By Andrew Rudansky
It’s a crowded field in League VIII varsity girls volleyball, with five different schools all vying for second place and all within a half game of each other.
The Pierson/Bridgehampton Lady Whalers are right in the thick of this race for second place, currently holding a league record of (5-5-0) after winning 3-1 in an all-important home game on Monday against the Greenport/Southold Clippers (5-6-0).
Going into the game against the Clippers, the Whalers were one game shy of a .500 record; and a loss to their North Fork rivals would have all but put an end to the Lady Whalers’ season.
In the first set of Monday’s match, the Lady Whaler’s took an early lead after squeaking by 25-21. The home team’s one set lead was short lived however.
The second set was a complete rout for the Whalers after the Clippers quickly rode a nine-point serving streak to a crushing 25-15 win.
“We try so hard and play so well, but those sorts of things happen,” said Lady Whaler’s Head Coach Stacey Springer. “Sometimes games get away from us.”
The Lady Whalers, led by seniors Chelsea Freleng and Rebecca Speckenbach, then went on to take the next two sets 25-17, 25-21.
Monday’s match point was set up by Whalers sophomore May Evjen, and spiked into Clippers territory by Senior Hayley Schimmer.
Speckenbach was an offensive force for the Lady Whalers on Monday, with eleven kills and four serving aces. Evjen led the team with 25 assists in the match.
The win against the Clippers snapped a four game losing streak for the Whalers, and put them right back on track to grab a spot in the post-season.
Now with just two games left in the regular season, the Lady Whalers need to win at least one of these games to insure the a place in the Class C championship race.
The Whalers next match is at the Center Moriches Red Devils (5-5-0) today, October 27 at 6:15 p.m. There last regular season game is at home against the Shelter Island Indians (11-0) on Monday, October 31 at 4:30 p.m.
Shelter Island has been the world beaters of League VIII for another successive year; so far they having gone undefeated in both league and non-league play, winning every single set in all of their games.
The one match-up between the Whalers and Shelter Island so far this year resulted in a 3-0 Lady Whalers defeat on October 19.
“I really think we have a chance to win in either of those two games,” said Springer. She did add that a lot is riding on the Center Moriches game, because of the tough challenge Shelter Island will pose.
“We can win [against Shelter Island] if we play like we played today,” said Springer. “But really I don’t want our season decided in the last game if we can help it.”