After missing the playoffs by a single victory last season (6-8 League VI) — the first time in quite some time that they’ve missed out on the postseason — the Whalers are excited to go into the season with no COVID restrictions and to welcome back spectators.
“After last year with the pandemic and COVID, everybody was really nervous, including me, so this year we’re really excited to be back in the gym,” longtime head coach Donna Fischer said. “The girls are pumped. Their motto this season is ‘To The Top.’ They want to take it to the top.”
Gylia “Gigi” Dryden and Ngelika Tobias-Narvaez were the only two seniors to graduate after last season, so the team’s core is still largely intact. That includes senior outside hitters Angela Gardella and Ayanna El, junior outside hitter Grace Flanagan, junior opposite Finn Goodale and junior libero Ashley Weatherwax. Seniors Ava Crocitto (setter), Emma Ambrose (outside) and Sophie Cassone (defensive specialist) all return as well. Junior outside Sadie Lattanzio and sophomores Helena Kohlhoff, Lyra Aubrey and Khalila Martin round out the roster.
League VI this season will consist of mostly fellow Class C teams. Babylon, Greenport/Southold, Mattituck and Port Jefferson are all in the league with Pierson along with ‘D’ schools Ross and Shelter Island.
The Whalers got some practice time last week in Bridgehampton’s brand new air-conditioned gym and Fischer said at least one game — September 15 against Greenport/Southold — is tentatively scheduled to played in Bridgehampton.
Pierson starts its season this Friday, September 3, at home against Mattituck at 6:15 p.m. and will play on Shelter Island a week later on September 10 at 5:45 p.m.