Tuckers Volleyball Back With Vengeance

Charlotte Keil leaps up at the net for a block. Independent/Desirée Keegan
Charlotte Keil leaps up at the net for a block. Independent/Desirée Keegan

For Mattituck’s girls volleyball team, Westhampton Beach was the motivation for Friday’s 3-0 nonleague sweep of Mt. Sinai.

After being shut out by the second-ranked team in League VI, the League VIII-leading Tuckers topped Greenport/Southold in a conference matchup before besting Mt. Sinai 25-16, 25-13, 25-20 September 28.

“Getting a win has definitely boosted our confidence again,” junior libero Jordan Osler said of her 7-1 Tuckers that remain perfect (6-0) atop the league leaderboard. “Last year we lost seven players, so it feels really good to come in with that many new players and still be on top. We’ve got the routine plays down. We’re getting good passes, and good hits. We also had a bunch of good saves.”

Outside hitter Viki Harkin dove all over the court to make them Friday night.

“She continues to get better and better,” head coach Frank Massa said of his senior. “She’s very athletic, and we definitely run a lot of our stuff around her.”

The passing, which earned Mattituck the win, ended most of the time with a Harkin slam, and in each instance, she was ready.

“I felt really good,” she said. “I love playing out there.”

The Tuckers jumped out to 13-4 leads in each of the first two sets, but bench players struggled to maintain the advantage in the third, seeing the set tied at 7-all and 12-all. Mt. Sinai remained within one or two points the rest of the way until 21-20, where the Mustangs scored for the final time. Mattituck’s right side and outside hitters switched positions, so the team was trying to see how having a taller girl outside would work.

Ashley Young serves up the ball. Independent/Desirée Keegan

“A lot of the girls got in today and they got a lot of touches, so that always makes me happy,” Massa said. “Our libero plays tough and all of our middles played pretty well today. Our setters are young. It’s their first varsity experience. So we hope to just keep improving.”

Now over midway through the regular season, Harkin said she’s hoping her team can continue its positive trajectory to pull through with its first league title since 2004. Mattituck followed the victory with yet another, beating Pierson/Bridgehampton in four sets, 25-8, 16-25, 25-17, 26-24. Harkin had 19 kills and three aces, and Ashley Young and Miranda Hedges each contributed eight assists. The team travels to Eastport-South Manor October 3 for a 4 PM nonleague matchup before traveling to Port Jefferson October 5 at 4:30 PM.

“We struggled a little bit on some plays but we definitely have improved,” Harkin said. “We’ve been talking more, getting that communication to where it should be, and it’s really exciting. We’re looking to the future and we want to be league champs and take this all the way.”

Ahead of Westhampton Beach is East Hampton, boasting a clean sheet (8-0). The Bonackers beat Sayville 3-1 October 1, 25-18, 25-23, 24-26, 25-19. Elle Johnson had 40 assists, Mikela Junemann and Mady Neff combined for 27 kills and Molly Mamay had 30 digs. Westhampton continued its winning ways when it took its sixth straight “W” during an October 1 matchup against Amiltyville, 3-2. Victoria Erwat with 32 kills, Mary Dexter added 40 assists and Sabitha Joseph tallied 33 digs to lead the Hurricanes, 25-17, 25-27, 25-19, 21-25, 25-17. Westhampton hosts Bayport-Blue Point October 5 at 4 PM. Pierson/Bridgehampton hosts Center Moriches the same day for a 6:15 PM matchup. East Hampton travels to Elwood-John Glenn October 6 for a tournament that begins at 8 AM.

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