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Top Sports Stories 2015: Milestone for Mattituck volleyball

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12/31/2015 6:00 AM |

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Has a high school girls volleyball team ever been as happy about a 1-5 record as Mattituck was?

Possibly not, but consider where that sole win was earned — at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships in Glens Falls, N.Y. 

The Tuckers, making their fifth appearance in the state Class C semifinal pool in six years, went into their final set at Glens Falls Civic Center this past November with a chance to change that — and they did, in dramatic fashion. They had come close before, as recently as last year when they held late leads in both of their sets against Spackenkill, only to lose them both by 25-19 scores.

This time was different, though. Broadalbin Perth had just defeated the Tuckers by 25-17, but the rematch went to the Tuckers, 25-23, and they celebrated like champions.

“This is kind of like a championship for us,” said middle hitter Dawn Rochon, one of nine seniors on the team.

Frank Massa, Mattituck’s coach for the past 28 years, said it was “the best volleyball feeling as a coach I have had, to be able to get that win off of that team up here at the states.” Referring to Mattituck’s record on the day, he called it “the best 1 and 5 I think I could ever feel.”

In their history, the Tuckers are 1-29 in state semifinal sets, with a first win they are not likely to forget.

Massa, whose team took a 17-4 record into the state semifinals, sounded as pumped as his players when he met with reporters afterward. “They got to be as happy as happy can be,” he said. “I mean, it ain’t a state championship, but it’s the first step. They have just accomplished something that we haven’t accomplished before.”

He added: “We can go home now. We can call it a season.”

Photo Caption: The Mattituck volleyball team huddles together in the state championships. (Credit: Jim Ellis, file)

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