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Shelter Island volleyball team gets ready for a playoff run

COURTESY PHOTO | The Shelter Island volleyball team at the Smithtown West tournament, watching other teams compete. Coach Cindy Belt said, “I like the personalities revealed by their stances.”

COURTESY PHOTO | The Shelter Island volleyball team at the Smithtown West tournament Saturday, October 24, watching other teams compete. Coach Cindy Belt said, “I like the personalities revealed by their stances.”

The postseason is here.

The Shelter Island School volleyball team had a non-league game and tournament this past week and will be playing a few scrimmages to keep sharp as we prepare for the Section XI Suffolk County championship on Monday, November 9.

As the League VIII champions, we know we are a big fish in a small pond. On October 21, we travelled to play Class B Shoreham-Wading River and to push the limits of our comfort zone. SWR is also playoff bound, with the ability to hit hard, and provided us with a challenge.

Emily Hyatt led the team in serving in the first set. Kenna McCarthy and Seri Kaasik also served well throughout the match, with Kenna scoring four aces. As usual, Kelly Colligan, Margaret Michalak and Amira Lawrence provided a balanced attack, although SWR’s big block caused them to alter some of their swings, leading to a higher than usual hitting error count.

Colibri Lopez has worked hard this season in all positions. She’s provided us with increased offensive options on serve-receive and the right side. With Melissa Frasco holding down defensive duties and chasing down tips off the blocks, the Blue and Gray earned some out-of-the-pond respect by downing the Wildcats in 4 sets: 25-17, 25-15, 20-25, 25-20.

Saturday, October 24 was a major challenge. The Smithtown West tournament features many of the top teams in Suffolk County and we were, by far, the smallest school in attendance. Facing powerhouse St. Anthony’s, League V’s leader Kings Park, Class AA Northport and undefeated League VII champs Bayport-Bluepoint meant that we had to work long and hard to get points.

Offenses were fast and complex and blocks big and well-formed. Julia Labrozzi and Liz Larsen joined the varsity squad, providing well-appreciated defense as these former JV members sharpen their skills to help in the playoff run.

Although we left the gym that day without any wins, the tough competition was not just a euphemistic “growth opportunity,”but it truly highlighted the areas we need to improve to work our way through the layers of playoffs.

With goals firmly in hand, we continue to get better each day as we aim toward our ultimate goal of reaching the state tournament.

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