Friday night at Westhampton Beach High School was a good night for fans of the Hurricanes, and a decidedly bad night for fans of Bellport athletics.
The Westhampton Beach girls volleyball team got things started when it beat Bellport, 3-0, in the opening round of the Class A playoffs. After watching that match in the Westhampton Beach gym, fans walked outside to the football field, where they saw the Hurricanes beat Bellport, 43-27, to advance to the Division III final four.
The third-seeded Lady Hurricanes visited second seed Kings Park in a semifinal match on Monday, November 7. Westhampton Beach played Kings Park once during the regular season, on the road, and lost a close five-set match.
Friday’s win was much easier. The Lady Canes won the first set, 25-20, going on a 5-0 run to win the match after it was tied at 20-20. A kill by junior Marta Sadowska sealed that win.
In the second set, Westhampton Beach took a commanding 20-9 lead on its way to a 25-13 win. The Lady Clippers didn’t lay down in the third set, but errors hurt them as the game went on, helping the Lady Canes take a 22-16 lead. Bellport battled back and cut it to 22-20, but Westhampton Beach closed out the set, and the match, by scoring the next three points to win, 25-20.
Westhampton Beach head coach Lenny Zaloga said his team had turned it on in recent matches, and that trend continued in the playoff opener.
“Our ball control the last five matches has been really good,” he said after the match. “We’re a pretty good offensive team, and if we can pass, we’re really a good team. Everyone seems to have gotten a little bit better in serve-receive and defense. We’re a very balanced combo of offense and defense.”
Westhampton Beach had not faced Bellport in the regular season, but Zaloga said he expected a tough match. “They were seeded ahead of East Hampton, and we went five [sets] with East Hampton both times,” he explained.
Sadowska led Westhampton Beach with 10 kills, while both Morgan Tiska and Kristen Polan had seven kills. Alex Siolos had 18 assists and libero Alexa Smith had 17 digs.