Here’s a scene Mattituck has envisioned since the start of preseason practice: the Tuckers sprawled out on the court, clutching the Long Island Class C championship plaque with smiles as big as volleyballs.
Glens Falls, here they come. Again.
Throughout these high school girls volleyball playoffs, Mattituck has always seemed to have an answer for opponents. Saturday was no exception, and now the Tuckers are headed to the New York State semifinal pool for the fifth time in six years.
The Tuckers wrapped up their third straight Long Island championship, beating Wheatley, 25-15, 25-20, 25-23, at Suffolk County Community College’s Health, Sports & Education Center in Brentwood.
As they have throughout the course of their three playoff matches, the Tuckers (17-4) looked confident and sure of themselves. If Wheatley (15-4), on the other, had to deal with stage fright, it was understandable. The Wildcats, who won only two matches last year, were making their first appearance in a Long Island final.
The Tuckers charged out to a 20-9 lead in the first game. Wheatley picked up its play as the match progressed, but still had no answer for Mattituck’s sophomore outside hitters, Madison Osler (11 kills) and Kathryn Zaloom (nine kills).
Mattituck’s defense was also sound, for the most part. The Tuckers received 20 digs from their libero, Meghan McKillop, and 13 from Phurlamu Sherpa. Carly Doorhy was credited with 16 assists.
Wheatley’s biggest threat was Jessica Hastings, who put down 12 kills. Jaime Ryan collected 23 assists for the Wildcats.
The third game was a shaky one for the Tuckers. They fell behind four times in that game before finishing the game and the match on a 4-1 spurt.
After a Wheatley hit sailed out of bounds for the final point, the happy Tuckers hopped about on the court, flashing the No. 1 sign with their hands.
The Tuckers have extended their season to the final weekend of the playoffs. The New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships semifinal pool will be played Saturday at the Glens Falls Civic Center. The finals will be played Sunday.
Following the national anthem before the match, a moment of silence was observed for the victims of the Paris terror attacks and their families.
Photo: Senior setter Carly Doorhy raises the Long Island Class C championship plaque, Mattituck’s fifth in six years, following the Tuckers’ victory over Wheatley. (Credit: Garret Meade)
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Carly Doorhy had made 13 digs. Pharlamu Sherpa made 13 digs. Also, a photo caption incorrectly listed Doorhy’s position. She is a setter.