Sally Tietjen #12 of Smithtown West, center, and teammates, from...

Sally Tietjen #12 of Smithtown West, center, and teammates, from left, Kasey Tietjen #6, Erika Gehrling #5, Kira Pirrera #11 and Carley McAleavey #7 celebrate after winning the Suffolk girls volleyball Class AA final over Connetquot at Smithtown High School West on Saturday, April 24, 2021. Credit: James Escher

It was an uncommon season during uncommon times that yielded a happily uncommon result. Smithtown West defeated Connetquot 3-1 in the Suffolk Class AA girls volleyball championship Saturday.

The 25-15, 20-25, 25-13, 25-18 win was the first girls volleyball county championship since they competed as part of a combined Smithtown team in 2000 and the first as Smithtown West since the 1990’s, according to coach Deron Brown.

"We executed a perfect game plan," Brown said of Saturday’s win. "The game-plan we put in place could not have been executed any better. We served tough, our offense coming out of the tough serves was just run to perfection."

Sally Tietjen, who had over 15 kills, led the offense.

"She was an un-stoppable force," Brown said of the senior. "When her number was called today to take a swing, she didn’t leave anything in the tank. She’s been a phenomenal player for us for the last five years. I’ve had her since eighth grade. Her last match was, by far, her best match."

After a 10-day quarantine in mid-March, Brown said that the team endure a lot to get to the finish line, including strengthening their COVID-19 protocols and playing double headers. But, through it all, the team never lost their resolve – and never lost a game. Smithtown West finished 17-0, the only undefeated team in a tough League II, according to Newsday records.

"Did they want to do it? No. But that’s what they realized they had to do to keep our season alive," Brown said. "Because of their discipline, we were able to finish our season on a high note. To be able to finish and finish on the court in the manor that they did, makes it special on top of it."

On Saturday, Smithtown West dropped the second set, 20-25, but came back to win the next two.

"It started out with serving tough," Brown said. "We got our serves in. We had a couple service errors in second set. When we get our serves over, they’re tough serves. They’re spotted to perfection and it put Connetquot’s offense on their hills."


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