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Caitlin Christie puts finishing touch on Bay Shore girls volleyball upset of Connetquot

Bay Shore's Caitlin Christie (21) plays the ball

Bay Shore's Caitlin Christie (21) plays the ball over the net in the fourth set during the Suffolk girls volleyball match between Bay Shore and Connetquot on Thursday Oct 17, 2019 at Bay Shore. Credit: Bob Sorensen

The Connetquot girls volleyball team had yet to lose a set this fall. That is until the Thunderbirds ran into the Bay Shore buzz saw Thursday night.

Caitlin Christie, one of seven seniors celebrating senior day, put down the final kill with authority, securing a 25-12, 25-19, 10-25, 25-18 upset victory over Connetquot in Suffolk League II. Christie, who had 13 kills, 10 digs and three blocks, put Bay Shore in a tie with Connetquot atop Suffolk II at 10-1.

“To be able to play with a team at this level with how great everyone is on this team, it’s just so mind-blowing to be able to do the things that we do,” Christie said.

Behind a raucous home crowd fired up from coach Stasia DeBonis’ pregame speech about her seniors, the Marauders dominated the opening set. A serving error gave Bay Shore the serve with a 14-7 lead, then consecutive blocks later from Ali Susskind (six digs, five kills, five blocks, three aces) and Kiersten DeCamp (10 digs, three blocks), put Bay Shore ahead 18-7.

Delaney Roan’s high-arching ace secured the first-set win.

Another serving error put Bay Shore ahead 15-13 in the second set, putting DeCamp on the line to serve five straight points. Sophia DeBonis (27 assists, 11 digs) ended the set with an athletic dink into the middle of the defense.

“It builds our confidence so much against such an amazing team like this,” DeBonis said.

Connetquot recovered to dominate the third set, as the Thunderbirds kept Bay Shore out of system. Julia Patsos’ ace made the score 21-6, and Kiarra Roth made it 24-10 before a violation gave Connetquot the win.

Then, even though Connetquot had seemingly regained momentum, Bay Shore took a much-needed lead early in the fourth set. Four straight points, punctuated by Christie’s ace, staked Bay Shore to a 10-3 advantage.

Even though Roth later served three aces in a six-point stretch, Connetquot couldn’t muster a comeback. Christie made sure to end it when she had the chance, delivering the finishing blow.

“I was like, ‘It’s the 25th point. I’m going to win this for my team,’” she said.

Bay Shore has taken strides since a 3-7 season in Christie’s sophomore year, her first on varsity. On a senior night in which the Marauders honored Christie, Roan, Susskind, DeCamp, Caroline Casey (eight digs), April Sexton (11) and Leila McKeller, Bay Shore took the next step.

The Marauders aren’t just a playoff team. They’re playoff contenders.

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