In passing its biggest test of the year, Sachem North showed it is still the team to beat in Suffolk boys volleyball.
Sean Hannett had 23 kills, Dan LaRosa had 13 digs and eight assists and Jack Driscoll had 54 assists to lead Sachem North to a five-set win over host Eastport-South Manor in a battle of unbeaten teams on Friday. Connor Pallmann added 22 kills and Alec Lehnert had 15 kills for the Flaming Arrows (10-0), who won 25-20, 23-25, 20-25, 25-19, 25-19, to extend their winning streak against Long Island competition to 47.
“Every game we’re trying to prove something,” Hannett said. “They were undefeated, we were undefeated, it was great seeing who was going to come out with the win. This was a big game for us.”
Eastport-South Manor (9-1), which boasts a loaded roster and came into the season as the top seed in the county, did not make things easy for the visitors. After taking the third set to go up two sets to one, the Sharks went up 15-10 in the fourth.
Sachem North responded, as LaRosa’s defense, Driscoll’s passing and Hannett’s scoring helped key a 15-4 run that closed the set and leveled the match. In the fifth, the Arrows got separation midway through the set and won it by six.
“These were two very even teams,” LaRosa said. “We saw our matchups, we knew where to go in certain spots. Our coaches had us prepared well.”
“Sean was our leader today and Dan’s been great all year and today he was elite,” Sachem North coach Matt Rivera said. “Any ball that came over the net, he was the first guy moving to the ball. It was fun to watch.”
“They’re a terrific team with a lot of firepower and our challenge was trying to defend all their weapons,” Rivera added of Eastport-South Manor, which was led by Ryan Byrne, Brennen Brandow, Tom Ogeka and Quinn Foglia. “We knew they were going to get their points, so we just tried to minimize what they could do and get stops.”
Said Driscoll: “If we work together, we can do anything we want, and we proved that to ourselves today.”