Tag Archive | "volleyball"

Pierson Volleyball Ousted in Out Bracket

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web_LWhalers-Ross Vollyball 09_8319

By Benito Vila

With a 2-4 record after a home loss to Stony Brook the first week of October, it would have been easy for the Pierson girls’ varsity volleyball team to give up on their season. Instead, the Lady Whalers ran off a 7-1 streak, finishing third in League VIII with a 9-5 mark, behind 14-0 Shelter Island and 11-3 Stony Brook.

That strong play propelled the team into the county’s Class D playoff as the number three seed, the Lady Indians and Lady Bears earning one and two respectively. That seeding set up an out-bracket game at Stony Brook yesterday evening, the Lady Whalers looking to duplicate their three-game sweep there last month.

But that was not to be, the Lady Bears protecting their home court in taking the match in four games to move onto the county title game tomorrow against Shelter Island at 4 p.m. at Center Moriches High School.

In describing yesterday’s match, Lady Whaler coach Stacey Springer said, “We were evenly matched and the first and the fourth games could have gone either way. We played well but their crowd carried them at times and that made a difference.”

Looking towards next year, Coach Springer acknowledged seniors Tanasha Clark and Shawntise Stephens will be hard to replace but likes what she’s seen from her underclassmen of late.

Pierson Volleyball One Win Away

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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.”

Middle School Volleyball:Girls Come to Play; Everyone Makes it Work

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By Benito Vila

The Pierson Middle School’s no-cut athletic policy was pushed to the limit this November with 25 seventh graders and 20 eighth graders coming out to play volleyball. After much discussion between the school administration and coaches Claudia Ortmann and Stacey Springer, the decision was made to keep everyone, despite the unwieldy rosters.

Coach Springer, the Pierson varsity coach, acknowledged the numbers were a challenge, but she credited everyone’s commitment to making it work. “I had a lot of help with the eighth graders from my varsity girls, especially Danielle Schiavoni who was at every practice and every game. That let me split the squad so we could do things in some smaller groups.”

 “My goal coming in was to get these girls ready to play on the next level next fall, and I think we made it there. It wasn’t about wins and losses for me; it was about getting better every day and we saw that happen. At first, anytime we were able to bump, then set and then spike was incredible; by then end, it happened quite a lot.”

Coach Springer praised her team for their focus and effort, saying, “They wanted to get it. That made a difference. After the first week, I gave everyone a chance to get out, to do the play or anything else; by then, they knew what they were getting into. And the next practice, everybody came.”

Sticking to the no-cut policy surprised Coach Springer, who admitted she had not coached middle school in a couple of years and that there were one or two girls that she would have cut at the outset. “But those two, and everybody else, got so much better playing, that I’m glad we stuck with them.”

The final eighth grade team had 25 in all, five seventh graders rounding out the roster. The younger five were Kasey Gilbride, Katherine Matthers, Ashley Nill, Annie Osiecki and Emma Romeo. The older 20 were: Kim Carlozzi, Jenna Chase, Alissa Clermont, Lindsay Cox, Sophie Gianis, Hannah Kaminski, Kelly Koehne, Anna McAree, Sydnee McKie-Senior, Malisa Muongcharoen, Frances Padilla, Abby Ruiz, Colleen Ryan, Jenna Shnayerson, Ellison Ulrich, Hallie Ulrich, Angelica Uribe, Taylor Vaughn, Madeleine Webber and Holly Zappola.


Unlimited Enthusiasm

Coach Ortmann described her seventh grade team as having “a terrific season; we were 7-4. The team was engaged all along, for the whole season, with an unlimited amount of enthusiasm. They had the opportunity to learn to play positions, which is a rather advanced concept for 12-year olds. I’m hoping they continue to play at clinics, attend camp and try out for the high school team.”

The players on the roster, by position, were setters, Selena Garcia Torres, May Evjen, Marley Holder and Emme Luck; outside hitters, Carli Fisher, Lily Kunzeman, Kirra McGowin and Tatyana Dawson; middle hitters, Bridget Canavan, Mahalia Nathaniel and Brooke Banks; defensive specialists, Katy Koehne, Sydney Mitchell, Olivia Bono and Karina Bravo;

middle back specialists, Diana Rozzi, Jennah Hochstedler and Jenna Roesel; all around, India Hemby and Sol Varela.


End Comes Quick for Girls in Playoffs

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Stony brook ended Pierson\'s season in quadruple overtime

Last week the high school varsity girls volleyball, soccer and field hockey all had high hopes for the playoff season, preparing all week for last weekend’s games, only to be disappointed in the end for a loss for all three teams.


