With the high school girls volleyball playoffs on the horizon, Mattituck got a taste of playoff fervor on Thursday in its penultimate match of the regular season.
The Tuckers did some good things, namely turning in some standout defensive plays, in its non-league match at Mount Sinai High School, but there were enough lapses and shortcomings for coach Frank Massa to state afterward that the team has some work to do before the postseason arrives.
Mount Sinai held the edge in finishing points, thanks primarily to senior hitters Erica Shea and Venessa Wellhausen, and that helped the Mustangs finish the match as victors in five games. After the Tuckers blew a 15-6 lead in the first game, they won the next two games, only to drop the last two. The scores were 25-23, 20-25, 14-25, 25-21, 25-20.
The defeat snapped Mattituck’s six-match win streak. The Tuckers are 14-3, 9-2 in Suffolk County League VII.
Mount Sinai, which had lost three of its previous four matches, is 6-6, 5-6 in League VI. The Mustangs need to defeat Shoreham-Wading River on Friday in order to secure passage into the playoffs.
The Mount Sinai gym was festooned with black and red balloons and other decorations for its senior day match. Prior to the first serve, Mount Sinai’s coach, Andy Matthews, announced his seven seniors to the spectators.
Two of those seniors, Shea and Wellhausen, made an impact on the match. While the Tuckers had trouble finishing points, Mount Sinai received 12 kills from Shea, a hard-swinging left-hander, and 11 from Wellhausen. Mount Sinai held a 35-25 advantage in kills.
Mount Sinai’s setters, Angela Bukofsky (20) and Meghan Walker, combined for 30 of their team’s 36 assists.
The Tuckers, who outpointed the home team by 114-109, were led by their senior setter, Carly Doorhy. She produced 22 assists to go with 5 service aces, 5 kills and 7 dinks. One of the recipients of her sets, Kathryn Zaloom, put away 11 kills.
The Tuckers will close out the regular season Monday in Hampton Bays before they go about defending their Long Island Class C championship.