Westhampton Beach's Casey Sidor (2) spikes the ball against Jamesville...

Westhampton Beach's Casey Sidor (2) spikes the ball against Jamesville - Dewitt in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Division 2 championship boys' volleyball game Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023 in Albany, N.Y. Jamesville - Dewitt won the match. Credit: HANS PENNINK/Hans Pennink

ALBANY – Westhampton’s final Hokey Pokey wasn’t quite what the Hurricanes envisioned.

Yes, it took place after the final match of the season with dozens of friends and family in attendance more than 200 miles away from home.

But it took place with the Hurricanes wearing runner-up medals.

Westhampton fell in straight sets to Jamesville-Dewitt (Section III), 25-20, 25-19, 28-26, in the Division II boys volleyball state championship match Saturday at Albany Capital Center.

“We were all sad, but we realized that we were never going to have a chance to do it again with this exact group,” senior outside hitter Alec Kelly said. “We just wanted to do it one more time to grasp that special connection we had.”

Westhampton was simply outmatched, especially in the height department. Avery Kielbasinski, Cam Moynihan and Phoenix McBride would all be the tallest players on Westhampton’s team and the trio dominated the middle the entire match. It’s Jamesville-Dewitt’s second consecutive state title.

“Our game is quick and well-balanced. Their game is quick, well-balanced and they’re big,” Westhampton coach Josh Tuttle said. “It was just really hard to stop. We did all that we could possibly do. Hats off to them, they won that championship fair and square.”

The Hurricanes didn’t go out without a fight, giving everything they had in the third set. Jamesville-Dewitt erased a 16-10 deficit and took a 24-23 lead. Following a timeout, Westhampton scored two straight points, but the Hurricanes just couldn’t get that final point.

Senior right-side hitter Casey Sidor took over in the third set, totaling six kills, a block and an ace.

“In the middle of that third set, it started to hit me and I was thinking, ‘Am I about to start tearing up midgame?’” Sidor said. “I did everything in my power to not let that happen. Whether it was blocking, serving, hitting… I really wanted it. We all really wanted it.”

Sidor finished with 13 kills and two aces, Kelly had nine kills, two blocks and two aces and senior setter Seth Terry had 25 assists, a kill and an ace.

Earlier in the day, Westhampton split four sets in the pool play round – a 25-22 win and a 25-17 loss to Spencerport (Section V) and a 25-22 win and a 25-21 loss to Jamesville, which won both its sets against Spencerport, allowing the Hurricanes to advance to the final.

Following a 6-10 record in 2022, Westhampton finishes the season 16-3, having won its second Long Island title and first since 2019. From day one, the Hurricanes brought energy and fun to the volleyball court as only they could.

“This team is a bunch of goofballs,” Sidor said. “You don’t get many state championship teams that are just a bunch of goofballs. I think it says that we can have fun and still play the game well.”

“After the Long Island championship, my 8-year-old nephew was with my mom and he said to her, ‘When can I start playing volleyball?’” assistant coach Jackie Reed said. “It just shows the impact these kids have had on our town and how them having fun with each other can inspire the next generation.”

That’s what it’s all about.

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