.
Sachem East (14-3) finally reached the top as it came back from a one-game deficit for a 3-1 victory over No. 2 Lindenhurst.
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"We thought we had it all after beating [Sachem] North," said Sean Harrington, who had 14 kills and 11 digs. "But we still had more to do."
It took some time for Sachem East to realize that, however, as Lindenhurst took the first game, 25-16. Once the nervousness was gone, the Flaming Arrows settled in and swept the final three games, 25-20, 25-22, 25-18.
Sachem East will face Port Washington in the Long Island Class A title match Saturday at 4 p.m. at Hofstra.
Ryan Cole, who had 13 kills, including a critical strike toward the end of the fourth game that gave Sachem East a 20-16 lead, lauded his teammates for overcoming a lackluster first game.
"In that first game we came out with some jitters,'' said Cole, who also had four blocks. "After that we settled into what our type of volleyball is.''
Sachem East lost to Lindenhurst, 3-1, during the regular season. That was a different Flaming Arrows team, according to Cole.
"We just worked on our defense,'' Cole said. "In the beginning of the season, we were tentative and scared a little bit. But we've come a long way since then.''
Sayville wins 'B' title. Paul Close had 18 kills and three blocks and Scott Litvin added 37 assists and five aces as Sayville topped Eastport-South Manor, 25-20, 25-22, 21-25, 25-18, in the Suffolk Class B title game at Westhampton.
Overcoming No. 1 seed ESM (10-8) was a major achievement for the second-seeded Golden Flashes (12-6), who struggled against the Sharks in recent years.
"We beat Eastport in the regular season, but they've been a thorn in our side the last four years,'' Sayville coach Anthony DeAngelis said. "We've lost to them in the playoffs three of the last four years."
Sayville came up short against ESM the last two times they squared off in the playoffs, which included a loss in the county final in 2011. "We prepared to come in here and get the job done,'' DeAngelis said.
Sayville will face Nassau champ Bellmore JFK in the Long Island Class B title game tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Hofstra.