Perhaps the biggest upset of the weekend, was the varsity girls soccer game, where the girls went into quadruple over-time against Stony Brook at the Dowling Sports Complex. The girls had to appeal in order to get into the playoffs. But on Saturday they were up against Stony Brook, who they tied with last time they played the them, earlier this season.
Soccer coach, Haley Luzim said that the girls played excellent on Saturday. With only 1:48 remaining in the game, Pierson’s Katie Osieki scored, but after the girls started celebrating their victory, the referee took back the goal, calling an illegal handball. Luzim said the girls were very upset. The game then went into overtime, where neither team scored in the first two 10 – minute overtime periods and the third 5-minute extra period. They finally lost in the end when Stony Brook eventually scored, 108 minutes into the game. Goalie, Annie Osiecki had five saves on Saturday for Pierson.
The seniors that Luzim will be sad to see go will be Katie Osieki, Alicia Tagliasacchi and Diana Rodriquez.
For Luzim, she said the season started out slow, and the girls were able to develop and improve on their defense, communication and desire to win. In the off-season, she says the girls need to continue to work their ball skills. Luzim is planning to get the girls playing in an indoor soccer league this winter, which will help them with their ball skills and control. In addition, the girls may be attending a soccer camp as a team. This, according to Luzim, will help them build their skills and get in shape for next season.

Field Hockey

The girl’s varsity field hockey team also went into overtime on Saturday. They traveled to Patchogue-Medford where they were up against Port Jefferson. The first two halves of the game showed no score for either team and coach Shannon Judge said the team lost 2.5 minutes into overtime off a broken corner.
“After we lost, I told the girls, people expected nothing of us, and we came in fourth in our league,” Judge said.
She added that the team actually had the second best record in the league, but they come in fourth because of the power rating.
For next season, the girls will only have three starting positions to fill and coach Judge says she already has the kids that will step in to take those positions. This season was a good one for the team overall, Judge said. Her senior, Samantha Federico beat the school’s record of 13, by getting 16 goals this season. Judge said, another senior, Anna Verneuille, a captain and her tenacity as a defender will be missed. Other seniors Dina Silver and Mariah Marienfeld, played an excellent season according to Judge.


The varsity girl’s volleyball team shed tears on Friday night after their game in Center Moriches against Shelter Island. Stacey Springer, coach for the varsity team said the girls played really well the first match against their opponents, but lost all three games. “We have to work on mental toughness, the ability wasn’t always the issue,” she said. She added that the girls needed to have more confidence in themselves. She said now she is trying to get the team to push for clinics, clubs and doing more than just participating in the fall season. She adds that the defense, did a great job, but the offensive side needed to hit a little harder and a little more often, “I feel that’s where we lost some of our points, but, she said, “I’m happy they got to have that playoff experience this year.” Seniors that won’t be returning for Pierson volleyball next year are Danielle Schiavoni, Devan Larson, Brianna Hand, Veronica O’Malley and Luisa Kennefick.

Whaler Teams Hope for Post-season Play

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By Benito Vila

While the Pierson field hockey Lady Whalers are a near lock to play Port Jefferson November 1 for the county Class C title, their classmates on four teams are doing all they can to join them in the post-season.

Girls’ varsity soccer, at 3-5-1 in League VIII, matches up with winless Port Jefferson (yesterday), league-leader Smithtown Christian and middle-of-the-pack Southold/Greenport this week. A strong finish in those games could propel the third-year program to its first tournament berth. The team’s last two matches are in Mashashimuet Park, the Lady Crusaders coming in at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow and the Lady Clippers at 4 p.m. next Thursday.

Meanwhile, girls’ varsity volleyball at 6-4 in league play is just one win away from clinching their first ever post-season seed. That win could have come yesterday at Greenport/Southold or it could come Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. in the gym against Stony Brook. After those two matches, the road to the playoffs gets tougher with league-leaders Shelter Island and Center Moriches on the schedule away in the final week.

Both cross-country teams have closed out their league schedule, the girls taking third at 4-2 and the boys fourth at 2-3. Runners on the squads have reason to be optimistic in the upcoming divisional and class meets. The boys finished the season with a pair of decisive wins, while the girls, the defending Class D champions, also finished with a pair of wins and saw their losses come by just one point each.


A Possible Preview


Girls’ varsity soccer traveled to Stony Brook last Friday to face a likely playoff adversary that had outscored them 6-0 in the park last month. In playing to a 0-0 double overtime tie, coach Haley Luzim said she saw her team “come ready to play. We knew we had to give it our all and we did. It proves that when we play hard, we can play with anyone.”

Coach Luzim praised the defensive line-up of Kara Gengerally, Kaci Koehne, Diana Roderiguez and Alexia Farraguna, and goalkeeper Annie Osiecki who recorded 15 saves. But she pointed to the lock-down determination of Kathryn Heine as making the biggest difference between this match and the earlier one. “Kathryn covered their top scorer and totally shut her down. She was on her like they were playing ‘Simon Says’ and wouldn’t let her turn.”


