Port Jefferson put their best foot forward in an attempt to make it to Glens Falls for a second consecutive year, but this time around it wasn’t enough.
Millbrook (Section IX) defeated Port Jefferson, 25-23, 25-17, 25-15, in the Southeast Regional final at Port Jefferson on Saturday. Olivia Sherman had 10 kills, giving her 27 in the last two matches. She had five digs and two aces and Erin Henry had seven kills and eight digs.
With the first set tied at 7, Millbrook scored eight of the next 10 points to take a commanding lead. The Royals stormed back, pulling within one at 23-22 after a Sherman kill, but Millbrook scored two of the final three.
Henry picked up a kill and the Royals got another point on a Millbrook attack error that tied the score at 8, early in the second. Sherman floated a ball over the net three points later that Millbrook couldn’t handle and Port Jeff took a 10-9 lead, but that would be the end of its surge.
“It's tough to compete with a team like Millbrook, with the size they have,” Port Jefferson coach CJ Hafner said. “They have two strong outsides, that had about 43 kills combined, most Class C teams can’t do that.”
Millbrook scored the next six points and 11 of 13, to put the set out of reach. Port Jefferson held a 3-2 lead early in the third, but similarly saw things slip away later when Millbrook started an 8-1 run.
Port Jefferson (17-3) enjoyed a stellar season as they won a second consecutive Long Island Class C championship, despite having just three seniors on its roster. The only two losses for the Royals during the regular season came at the hands of Babylon and Center Moriches, the two teams who competed for the county Class B title.
“We had a lot of people saying we’d have a down year, because we lost a lot of seniors,” Hafner said. “We had people stepping into uncomfortable spots, but each one stepped up.”