Jessica Loyer could sense that something was different back in August when East Rockaway began anew after the previous year’s 1-11 volleyball season.
Here’s how different it was: The Rocks captured the Long Island Class C championship Saturday at SUNY-Old Westbury, beating Stony Brook, 25-19, 25-14, 25-13, to earn a trip to Glens Falls for the state semifinals.
Loyer had nine assists and six aces and Skylar Masterson had six kills and three aces to lead the sweep.
“I’m on Cloud Nine,” said Loyer, a senior. “I got the chills the entire time. I knew as soon as we started this season, we’d make it so far. This group of girls is just so different from last year.”
Juniors Joanna Acampora (12 assists, two aces) and Melissa Loyer (eight kills), Jessica’s sister, were consistent weapons, as were seniors Diana Locoteta (eight) and Kiera Popp (seven).
Masterson, a middle hitter, complemented the Rocks’ outside-heavy attack, allowing East Rockaway (11-7) to execute its game plan. The Rocks never trailed in the match.
“We scouted them so we knew what they were going to be like, but we just wanted to play our game and play how we’ve been playing all season,” Masterson said.
Stony Brook (6-6) also enjoyed a turnaround campaign after a winless fall last season, but the Bears were unable to combat East Rockaway’s hitting options, something of a luxury in Class C.
A multitude of threats on the outside makes Loyer’s job easier. “They’re the ones I rely on when we need a point,” she said. “I always go the outsides. It’s so easy. Even if I mess up a set, they’re still there.”
Those outsides will be weapons on Saturday in Glens Falls in the state championship semifinals.