The Eastport-South Manor boys volleyball team nearly suffered something it hadn’t since its opening match Sept. 2.
Dropping a set.
The Sharks entered Tuesday’s Suffolk final winners of their last 46 sets without losing a match all season. Jake DesLauriers had no intention of allowing that to change.
The senior hammered home the final two points in the second set as a part of a 25-19, 27-25, 25-23 victory for top-seeded Eastport-South Manor over No. 2 Westhampton in the boys volleyball Suffolk Division II championship Tuesday at Longwood High School. Westhampton finished 8-7.
"We know even though we may be the best, we’re not the best on the court until we show that we beat them 3-0," DesLauriers said. "You can play and know on paper you’re the best team but unless you go and beat them, then you’re not the best team."
Eastport-South Manor (16-0) plays the winner of Calhoun/Roslyn in the Division II Long Island championship/Southeast Regional Final at Longwood Thursday at 9 a.m.
DesLauriers, who had 12 kills and nine digs, wanted to be there for his team in those closing moments of a pivotal set.
"There was a lot of stress going on both sides and a lot of pressure," he said. "I just wanted to be able to get those final points and push through when we needed it and I was able to do it for them."
Mark Porcelli added 14 kills and eight digs, Christian Herr had seven kills, 15 assists and six digs Ayden DesLauriers, Jake’s younger brother, had 20 assists and 12 digs in the win.
"I think as a unit, we just all played really well together and created opportunities for others," Porcelli said. "We were getting everybody involved."
It’s the second straight and third county title in the last four years for the Sharks. It’s the 11th county title (including three in girls volleyball) for coach Bill Kropp, who won his 400th game during the regular season.
"We had to win that, that wasn’t given to us," Kropp said. "I just couldn’t be prouder of this group. It’s tough being in a county final and you’re undefeated with a match set streak … it was a battle, but it was pretty amazing."
That set streak — Eastport-South Manor has won 48 of its 49 sets this fall — was in the back of the players’ minds Tuesday. But the championship was most important.
"We were just ready for everyone," Porcelli said. "We didn’t play down to anyone and we knew this could be history if we kept playing like this."