Playing through pain, Jordan Osler dove all over the court to try to keep her Mattituck team afloat during Class C state volleyball championship pool play at Glens Falls’ Cool Insuring Arena November 17. But the Tuckers lost to Voorheesville, Portville and Millbrook in the qualifying rounds and did not make it to the finals.
In the most heartbreaking loss of the evening, Osler injured her pinkie but refused to quit. The junior libero wrapped it and clenched her teeth, fighting through hard hits in a first-set loss to Voorheesville, 25-23. The Tuckers had broken out to a 23-16 lead in that set, and opened the final trailing 5-0 and 10-4, but rallied to tie the score at 13 before taking a 25-21 loss.
Trailing Portville 24-17 in the second set of a two-set qualifying math, the Tuckers climbed back to scare the defending state champions, but ultimately dropped the set, 25-22. The Tuckers lost the first 25-10.
In their third qualifying match, against Millbrook, the Tuckers fell behind 20-10 before clawing back to 20-15 before Millbrook eventually took the set 25-16. Millbrook claimed the second set as well, by a 25-15 margin.
Besides Osler, the team got strong play from junior Viki Harkin.
The pair will be returning along with starters Miranda Hedges and Ashley Young, among other contributors. Seniors Jillian Gaffga, Rachel Janis, and Emily McKillop, and Dominique Crews, Veronica Pugliese, Bayleigh Rienecker, Mikayla Osmer, and Gabrielle Dwyer coming off the bench, ended their high school careers with a Suffolk County Class C title and Long Island Class C championship crown.
Spending the prior two seasons in Class B, Mattituck has continued to work toward improving its state pool record (1-29). Although falling short of that goal, the Tuckers finished the season 16-2 and advanced upstate for the first time since 2015.