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Smithtown West girls volleyball wins second straight Suffolk Class AA crown

Kasey Tietjen of Smithtown West gets some air

Kasey Tietjen of Smithtown West gets some air for her spike during the Suffolk Class AA girls volleyball finals on Wednesday, November 3, 2021 in Hauppauge. Credit: Dawn McCormick

After earning a championship just a few months ago, Smithtown West found themselves in position to repeat, this time in different circumstances.

Smithtown West defeated Patchogue-Medford, 25-16, 25-21, 25-20, on Wednesday night at Hauppauge High School and was crowned the Suffolk AA champion, repeating the feat after a title drought that dated to 2000. Despite breaking such a long drought a season ago, this title felt a bit sweeter.

"This one was definitely better. Last year we were only allowed two fans per player," Carly McAleavey said. "This time about half of our school was in the stands. It definitely helped with our energy."

McAleavey had six kills, including one for set point in the second set. Kasey Tietjen led Smithtown West with 13 kills and added six digs.

"All gas, no brakes, that’s our team motto," Tietjen said. "I know that if my team shows up and we play the way we play, we’re going to get it done."

Smithtown West lost its first game of the season before rattling off 16 straight wins to earn a spot in the championship. They finished the season 18-1, with an undefeated record of 16-0 in League II play.

The first set was dominated by Smithtown West as they went ahead 11-4 before cruising to a 25-16 win. The second set was a different story as Patchogue-Medford jumped out to a 9-3 advantage. Smithtown West clawed its way back to tie it at 19 and then scored six of the next eight points to take the set, 25-21.

The third set saw Smithtown West take an 18-16 lead. They scored seven of the next 11 points to grab a 25-20 victory with match point coming on an unforced error by Patchogue-Medford.

"When we’re down we come together, we say we have to step it up right here," McAleavey said. "We focus on the next point, never win the set, just the next point."

Smithtown West has earned a spot in the Long Island championship on Saturday, Nov. 13, when they will face the Nassau AA champion. Coach Deron Brown attributes their success to their "unity" and the program’s "culture."

"Culture, unity, teamwork, togetherness, we are a family," Brown said. "They play for each other, for the program, and for the kids in the stands."

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