Girls Volleyball: Mattituck returns to county final for sixth time in seven years

Right from the very beginning of Friday’s Suffolk County Class C girls volleyball semifinal against the No. 4-seeded Port Jefferson Royals, the No. 1 Mattituck Tuckers came out aggressively and maintained their intensity in a 25-11, 25-8, 25-10 victory. The win propelled Mattituck (10-9) into the county final against the No. 3 Pierson/Bridgehampton Whalers (8-10) on Tuesday night at St. Joseph’s College.
Pierson rallied to beat the No. 2 Center Moriches Red Devils, 12-25, 25-23, 25-19, 25-20, in the other semifinal.
Mattituck Coach Frank Massa was pleased with the way his team “played consistently throughout the match.”
Claire Finnican sparked the Tuckers’ offensive attack against Port Jefferson (7-8) with 24 kills. Jackie Drake and Dominika Kupiszewska combined for 20 assists. Mattituck won 15 points when Kim Krupski served.
Massa was proud of the fact that his team finished 7-7 in a rugged Suffolk County League VII that included teams like the Mount Sinai Mustangs, Bayport-Blue Point Phantoms, Elwood/John Glenn Knights and the Hampton Bays Baymen. Mattituck lost to Hampton Bays in last year’s county final.
“We haven’t been 7-7 ever in League VII,” Massa said. “This year the competition has been a lot better. We have been playing well. We played good, consistent volleyball against the teams we were supposed to beat. Glenn and Mount Sinai took us out of our game. They rammed the ball down our throats.”
But with a deeper bench this season, Massa likes the flexibility this year’s team gives him.
“If one of our girls is not having a good day, we can put in someone else,” he said. “When we do that we do not go down in talent.”
Mattituck beat Pierson/Bridgehampton in four games earlier in the season. This is the sixth time in seven years that the Tuckers have reached the county final. They won the county crown in 2008.
“We played well that day against Pierson, but anything can happen,” Massa said. “We need to repeat what we did on Friday night. If we play that consistent, and pass well and the setters set up the attack so we can put the ball down, we’ve got a shot.”