Newsday’s Kenny DeJohn recaps the week of Long Island girls volleyball, starting with a look at the South Side Cyclones and finishing with other notables from early October.
All records and results are current as of Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 4 p.m.
South Side success story
Nassau A-I is a gauntlet. It’s a word commonly used by a few of the coaches in the conference, and for an understandable reason. The top three teams all have winning records and battle with each other during the fall.
There’s one team that’s withstood the tough schedule and powered to an undefeated record.
South Side, under the tutelage of coach Cheryl Scalice, is 9-0 in conference and 10-0 overall. The Cyclones have dropped sets to 8-1 Wantagh, 5-3 Mineola and 3-6 Lynbrook, but those are the only blemishes on an otherwise clean schedule.
Scalice is getting contributions all around but is anchored defensively by libero Caroline LaMacchia. Last year’s squad that included LaMacchia lost to Kings Park in the Long Island Class A championship, but with Suffolk Class A looking more vulnerable than in years past, this could be the opportunity for a strong Nassau team to advance to Glens Falls.
South Side’s offense is spread around, with Colleen Farrell, Katelyn Tollefsen, Alexan Fingleton, Jaden Garelle, Sophia Jackson and Faith LaMacchia all candidates to score. This balance makes South Side a tough draw, even for a team like Wantagh that could match its depth.
While every Nassau A-I match is a grind, South Side has made things look relatively easy. With four matches left until the playoffs start, South Side is looking like the team to beat.
- Sticking with Nassau A-I, Mineola took down Manhasset on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 3-2, behind Colette Maloney’s 14 kills. Meaghan McCaffrey and powerhouse middle hitter Vickie Venus each had 11 kills.
- Wantagh got the best of Mineola on Friday, Oct. 5, 3-2. That makes the Warriors 2-0 against Mineola this year, a big accomplishment after they were 0-2 against the Mustangs a year ago. Victoria Spencer had 17 kills and 11 digs, while Grace Riddle had 17 kills and nine digs. Kayla Rende racked up 48 assists.
- In an important Suffolk II match, Connetquot swept Whitman, 3-0, on Friday, Oct. 5. Diana Migliozzi led the way with 25 assists, while Catherine Cuozzo had six kills and three blocks. The Thunderbirds have had to work for it, but they’re now 8-1 after a 3-1 win over Bay Shore.
- Islip upended Sayville in Suffolk VI on Friday, Oct. 5, behind Maddie Gremli’s 18 digs, 13 kills and six aces. Johanna Christiansen had 21 digs and 13 kills, while Ashley Pepe had 19 digs and five aces.
- Bayport-Blue Point, a perennial Class B power, defeated Westhampton, a Class A contender, 3-1 on Friday, Oct. 5. This non-league was a good litmus test for both programs as the playoffs inch closer.
Newsday’s Top 10
Long Beach (Last week: 1)
South Side (3)
Sacred Heart (4)
Smithtown West (8)
East Hampton (10)
Kings Park (9)
On the cusp (in alphabetical order): Bayport-Blue Point, Eastport-South Manor, Northport, Sachem East, St. Anthony’s, Wantagh
Games to watch
- Thursday, Oct. 11 — Mineola at South Side, 4:30 p.m.
- Friday, Oct. 12 — Long Beach at Massapequa, 4:30 p.m.
- Saturday, Oct. 13 — Tournament at Long Beach featuring Bayport-Blue Point, Kellenberg, others, 8 a.m.
- Monday, Oct. 15 — Eastport-South Manor at Kings Park, 5:45 p.m.
- Wednesday, Oct. 17 — South Side at Wantagh, 4:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, Oct. 17 — Glenn at Bayport-Blue Point, 4 p.m