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Pierson Volleyball One Win Away

Posted on 21 October 2009

By Benito Vila

One would think that with a four-game win streak and just one win to reach the county playoffs, the Pierson girls’ varsity volleyball team would be bubbling and ready to boast about their accomplishments.

Nothing could be further from the truth. As a group they realize none of their next four opponents want to be the ones to watch them celebrate and that all four––Stony Brook, Shelter Island, Center Moriches and Ross—have given them trouble in years past.

The most telling sign that they are not overly concerned with their own success is the effort they put into Dig Pink, a national breast cancer awareness campaign they and their coach Stacey Springer incorporated into their match against Greenport on Monday in the Pierson gym.

After contributing baked goods to a sale held in the Pierson gym lobby, the team came out of their locker room wearing pink headbands and ribbons, intent on staying on a roll.

The first game proved to be no contest, the Lady Whalers running up an 11-0 lead behind the serving of Samara Finkenauer. A 25-7 Pierson win in game one, and 25-13 and 25-16 wins in games two and three closed out the match in a scant one hour and ten minutes. Tanasha Clark closed the match with a spike well above the net in a forceful display of timing and touch.

Afterwards, Coach Springer was delighted by her team’s play, saying, “That first game was the best we’ve played all year. We were very clean and smooth. We weren’t quite as tight in the other two, but still we never let them get into those games.”

In tallying her team’s performances, Coach Springer found setter Xylia Serafy totaled 29 assists while Finkenauer recorded 17 service points. Katelyn Grodsky also contributed high numbers, adding 13 service points, four kills, three aces and one block.

Getting to Within One

The Lady Whalers’ win streak started the week before last with a four-game victory over Ross. Since then the girls have played just nine games in netting three more wins, taking three from Port Jefferson last Wednesday, three more from Mercy Friday and three from Greenport Monday.

That stretch has improved Pierson’s League VIII mark to 6-4. This week the top of the league awaits, matches scheduled at 7-2 Stony Brook Friday and 9-0 Shelter Island Monday. A Halloween morning match at home against Center Moriches and a November 3 date at Ross will provide the Lady Whalers two more chances to clinch their berth.

Already looking ahead on Monday to taking on Stony Brook and Shelter Island, Coach Springer said, “We’ll be practicing on digging the ball out of the ground this week; that and recovering after the block. We have to do those things well to win.”

Coach Springer contributes her team’s turnaround of late to on-floor chemistry, noting, “We were working against each other, but we’ve made some adjustments and there’s been better communication on the court. We’ve been a lot more relaxed and confident, staying on our toes and getting after the ball. It’s made all the difference.”

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