Pierson/Bridgehampton Girls Volleyball Looking To Take Another Step in Second Year Under Rewinski - 27 East

Pierson/Bridgehampton Girls Volleyball Looking To Take Another Step in Second Year Under Rewinski

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Pierson senior Lyra Aubrey is going to be a key player up on the front line for the Whalers once again this season.   RON ESPOSITO

Pierson senior Lyra Aubrey is going to be a key player up on the front line for the Whalers once again this season. RON ESPOSITO

Helena, left, and Alex, far right, Kolloff are both key returning players for the Whalers this season.   RON ESPOSITO

Helena, left, and Alex, far right, Kolloff are both key returning players for the Whalers this season. RON ESPOSITO

Drew Budd on Sep 6, 2023

The Pierson/Bridgehampton girls volleyball team went 8-6 in League VIII last fall under first-year head coach Hilary Rewinski, leading to a playoff appearance in which the Whalers lost to Mattituck. The Whalers are hoping, at the very least, to duplicate that success this season.

Following the loss to Mattituck, Pierson lost about a half-dozen players to graduation, which can be quite a bit for an already small program. Notably, the team lost Grace Flanagan, Finn Goodale and Ashley Weatherwax, all starters who played all around the court.

But the Whalers have a strong core returning in senior middle blocker Lyra Aubrey and the Kolloff sister duo of senior Helena, who will play right side filling in for the departed Goodale, and junior Alex, who will play outside hitter. Also returning is sophomore Zeza Leitao who is entering her second year as the team’s libero.

Rewinski is looking forward to the additions of juniors Mila Campomar and Fiona Martin, both up from junior varsity and both setters looking to replace the departed Weatherwax. Martin has also shown a penchant to being a good server as well, with a pair of aces in the team’s 3-0 loss to Mattituck on August 31. The Kolloff sisters also had a pair of strong kills, Rewinski said, but overall her team is still very much “dusting off the cobwebs,” with a 3-0 loss to Hampton Bays on August 29 and a 3-1 loss to William Floyd the following day.

“We had a lot of energy on the court and some great communication against Floyd,” she said. “That match went four and we even had a set go 27-25, so it was a lot closer than the score indicated.

“Our goal this year is to figure out what works best for us,” Rewinski added. “We have some players who are playing different positions, and they’re still getting their feet wet in those new positions. I do think it’s vital that we have players who can play multiple positions, and communication is also very key. The girls need to learn that each time the ball is served, it’s an opportunity to score a point. Keeping that mindset is important.”

Due to a shakeup statewide in enrollment numbers, many teams were shifted either up or down in class and league across the county. Pierson was actually unaffected by it all, to a point. It will compete in League VII this year, a mixed classification league that will feature all of the small schools in the county, from Class B to Class D schools. Thankfully, some of the perennial powerhouses from Class B, such as Bayport-Blue Point and Elwood-John Glenn, moved up to Class A.

Pierson and Port Jefferson, which defeated Mattituck for the Class B county title a year ago, are the only two Class C teams now in the county.

The Whalers played Center Moriches on Wednesday and will host Shelter Island this Friday, September 8, at 5:45 p.m. before hosting Greenport/Southold on Monday at 6:15 p.m. Later in the season, on October 13, Pierson will host Southampton in its Dig Pink at 6:15 p.m. It was a big success last year, raising $1,200 for breast cancer research, and Rewinski is hoping for an even bigger turnout this season.

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