Bonac Girls Said To Be B Favorite

Boys looked sharper in Commack match
Raya O’Neal and Katie Brierley are two reasons the girls volleyball team’s doing so well. Jack Graves

    In Sunday’s Newsday, the East Hampton High School girls volleyball team was said to be the favorite among the county’s Class B teams, inasmuch as Elwood-John Glenn, the 12-time defending champion, was reportedly not as strong as usual this year.

    Needless to say, Kathy McGeehan, East Hampton’s veteran coach, would rather let the Bonackers’ deeds speak for themselves, and so far the results have been good. Following a tough week, in which McGeehan’s charges swept fellow Class B schools Miller Place and Bayport-Blue Point, and finished third — behind St. Anthony’s and Ward Melville — in a 16-team tournament on Saturday, East Hampton was 3-0 as the week began.

    “Our defense is equally as strong as it was last year, and our offense is more potent,” McGeehan said during a conversation Monday morning, adding that “Tuesday’s match at Sayville, a [Class A] team we haven’t seen since the quarterfinal round of the 2011 playoffs, will be huge.”

    Raya O’Neal, who sets when she’s in the back and hits when she’s in the front, had a season-best 15 kills in Friday’s match at Bayport-Blue Point, while Katie Brierley and Jenna Budd had 37 and 28 digs.

    Brierley, Lydia Budd, Jenna Budd, Carley Seekamp, and Cassidy Walsh provide McGeehan with a strong junior class core. “The team jelled at Bayport — they were so solid,” said Bonac’s coach.

    Friday’s scores were 25-14, 25-16, and 25-18. The win here two days before over Miller Place was even easier, a “laugher” in fact. “We made few errors in that one, which was our goal,” said McGeehan. “The girls made smart choices. It was great to see what we’ve been practicing translated into a game situation.”

    In Saturday’s tournament, East Hampton finished second to Connetquot in its pool, thus qualifying for the “gold” bracket, which also included St. Anthony’s, Ward Melville, Rocky Point, Westhampton Beach, and Eastport-South Manor.

    East Hampton defeated Half Hollow Hills East 21-25, 25-21, 15-13 in the quarterfinal round, but lost 25-20, 25-17 to Ward Melville, the defending Class AA Long Island and county champion, in the semis. “We ran out of steam,” McGeehan said when asked about that game.

    In other results that day, McGeehan’s charges defeated William Floyd, an AA school, twice, and split with Connetquot, an AA school, and with Riverhead, an A school.

    Shoreham-Wading River is to play here tomorrow at 5 p.m.

    The boys team, which has county championship ambitions too, looked much sharper in its sweep here of Commack last Thursday than it had in its loss in three to Center Moriches on the 16th — a loss that impelled East Hampton’s coach, Josh Brussell, to meet behind closed doors with the team for a half-hour afterward.

    Jon Jamet, Brussell’s assistant, said, when questioned, that “against Commack we ran our offense through our middles, Henry Whitney and Robert Anderson, much better than we had against Center Moriches. Commack is a middle-of-the-pack team in our division, but still it was a good win. We had to play well to beat them.”