by Benito Vila
It could be said that winning is in the details. Pierson girls’ volleyball coach Stacey Springer made adjustments to her line-ups this week after a 0-3 pre-season and saw her Lady Whalers respond with a pair of wins to open League VIII play.
In Friday’s 3-0 sweep of Mercy, Coach Springer moved Xylia Serafy to setter, simplifying her rotation by keeping her solely in that position. That change improved communication on the court and kept the team’s play more consistent.
Coach Springer explained her move by saying, “We had a tough match against Port Jefferson. We had a lot of trouble with knowing who was where and girls kept bumping into each other, so I went with just one setter like I did when I had Brianna [Hand, who played the position from 2006 to 2008 before graduating last spring].”
“It worked well today and Xylia did a great job. She made sure we worked well together in every game,” added Coach Springer, who saw her girls win 25-19, 25-16 and 25-16.
Other standout play Friday came from Tanasha Clark, Samara Finkenauer and Katelyn Grodski. Clark registered four kills and two assists; Finkenauer, four kills and two aces; and Grodski, three kills. Christina Martin also sustained several Pierson possessions with her consistent serve.
Comeback in Greenport
The Lady Whalers were not quite as consistent in winning 3-1 in Greenport Tuesday. The girls took game one easily, 25-9, only to drop game two, 25-19.
Coach Springer described the flow of the match in saying, “We came in and served great, talked and covered the floor, but we were thrown off by one of their servers in the second game. We made it through and up and down third game before we re-grouped in the fourth.
Pierson prevailed in games three and four, 25-22 and 25-14, Jenny Carlozzi helping secure the win in holding serve in game four. Grodski had three aces and five kills in the match, with Finkenauer adding six kills and Clark four blocks.
“We need to get more consistent,” cautioned Coach Springer. “I have to keep the girls to play more on their toes. At times, it was like they weren’t expecting the ball to come back. That’s not going to work when we go up against Stony Brook [Friday at 4:30 p.m.] or Shelter Island [next Friday at 4 p.m.]”
The Lady Whalers set off for Kings Park Saturday morning for a day-long non-league tournament, with matches scheduled against League IV Bellport and Copaigue and League VI Rocky Point.