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Oct 27, 2018 10:53 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Lady Bonac Volleyball Wins League Title, Earns Top Seed In Class A Playoffs; Lady Whalers, Hurricanes Also Make Postseason

East Hampton's Elle Johnson and Ella Gurney go up to block Cortina Green's shot. KYRIL BROMLEY
Oct 30, 2018 4:19 PM

One of the many goals for the East Hampton girls volleyball team coming into this season was to not only reach the playoffs but advance through the quarterfinals, something that has proven to be difficult in recent years.Thanks to their stellar season up to this point, the Lady Bonackers accomplished that goal without having played a postseason match yet.

After a 3-0 home victory over Westhampton Beach on Thursday, October 25, East Hampton finished off an undefeated League VI season to win its first league title since 2013, and with it the top seed in the Suffolk County Class A postseason and a first-round bye. The Lady Bonackers advanced straight through to the semifinals and will host the winner of No. 4 Islip and No. 5 Kings Park on Monday, November 5.

“That was definitely part of our goal,” East Hampton head coach Kathy McGeehan said of getting through that first round. “The seed has brought us there. It’s far from being the end-goal, but we’ll certainly take it. Now we have a week to prepare.”

The only two league losses for second-place Westhampton Beach (10-2 League VI, 13-3 overall) this season came at the hands of the Lady Bonackers (12-0 League VI, 13-0 overall). The Lady Hurricanes earned the second seed in the playoffs and will host the other semifinal match against the winner of No. 3 Eastport South Manor and No. 6 Sayville, also on Monday, November 5.

When East Hampton played at Westhampton Beach earlier this season the match went five sets, but on Thursday, the Lady Bonackers made quick work of the Lady Hurricanes, winning in straight sets, 25-13, 25-11, 25-17. McGeehan said that was due to her team’s exceptional serving and great defense. East Hampton totaled 16 blocks, led by seniors Ella Gurney and Nicole Realmuto, who each had six. Seniors Madyson Neff (12) and Elle Johnson (11) and junior Molly Mamay (12) accounted for the majority of the team’s digs.

McGeehan said her team jelled together nicely at the Horseheads Classic Tournament on October 20. There they played some of the region’s top teams, such as Oswego Free Academy, City Honors out of Buffalo, Galway and Our Lady Of Mercy from Rochester. Playing against such tough competition helped elevate her team’s game to another level, McGeehan said.

The key component to the team’s success, McGeehan said, has been its serving. Mamay, Neff, Johnson and junior Mikela Junemann rank among the county’s best in service aces, and Johnson’s experience at the setter position is the glue to the team’s offense.

“On any given day, we can have any one person step up and play really well. When we’re firing on all cylinders we’re so strong everywhere. But if we’re doing it from the service line we’ll be in really good shape.”

Class C Final Set

As expected, the Pierson/Bridgehampton girls volleyball team will face Mattituck in the Suffolk County Class C Championship on Monday, November 5, at Shoreham/Wading River High School at 4 p.m.

The Lady Tuckers (12-0 League VIII, 14-2 overall) went undefeated to win the League VIII title and handed the defending county and Long Island Champion Lady Whalers (10-2 League VIII, 13-2 overall) their only two losses of the season. Last season, Stony Brook defeated Pierson twice in the regular season only to fall to the Lady Whalers in the county final. Pierson is banking on that same situation to pan out this season.

Canes Are In

The Westhampton Beach boys volleyball team finished the season 7-7 with 93.77 power points, good enough for the third seed in the upcoming Suffolk County Division II playoffs. The Hurricanes will play at No. 2 Eastport South Manor (6-8, 100.21 power points) this Friday, November 2, at 4 p.m. The winner of that match will take on the winner of No. 1 Hauppauge and No. 4 East Islip in the county final on Wednesday, November 7, at Sufffolk County Community College in Brentwood at 7 p.m.

This Friday will be the Cane's first playoff match in at least 14 years, according to head coach Jackie Reed.

The cross-town rival Canes and Sharks have not faced one another yet this season, but if history is any indicator, Reed said, ESM will be tough to beat, even though it has not had the success it's had in recent seasons.

"I think once a team has had a history of winning it becomes part of their DNA. It's true when they say, 'Success breeds success,' " she said. "I think we have to focus on our tasks and take care of the things we do well. We need to continue to work hard each day and continue to grow. I always tell the boys that we are always playing versus ourselves. We are good enough to win if we do not beat ourselves with errors."

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