Closing In


Coming into the gym Monday to meet Mercy on Columbus Day, the girls’ volleyball squad found the school quiet. They created their own noise in taking game one, 25-14, and kept their momentum going by winning game two, 25-13, and game three, 25-18. Amanda Holder had three blocks and Samara Finkenauer had two kills in closing in on the tournament clincher. A November 3 date and another match with Stony Brook would await the squad if it earns its way in.


Travel, then taper


The cross-country teams are off to the Brown University Invitational this weekend, returning home for school Monday and the county’s divisional meet Tuesday. That race, held at Sunken Meadow, crowns the overall Suffolk team champion regardless of school size.

Boys’ coach Joe Amato and girls’ coach Jim Kinnier plan on using that divisional meet to prepare their squads for the course they will run in the sectional championship October 31. Early this week, Coach Amato said, “We’ll focus our energy on the small schools championship, that’s the one that determines how many of us will go to states.”

Coach Kinnier is taking a similar approach, having his girls start to run lesser amounts, “decreasing quantity, but not quality to taper off so that we’re in the best condition and most rested” for the sectional. With three runners out ahead at every league meet and three with improving times, Coach Kinnier feels his squad has “a realistic shot” at repeating as Class C champs.

Those top three, Keriann FitzPatrick, Rafaela Gurtler and Amelia Skerys, came in a close 1,2,3 overall in Tuesday’s 22-33 win over Center Moriches. FitzPatrick finished in 21 minutes and 57 seconds, Gertler at 21:58 and Skerys at 22:22. Brianna Kinnier was seventh overall at 25:27 and Aura Skerys ninth at 27:18. Newcomer Olivia Kaminski turned in at time of 31:36 in covering the full course for the first time.

In going to invitationals, Coach Kinnier is looking to find competition that can push the top three and allow them to work at another level. “They did well last weekend in the Manhattan College Invitational in Van Cortland Park. We came in ninth out of 13 against some real high quality schools. Running a short 2.5-mile course, FitzPatrick posted an 18:04, Gertler, an 18:23, and Amelia, an 18:32. Brianna came in at 21:09, Aura at 21:45 and Olivia at 26:03.”

Coach Amato finds his team consistently setting personal bests, Brendan Sheil having made the biggest gains over the course of the season. Sheil finished fifth on Tuesday at 20:39, barely trailing teammates Kai Leo (19:40) and Kyle Fletcher (20:15) who came in first and second respectively. Peter Skerys came in sixth overall at 21:25.


Pierson Volleyball Splits

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The Pierson High School girl’s varsity volleyball team was down and then back up again this week, as they played rivals, Center Moriches on Friday followed by Wyandanch on Monday.

 “I thought they played a good game,” coach Stacey Springer said about Friday’s loss to Center Moriches, “We are still working on covering, blocks and we are still looking for a little more defense.”

Eleventh graders Amanda Holder and Tanasha Clark both had two kills and two blocks during Friday’s home game. According to Springer they played very well, but they lost it in the end 3-1.

On Monday the girls won their away game against Wyandanch. Springer tried out junior varsity setter, Maddie Puckett and said she did a great job. Senior setter, Brianna Hand also played well, “She played strong and really hung in there,”Springer said. Senior Danielle Schiavoni did exceptionally well with four kills, three assists, two blocks and an ace, according to Springer. Senior Devin Larson had ten digs and eleventh grader, Tanasha Clark, had eight kills. Pierson won three of the five games.

Springer says the team now starts its season over again, with Ross School at 4 p.m. on Friday. 


Pierson Volleyball vs Center Moriches September 26

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Time to Shine: Golf Wins First, Volleyball Snaps Streak

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By Benito Vila


Pierson alumni are likely to join the usual crowds of family and friends as the athletic teams celebrate homecoming in the park and in the gym this weekend. The festivities are due to start Friday, with boys’ soccer hosting the Ross School in Mashashimuet Park at 4 p.m. Girls’ volleyball meets Center Moriches indoors at the high school at 4:30 p.m.

Those interested in seeing golf can watch the Whaler team tee off today at the Noyac Golf Club against Southampton at 3:30 p.m. Cross-country fans will have to settle for watching those Whalers run in after-school practices, their next meet not scheduled until next Thursday.





The cross-country teams saw varied competition and courses this past week. The boys ran the 3.1-mile Peconic Invitational in Red Creek Park Thursday with the girls going the same distance in the Bob Pratt Invitational at Sunken Meadow Saturday. Class AA, A, B and C schools participated in those meets giving Pierson runners a sense of what they may see at the state finals.

