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Sep 7, 2017 11:28 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Pierson/Bridgehampton Girls Volleyball Off To Strong Start

Pierson's Samantha Cox sends the ball over the net. DREW BUDD
Sep 11, 2017 9:24 AM

It might be early but the Pierson/Bridgehampton girls volleyball team is starting off the way it ended last season.

Suffolk County Class C finalists from a year ago, the Lady Whalers won their first two matches of the fall, the most recent a 3-1 victory on their home court over Port Jefferson on Wednesday to improve to 2-0 in the standings. They began the season with a 3-0 sweep of host Greenport/Southold on September 1.

Port Jefferson handed Pierson—the reigning League VIII champion—its only league loss last season, so Lady Whalers head coach Donna Fischer expected a competitive match from the Lady Royals, and it was exactly that through the first two matches. Pierson took the first set, 26-24, before Port Jeff rebounded and took the second set, 25-21, to even things up.

But the Lady Whalers regrouped to take the third and fourth sets, 25-12 and 25-15, to secure the victory.

A pair of non-starters clinched the victories in the final two sets; Celia Barranco’s block won the third set, and back-to-back service aces by Azeiza Zei finished off the Lady Royals in the fourth and final set.

That’s not to say the starters didn’t have solid games for Pierson. Captain Leigh Hatfield, the team’s lone senior, led the offense with eight kills, while sophomore Samantha Cox finished with seven kills and three aces, and Olivia Cassone led the team with five aces. Setter Sofia Mancino, an eighth-grader playing in just her second varsity game, finished with 22 assists.

Fischer explained that she is implementing a new rotation this season due to the loss of four players to graduation and an influx of newcomers to varsity.

All seems to be working seamlessly in the early going thus far.

“This is a young team,” Fischer said. “They’re just learning how to mesh with one another.”

Due to its early matches, Pierson will have the next week off before it travels to Shelter Island on Wednesday, September 13. First serve is scheduled for 5:45 p.m. Pierson then hosts its third annual tournament at the high school on Saturday, September 16.

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