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Sep 5, 2019 9:31 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Lady Bonac Volleyball Bounces With Victory Over Sayville After Season-Opening Loss At Kings Park

Alex Choi, in his first ever varsity match as head coach, teaches his sophomore Sorrel Miller during Wednesday's match. DREW BUDD
Sep 10, 2019 3:34 PM

The revamped East Hampton girls volleyball team had the tough task of playing its first two matches of the season against two perennial playoff teams, Kings Park and Sayville.

The Lady Bonackers opened the season on the road in Kings Park on September 4 against a team that has won seven of the last eight Long Island Class A titles and the past eight consecutive county titles. East Hampton suffered a 3-0 loss, 25-20, 25-15, 25-16, to Kings Park, but on Monday evening, East Hampton bounced right back with a 3-1 victory over Sayville in what was the Lady Bonackers’ home opener.

After losing nine players to graduation at the close of last season, and with longtime head coach Kathy McGeehan retiring and being replaced by assistant Alex Choi, East Hampton is coming out of the gates this season in a bit of a feeling-out period. It has just three regular starters back from last season, seniors Mikela Junemann, Molly Mamay and Zoe Leach, and two of them — Mamay and Leach — are playing new positions.

With everything being so new, it led to a few communication breakdowns in the loss at Kings Park, particularly in the second and third sets, eventually leading to the three-set loss. Choi, after his very first match as head coach, said despite the loss, he liked what he saw for the most part.

“I definitely liked that first set. They were talking, they came out strong and they were doing everything right,” he said. “I think they just had a little bit of a communication breakdown and it’s just something to work on. It’s a new team, it’s new faces for some of them. So they’re just trying to get used to everybody still. I think that’s going to clean up as the season goes on.”

Junemann, in her regular outside hitter role, led the team with seven kills and served four consecutive aces in the second set. Mamay, making the switch from the team’s starting libero to its setter, had 15 assists. Leach, making the move from defensive specialist to outside hitter, had a pair of kills to go along with seven digs. The team’s new starting libero, junior Hannah Hartsough, also had seven digs.

East Hampton defeated Sayville in four sets, 25-20, 25-21, 23-25, 25-22. Junemann and Leach each had eight kills while Mamay had seven. Junemann also had eight digs, junior Lea Mancini had nine total blocks and Leach had three aces. Hartsough, who Choi said was probably his player on the court on Monday, had seven digs and three aces.

“I have a lot of people scrambling around playing positions they don’t normally play. Just how it works out,” Choi said. “But I think they’re doing a good job of learning their new positions.”

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