Bay Shore was already living up to high preseason expectations in the first month of the 2014 season. With a win Tuesday night over the defending Long Island champions, the Marauders took another step in proving they can stand among Suffolk's elite teams.
Mark Jensen had 19 kills, Blake Hogan had 17 kills and junior Brian Weissert had 44 assists to lead Bay Shore in its 25-19, 25-22, 22-25, 25-17 win over Sachem East in a Suffolk League I game.
"The preseason ranking put a target on our back and put a lot of pressure on the team," said Bay Shore coach Andres Borromeo, whose team was seeded second by the coaches heading into the season.
Borromeo said Tuesday's win over previously unbeaten Sachem East, which was a state finalist in 2013, will help his players "believe in ourselves and that we can play and compete with the elite schools."
Bay Shore (6-0) was led Tuesday by its standout pair of outside hitters, Jensen and Hogan.
"They were able to keep the team together when facing adversity," Borromeo said of Jensen and Hogan, who are both averaging double-digit kills per game. "We were down a couple of points early in some sets. We were able to stop the momentum and stop Sachem East. Offensively, they were running plays and making sure they had one-on-one blocking and making sure they were always moving."
Setter Weissert was also a key for Bay Shore, putting on a highlight performance against Sachem East for the second straight year. In last season's matchup against Sachem East, a 3-2 win for Bay Shore, Weissert had a career-high 48 assists.
"He's been consistently putting the ball where we want it to be," Borromeo said of Weissert.
The coach also praised junior right side hitter Matt Hassell for his defense, and his work to "minimize their outside hitters with his blocks."
Sachem East fell to 5-1.
"They were what we expected," Borromeo said of his opponent. "They played hard. They played tough defenses. They challenged us on every single point we played. It was not easy."
Connetquot (1-4) is next on the schedule for Bay Shore, before the Marauders face Half Hollow Hills (5-1), Eastport-South Manor (4-0) and Sachem North (5-0).
"It's going to be interesting," Borromeo said. "As long as we keep playing like we did tonight, we'll be all right."