Newsday’s Kenny DeJohn recaps the week of Long Island girls volleyball, starting with a historic win for North Babylon and finishing with other notables from the second full week of the season.
All records and results are current as of Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 4 p.m.
North Babylon earns a league win … for the first time in a while
It took more than 15 years, but North Babylon finally has a win in league play.
The Bulldogs outlasted Comsewogue, 25-23, 25-16, 18-25, 18-25, 25-21, on Tuesday, Sept. 12, improving their record to 1-1 in Suffolk IV and giving them their first league win in over a decade. Alexa Valentine had 10 kills, Melissa Link had 10 aces and Taylor Baker had 23 assists.
Coach Laura Cappolla, in her second year, has encouraged her players to participate in club volleyball, which she said has led to tremendous strides. She’s also started to “engage the students at a younger age in our district.”
Cappolla has experience herself, having starred at West Hempstead, where she graduated from in 2002. She was a walk-on libero at Adelphi.
“This year was no option,” she said. “We’re finally seeing that we were changing the culture here at North Babylon. We can win, and we can be competitive. These girls are buying in.”
Freshmen Tori Obremski, Stephanie Velez and Lauren Offerman have made impacts, while sophomore libero Madison Lepik is a “backbone and anchor.”
Perhaps there’s success on the horizon for a long-struggling program.
- Look out for East Hampton. The Bonackers are 4-0 with impressive wins over Sayville and Westhampton in Suffolk VI. They beat Westhampton on Sept. 12 behind 37 assists from Elle Johnson. They also defeated Rocky Point and Amityville this week.
- Connetquot’s winning streak against Long Island teams dating back to September 2014 is over, as Northport edged out the T-Birds in a thrilling five-set match on Sept. 17 in Suffolk II. Sydnie Rohme had 20 kills for the Tigers, who trailed 2-0 before mounting a comeback.
- Olivia Maher had 18 assists, leading Harborfields to a 3-2 win over Half Hollow Hills West on Sept. 17 in Suffolk V. Hallie Simkins had eight kills, and Nicole Morandi had five kills.
- Lauren Hadzigeorgiou had 16 kills, Carsyn Rachuta had 12 digs and Lexi Cavalieri had 26 assists in Sachem North’s 3-2 win over Whitman on Sept. 14 in Suffolk II. The Flaming Arrows are 3-1.
- The Catholic League schedule began on Sept. 13, with St. Anthony’s, Kellenberg, Sacred Heart and St. John the Baptist all picking up 3-0 wins.
- Colette Maloney’s 13 kills and 11 digs propelled Mineola over Manhasset, 3-1, in a key Nassau A-I match on Sept. 15. Meaghan McCaffrey had 13 kills as the Mustangs responded from a 3-1 loss to Wantagh earlier in the week.
- Charlotte Cavalier was a nightmare at the net for Plainedge, making 17 blocks to lead the Red Devils to a 3-2 win over Calhoun on Sept. 14 in Nassau A-II. Casey Hagestrom had nine blocks, five kills and five aces.
- Long Beach, the No. 1 team on Long Island in last week’s rankings, will retain the top spot after wins over Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK and Massapequa in Nassau AA-C1. Gwen Price had eight kills and Marlene Kramer had six kills against Massapequa, a straight sets win that improved the Marines to 4-0.
Newsday’s Top 10
- Long Beach
- South Side
- Kings Park
- Sacred Heart
- Smithtown West
On the cusp (alphabetical order): Bayport-Blue Point, East Hampton, Kellenberg, Sachem East, Wantagh
Games to watch
- Thursday, Sept. 20 — Kellenberg at St. Anthony’s, 5:45 p.m.
- Friday, Sept. 21 – Manhasset at Wantagh, 4:45 p.m.
- Friday, Sept. 21 – South Side at Mineola, 4:30 p.m.
- Friday, Sept. 21 – Westhampton at Sayville, 4 p.m.
- Monday, Sept. 24 – Bayport-Blue Point at Glenn, 3:30 p.m.
- Monday, Sept. 24 – Commack at Ward Melville, 4:15 p.m.