Newsday’s Kenny DeJohn recaps the week of Long Island girls volleyball, starting with an early Suffolk surprise and finishing with other notables from the first full week of the season.
Rocky Point starts season with a ‘W’
The Rocky Point girls volleyball team has won a combined six games in the last three seasons. Coach Conor Sussillo wants to keep that in the past.
“We’ve kind of changed the philosophy of the program, not settling for any sort of mediocrity,” he said. “Now our goal is to make the playoffs. We set that in August, and we’ve pushed for it.”
The Eagles started their season on a high note on Friday, beating Amityville in a thrilling five-set match, 25-14, 10-25, 17-25, 28-26, 25-22, in Suffolk VI. They trailed 20-14 in the fourth set before mounting a comeback that eventually swung the momentum in their favor.
Haley Brocato had 10 kills and 15 digs, and Zoe Clarke had 23 assists to lead the charge, while Katelyn Wilbur had eight aces, Brook Pohl had seven kills and Celine Singh had three blocks.
Rocky Point doesn’t start a single senior, so there are bound to be growing pains. The youthful group stood tough against Amityville, though, and Sussillo said moving forward was key after dropping the second and third sets.
“We always preach the next play,” he said. “You can’t do anything about the last play. I said, ‘You have to fight tooth and nail, and it’s not over ‘til it’s over.’ ”
- Commack advanced past a strong Sachem East team, 3-0 (25-13, 25-23, 29-27), on Friday in Suffolk I. East has power and height in Molly Jandris, but the Cougars leaned on Emily Haber, Abby Harper, Carly Haegele and Abbey Dummler, a returning member of Newsday’s All-Long Island first team, who had 14 kills.
- Jaelyn Conquest had 15 digs, 13 kills and 11 blocks as Bellport outlasted Half Hollow Hills East, 3-2 (25-20, 23-25, 22-25, 25-16, 25-23, on Wednesday in non-league. Alyssa Mantione had 22 assists, while Emily Gentzel had 14 digs and 11 kills.
- Cat Jamison, a player to watch this fall, had 23 digs, 13 kills and three aces, leading Huntington over Deer Park, 3-2 (25-19, 18-25, 25-23, 23-25, 25-16), on Friday in Suffolk IV. Shannon Kehoe had 27 assists.
- Kings Park, winners of the last seven Long Island championships, beat East Islip, 3-2 (25-11, 24-26, 25-27, 25-17, 25-11), on Friday in Suffolk V. Sophomore Liv Benard led the way with 13 kills and four blocks, while setter Carly Estherson totaled 34 assists.
- Massapequa didn’t win a county title last season for the first time since 1999, but the Chiefs started off the 2018 season on a high note by defeating Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK, 3-1 (25-23, 23-25, 25-19, 25-21), on Friday in Nassau I. Katie Murray had 54 assists, while Sophie Macchia had eight kills and 12 digs. The Hawks are considered contenders in Nassau I this year, so this was a nice win for the Chiefs.
Newsday’s Top 10
- Long Beach
- Kings Park
- Sacred Heart
- South Side
- Ward Melville
- Smithtown West
On the cusp (alphabetical order): Kellenberg, Northport, Sachem East, Wantagh
This week’s games to watch
- Wednesday, Sept. 12 — Centereach at Smithtown West, 4 p.m.
- Thursday, Sept. 13 — Wantagh at Mineola, 4:30 p.m.
- Friday, Sept. 14 — Long Beach at Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK, 6 p.m.
- Saturday, Sept. 15 — Tournaments at Eastport-South Manor and Smithtown East, both 8 a.m.