Midway through Monday's girls volleyball match between Bellport and Bayport-Blue Point, it became evident the Clippers' success would hinge on how they responded to their loss in the second game.
Although host Bellport won the first game comfortably, it lost in Game 2 by an almost equally wide margin.
The Clippers ultimately were undeterred, returning to the form they opened the match with to win the next two games in their 25-13, 14-25, 25-18, 25-23 non-league victory.
Samantha Colombo had 13 kills, Toni Parente had 33 assists and Annika Johnsen had 17 digs to lead Bellport (11-3.)
"That was a strong non-league game," Bellport coach Larry Auth said. "They're undefeated in league. We are as well. It was a nice matchup."
Seemingly unfazed by the 9:30 a.m. Columbus Day start, Parente opened the match by winning six consecutive service points in Bellport's 12-point, Game 1 win.
Bayport-Blue Point (8-2) responded well, though, starting Game 2 in strong fashion and going on a 14-3 run to close out the game.
Bellport's players said improved communication on the court and reduced mental errors helped them fix some of the problems that plagued them in the second game.
"All of us slowed down [and] stopped talking a little bit," Parente said of Game 2. "We picked it back up in the third game. We got smarter and put the ball in the right places."
Said Johnsen: "I think our blockers really stepped it up and were moving. We were all talking and moving together to get back into the game."
"They knew what the errors were," Auth said. "The first [game] was a pretty good win. They got a little relaxed and got caught off guard. They realized 'we made a mistake' and they rebounded."
With Johnsen, a libero, leading the Bellport defense, Parente, Colombo and Dynasia Simmons, who added eight kills, paced the offense.
"All of them were on today," Parente, the team's setter, said of her hitters. "Sam Colombo and Dynasia Simmons did really awesome today."
On Parente, her longtime teammate, Colombo said: "She's great, our chemistry is good and she's always on top of it. We are always communicating, [the ball] is always where I want it to be."
Johnsen, Parente and Colombo, the team's captains, won a total of 29 service points.
"I'm happy with the three of them," Auth said. "They're seniors, they want to accomplish their ultimate goal, and they work very hard."