With tears of joy filling her eyes, Emily DeVito was in awe.
With 20 kills, two aces and one block, DeVito had just massively sparked the Seaford girls volleyball team on Saturday en route to earning a trip upstate.
“This is seriously incredible,” DeVito said after Seaford defeated defending champion Bayport-Blue Point, 20-25, 25-14, 25-21, 25-19, in the Long Island Class B championship at Hauppauge. “The work that we put in for this team, it just makes me want to cry…The relationship and bond we’ve formed on this team, it’s the best thing that I’ve ever been a part of.”
Seaford (10-8) now advances to the state semifinals in Glens Falls on Nov. 23.
Leading 19-18 in the fourth set, the Vikings scored four straight points to extend the lead to 23-18 before punching their ticket to the state tournament.
Trailing 20-18 in the third set, the Vikings staged a late rally to capture a 25-21 victory and a 2-1 match lead. DeVito demonstrated her prowess during that stretch, powering four kills past the Bayport defense.
“I am beyond proud,” said Kelly O’Kane, who recorded 33 assists. “The determination this team has to keep fighting after we lost the first set, I’m so proud.”
Seaford evened the score at one set apiece in the second. DeVito followed up a kill with an ace to extend the lead to 20-12 before Seaford notched five of the final seven points.
The Phantoms (8-3) surged to a 15-5 advantage in the opening set, but the Vikings wouldn’t go down easily. Seaford shifted the momentum and pulled within 23-20 before Bayport closed out the set with the final two points.
Battling back from the opening set loss to make it competitive appeared to be the turning point of the match for Seaford. From that point forward, Seaford played with newfound confidence and rode it all the way to the Long Island title.
“I knew they could do it,” Seaford coach Marie Savage said. “But the fact that every single one of them turned it on today was outstanding.”