Playoff Run Begins for Pierson’s Top Teams

The League VIII champion PIerson/Bridgehampton Lady Whalers volleyball team. Rebecca Guyer photo

The League VIII champion PIerson/Bridgehampton Lady Whalers volleyball team. Rebecca Guyer photo

By Gavin Menu

The postseason is familiar territory for the Pierson/Bridgehampton boys soccer and field hockey teams, a time to win championships and hang banners back in their home gym in Sag Harbor. For the school’s girls volleyball team, however, history is being made day by day as the Lady Whalers staked claim to their first-ever league title this week, with more gold up for grabs in the coming weeks.

Led by the senior trio of Maizy Guyer, Nia Dawson and Mackenzie Benbenek, Pierson knocked off Shelter Island, 3-0, on Tuesday to cap a 9-1 League VIII season.

Strong on the Lady Whalers’ heels is second-place Port Jefferson, which finished two games back in the standings but dealt Pierson its only loss of the league season, a 3-2 triumph on Friday, October 21, that prevented Pierson from capping its league title with a perfect league record.

Still, despite that setback, Pierson will earn the top seed in the upcoming Suffolk County Class C playoffs. It was unknown as of press time whether four teams — Pierson, Port Jefferson, Stony Brook and McGann-Mercy — would qualify for the postseason, or if there would be only three.

The semifinal round is scheduled for Wednesday, November 2, with Pierson hosting a game at 4 p.m. The county final will be played at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood on November 7 at 6:30 p.m.

Despite having already wrapped up the league championship, the Lady Whalers came out strong in their 25-23, 25-19, 25-20 win over Shelter Island at home on Tuesday. Leigh Hatfield had 17 serves, including eight aces, while Dawson had a strong all around game with 13 serves, five kills, three blocks and 10 receives of serve. Freshman Samantha Cox came through with nine serves and five kills.

Boys Soccer Plays for Championship on Saturday

Pierson’s boys soccer team will play for a Suffolk County Class C title of its own on Saturday, October 29, at Diamond in the Pines in Coram at noon. The Whalers will face a familiar foe as Southold and Stony Brook played an outbracket game on Wednesday after press time to determine who would advance to the final. Southold is the two-time defending county champion, having beaten Pierson in each of the last two postseasons.

The Whalers (9-4) lost their regular-season finale, 2-1, to Greenport on October 19 but ended up sharing the League VII title with Stony Brook as both teams finished with nine wins, an impressive accomplishment considering the league was re-aligned this year to include Class B teams Mattituck, Babylon and Center Moriches.

Pierson was perfect against Class C competition going into the finale at Greenport, where Porter Jacob Kahn scored the game-winner with 54 seconds remaining in overtime. Sam Warne scored Pierson’s only goal as the Whalers capped a grueling schedule that included four games in six days.

Field Hockey Also Earns Top Seed

The Pierson/Bridgehampton field hockey team will face Port Jefferson in the Suffolk Class C final, also at Diamond in the Pines, on Friday, October 28, at 4 p.m., with the winner advancing to the Small Schools title game against the Class B champion on Tuesday, November 1, back at Diamond in the Pines at 7 p.m.

The Lady Whalers, who finished at 10-4 and in third place in Division III standings behind Miller Place and Rocky Point, closed out the regular season with five straight wins including a dramatic 2-1 win over Harborfields on senior day at Mashashimuet Park on October 19. Ana Sherwood, the team’s senior leader, scored her second goal of the game with six minutes remaining in overtime, while Cali Cafiero and Hollie Schleicher picked up assists.

Should Pierson get past Port Jefferson in the county final on Friday, the Long Island Class C Championship game against the winner from Nassau County would be November 5 at Adelphi University in Garden City at 5 p.m. The New York State Championships will be held over the weekend of November 12 and 13 at Maine-Endwell High School.

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