Kai Leo set the pace for the Whalers Thursday finishing in 19 minutes and 21 seconds, fifth overall. Peter Skerys completed the 1.5-mile freshman course in 10:35, seventh overall.

The girls placed seventh out of 11 teams in Saturday’s meet. Keriann FitzPatrick posted a time of 23:51 to lead her teammates. Ameila Skerys, 24:11, Rafaela Gertler, 24:43, and Brianna Kinnier, 26:37, all came in close behind.

Tuesday took both teams to Indian River Country Club in Riverhead for a meet with Stony Brook. The Bears swept, their boys winning 20-37 and their girls getting away 28-29.

Leo, at 15:24 finished second overall Tuesday, leading his team by running at a 5:55-mile pace across the 2.6-mile-course. Kyle Fetcher, 16:48, was second on the team and fifth overall. James Frazier, 17:04, finished seventh overall and Brendan Sheil, 17:43, was eighth. Coach Joe Amato called the meet “a good showing, but it was not a win.”

Girls’ coach Jim Kinnier had his top three runners take second, third and fourth Tuesday but it was not enough for a win. Keriann FitzPatrick had her squad’s best time at 17:33, with Skerys, 17:43, and Gertler, 18:22, getting in just after her.

This weekend, the girls are going to Richmond, VA for the McDonald’s All-American Cross-Country Festival. The Harborfest 5K, a fund-raiser run earlier this month, made the trip south possible.


Girls’ Volleyball

The Lady Whaler volleyball team had its four-game win streak snapped at home Tuesday by first-place Shelter Island, 3-1. The team is now 4-2, tied for second place in League VIII, 4-3 overall.

Tuesday’s match had Shelter Island take game one 25-8. Pierson, led by co-captain Brianna Hand, out-hustled the Lady Indians for a 25-23 win in game two, but in the end the visitors prevailed 25-18 and 25-22 to close out play.

Coach Stacey Springer praised Hand saying, “She wanted to play so badly. She was hurt, but taped herself up. That helped us come together and stay strong in the middle.” In describing the difference between the two teams, Coach Springer noted, “They had one good server and we needed to cover [the floor] better during blocks and hits.”

In last Thursday’s 3-0 sweep of Stony Brook, Amanda Holder had four kills and two blocks to lead the team. Co-captain Devon Larsen added three digs and three aces. Coach Springer called it “a great game. Everybody played well. They were digging and covering; it was awesome.”

In tomorrow’s match with powerhouse Center Moriches, Coach Springer expects tough games and is looking for “a strong start.”


Boys’ Soccer

The Whalers had their first chance for points get away 3-2 last Friday when Greenport knocked in goal with three minutes left in a second overtime. Kyle McGowin scored both goals for Pierson, the first one giving the boys the lead in the early going and the second one tying the score in the second half.

A trip to Port Jefferson Monday put the team’s record at 0-4 in League VIII, the Royals racking up a 4-1 win. Coach Donnelly McGovern described the loss as “not as disheartening as the Greenport one,” adding, “We possessed the ball very well and had our chances. We were in the game despite the final score”.

In considering his team’s morale and play of late, Coach McGovern feels the players “are seeing where the breakdowns are occurring, so they are not seeing it as a wasted effort. Things we have been working on in training have been improving, but not to the point where it has brought us a victory.”

“Collectively, I was very pleased with our speed of play in the last two matches and the manner in which we have worked to possess the ball as a group.  This is something that must continue to improve when we’re under pressure because obviously we are having trouble finishing our opportunities.

For one, McGowin shares his coach’s optimism, saying after practice on Tuesday, “We think we should win every game. We’ve just been disappointed so far. Coach has been working with us to improve our mental and physical approach when we’re on the attack.” Underclassman Gabe Garro chimed in, “We’re going to pull through. We’ll get some wins in.”

Jake Federico, who has played a variety of positions in the mid-field, likes the team’s prospects, saying, “We have the potential to play with anyone. We’ve been in every game. We just have not put it all together yet. And that’s what we have to do.”


Boys’ Golf

Whaler varsity golf posted its first win Tuesday out-dueling Ross 7-2 at the East Hampton Golf Club. Eighth graders Dillon Decker and Gabe Denon, sophomore Jimmy Fusco and freshman Harrison Bayrami took their matches, Fusco and Bayrami bringing in team-low 45s.

Coach Sean Crowley reported afterwards, “It was a nice win. The young golfers came through for the team. The finishing holes were very difficult and the pressure was on.”  The boys are now 1-3 overall.

In last Thursday’s loss to Center Moriches at the Pine Hill Country Club, sophomore Jake Weingartner recorded a team-low round of 48.