The success the East Hampton boys volleyball team has had early on this season has been four years in the making, head coach Josh Brussell said.
The Bonackers are 3-0 in Division II play, 3-1 overall, and as of Tuesday morning, sat in second place in all of Suffolk County with 119.37 power points, only behind powerhouse Lindenhurst. The jump in the standings came when East Hampton defeated Commack, 3-2, at home on September 5, garnering some major points in the victory over a much larger and perennially solid team, in the Cougars.
“This year is what we have been working toward,” Brussell said. “I don’t think there is one player making the difference, although Clark Miller may be one of the hardest middles to deal with in our league.”
But Miller hasn’t been the only player performing at a high level early on. There have been numerous players leading the charge, such as Morgan Segelken, Brussell said, who was the team’s libero four years ago, but now is the team’s setter — and excelling in that role.
The fact that a number of players have stepped up this season has led Brussell to not name a captain for this year’s team.
“We believe that we will only survive as one — it’s not about any of us, it’s about all of us — and they have really bought into this philosophy,” Brussell said of his players. “This season is going to be an uphill battle, and we just have to keep pushing forward and get better.
“We don’t know what the season holds for us, but no matter who we are playing, we are going to be battling and trying to get better,” he added.
Brussell added that this season’s team is highly motivated to be successful with many of its players in their final years on varsity. Six of the Bonac’s seven starters have been on varsity for four years now, with the other having spent three years on varsity.
That experience showed in the victory over Commack, which Bonac won 25-22, 22-25, 26-24, 24-26, 15-13. Brussell thought his team showed a well balanced offense in that match. In years past, he said, his team would have one player to attack with, amassing most of the kills in a match. But against Commack, Miller and Logan Gurney, both seniors, each had eight kills, while junior Luc Campbell was right behind them with seven.
Even with the big win over Commack, Brussell didn’t think his team played to its full potential and has been working on its serving, passing and defense since then. That’s led to the Bonackers having won 3-0 matches at Comsewogue on September 10 and at home over Center Moriches on Thursday, September 12.
East Hampton played at Connetquot on Tuesday and will play at Hauppauge this Thursday, September 19, at 6:15 p.m. The Bonackers will then play in the Westhampton Beach Invitational this Saturday, when they will see how they match up against the hosts and what is a top-ranked Hurricanes team.
“I haven’t had a team like this in a long time. Win or lose,” Brussell said, regarding the season as a whole. “We have proven to ourselves that we have the potential for great things as we have already vastly improved from last year and have no intention on stopping.”