Erica Arroyo didn’t care what happened in the previous two sets. She wasn’t going to let Smithtown West walk off the court with anything but a victory.
Arroyo had five of her 15 kills in the decisive fifth set — including hammering down the final point of the contest — as host Smithtown West defeated Bay Shore, 26-24, 25-23, 22-25, 16-25, 25-11, in non-league girls volleyball Wednesday.
“She’s worked hard all offseason to have a moment like that,” coach Deron Brown said … “For her to have a set like that and come alive, it’s a great moment for her. And we had a lot of kids have great moments today.”
Arroyo was quick to pass the praise to the entire team, although she had kills on five of Smithtown West’s final six points Wednesday.
“I definitely was in a zone and I think our team fought with passion,” Arroyo said. “We wanted it with all our hearts.”
That heart was shown and challenged throughout the contest. Smithtown West (8-0) trailed Bay Shore 21-18 in the first set before taking it, 26-24. The Bulls then trailed 23-20 in the second set before scoring the final five points and winning, 25-23. Angelina Savoretti, Kira Pirrera and Arroyo each had a key kill during the comeback and Erika Gehrling had an ace for the 24th point.
“Our team has a very good mental state and we just pushed through,” Arroyo said. “We never get in our heads or down on ourselves and we just play with confidence.”
But Bay Shore didn’t back down. Bay Shore (7-1) won the third set, 25-22. Bay Shore followed that with a 7-0 run midway through the fourth set, taking a 21-13 advantage and taking the set, 25-16.
But Smithtown West remained composed.
“We knew overall we could be stronger than this team and it was a mental and physical thing of who was going to push through and win that set,” Pirrera said. “We had to be tenacious.”
Pirrera had 16 kills, 22 assists, 15 digs, five blocks and three aces, Savoretti had 16 kills, 10 digs and three aces, Gehrling had 26 assists and Sydney Kondracki had 18 digs in the win.
Smithtown West, the two-time defending Suffolk Class AA champions, wanted to schedule as many challenges as possible this season and a tough Bay Shore team provided just that.
“We’re still a team to be reckoned with,” Brown said. “We did graduate some talent the last two years but there’s still some of the championship aura out there.”