Lady Whalers Win and Advance to County Final

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Samantha Cox goes up for a serve in a Suffolk County Class C outbracket game against Mercy on Wednesday. Photos by Michael Heller

By Gavin Menu and Michael Heller

For the second consecutive season the Pierson/Bridgehampton girls volleyball team will face rival Stony Brook with the Suffolk County Class C Championship on the line. And for the second consecutive year they had to get past Mercy first, which they did on their home floor on Wednesday in the form of a 3-1 victory over the Lady Monarchs.

The Lady Whalers will face undefeated Stony Brook at Suffolk Community College in Brentwood on Tuesday, November 7, at 3 p.m. The Lady Bears beat Pierson in both their regular-season meetings this year, but you know what they say about beating the same team three times.

“We’re going to try to get as many people as possible to come, but also we just have to block them out,” said senior Leigh Hatfield, who had 12 serves and seven kills in her final home game at Pierson. “One of the tricks we use is to pretend that their cheering is for us, and it kind of fuels us.”

Pierson jumped out quickly on Tuesday and came away with an easy 25-6 win in the first set. Things tightened up from there, however, and Mercy won the second, 25-23. Led by the steady play of Sophia Mancino, the team’s eighth-grade setter, the Lady Whalers rebounded to win the final two sets, 25-15, 25-21.

“I think they played terrific today,” Pierson coach Donna Fischer said afterwards. “I’m really proud of them and they’ve been working really hard.”

When asked what the difference would have to be to get past Stony Brook on Tuesday, Fischer didn’t hesitate.

“They have a few things to work out on defense,” she said about her team, “I think we can get Stony Brook. I really believe the girls can do it, I really do, but we’re going to practice hard until Tuesday.”

Olivia Cassone leaps to field a serve.

Hannah Tuma goes up for a spike against Mercy on Wednesday.

Sophia Mancino dives to keep the ball in play.

The Lady Whalers react after winning match point.

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