How Mattituck fares against Bayport-Blue Point in the upcoming Suffolk County Class B girls volleyball playoffs just might come down to home-court advantage.
Two weeks ago, the Tuckers surprised the defending state champions at home, 3-1, in a League VII match.
On Tuesday, the Phantoms returned the favor, sweeping their rivals, 3-0, in Bayport.
“You’ve got to give them credit,” Mattituck coach Frank Massa said. “They can smack the ball around real well. I knew they probably had a little chip on their shoulder. We hadn’t beaten them [for] … at least a good 10 years. We beat them the last time. I’m sure they had a little chip on their shoulder, wanted to get a little revenge.”
If both teams play to their potential, they should win out the regular season. The second-place Tuckers (10-3, 8-2) host Babylon (1-10, 1-9) on Thursday and visit Hampton Bays (4-8, 2-8) on Monday. Bayport (7-4, 7-3) plays at Center Moriches (5-6, 4-5) on Thursday and welcomes Southampton (3-7, 3-7) on Monday.
All three sets Tuesday were close affairs with the Phantoms pulling away at the end of each encounter.
In the first set, Mattituck held a 17-15 lead before Bayport rallied to outscore its foes down the stretch, 10-2, to win 25-19.
In the second, the Tuckers enjoyed a 20-19 advantage before the Phantoms put together a 6-3 run to close out that game, 25-23.
And in the third, the game went back and forth as Bayport held off Mattituck for a 25-23 victory.
“I thought we competed real well today,” Massa said. “We worked real hard. It was a case of who was going to make more mistakes, unforced errors or wasn’t going to come up with the ball. We were playing them pretty much evenly for all three sets and then they went on a little run in each one of them. We kept on trying.
“Playing behind at 19, that’s tough. Once you’re 19-19 and all of a sudden you get to 22-19, now things get a little tight and it’s not as easy.”
Madison Osler paced the Tuckers with 16 kills and three service aces. Her sister, Jordan Osler, finished with 13 digs.
“We really didn’t leave too much out on the floor today,” Massa said. “I felt better after this loss than after than some of the wins that we had because of lackadaisical approach that they had against other teams that are not called Bayport. We got up for them. We played hard. If we continue to win throughout, we’ll get ourselves a home playoff game.”
That would be in the Class B semifinals on Nov. 2.
Photo caption: Mattituck’s Madison Osler powers the ball past Bayport-Blue Point’s Isabella Imbo (11) and Cathleen Farrell (13). (Credit: Garret Meade)