BY ANDRES RIVAS
Fall sports are slowly coming in: football, soccer, tennis, cross country, golf and volleyball.
Bellport’s volleyball team, as in previous years, is off to a great start, carrying fire in every match that heads their way. They have won seven of their first nine games, winning three in league play and four in nonleague play. They defeated Comsewogue, Deer Park and West Islip in League 4 and William Floyd, Brentwood, Longwood and Copiague.
The team is composed of sophomores Natalie Gentzel, Jessica Hampson, Shelby Kaczmarek, Marissa Krawczyk and Abby Loeffler; juniors Madison Baumann, Paige Collins, Emma Hoeffner, Karli Monsell and Gabby Moreno; seniors Colleen Shaw and Sofia Gannon. They are completed by senior captains Hanna Lupo, Tamia Lawson, Eva Colon and Emily Gentzel, and junior manager Cassidy Solina.
“Being a captain means to be a role model for all the players on the team, being the teammate that everyone can approach when they need help,” said Colon. “Encourage your teammates to do their best and set an example.”
In their opening league game against Comsewogue, the Clippers were victorious in four sets, 25-11, 25-11, 17-25 and 25-15. Shaw had eight kills and two aces, Colon and E. Gentzel had six kills each, Lawson had five kills, 17 assists and four aces. Baumann, Kaczmarek, Krawczyk and N. Gentzel combined for seven kills. Lupo had 23 digs while Hampson, Gannon and Collins combined for seven digs.
With a win in hand, they looked forward to keeping it going against Deer Park at home. They were successful in straight sets, 25-14, 25-21 and 25-15. Baumann, Gentzel and Loeffler had five kills, while Lupo added 20 digs. Three consecutive league victories came with the followup win against West Islip in straight sets of 25-20, 25-19 and 25-23. Baumann had five blocks and nine kills, Shaw had five blocks and 10 kills, while Lupo had 34 digs.
In their nonleague games, they first played Floyd, where they were victorious, 25-6, 25-18 and 25-11. Lawson had 12 assists and 15 aces. Next, they played Brentwood and had a comfortable three-straight-set victory as well. Baumann had eight kills. In their last nonleague game, they defeated Copiague in three sets; Lupo had 20 digs and E. Gentzel had seven kills.
Lastly they played Longwood, where they won in four sets, 25-16, 22-25, 25-18 and 25-14. Shaw had eight kills and 22 blocks, Baumann had six kills and 12 straight service points after trailing 11-17. Lupo added 22 digs while Lawson added 13 assists.
“We’ve built enough confidence that we know our ability and how well we play as a team. We go into games knowing we are going to work for the win, no matter what our record is,” added Lupo.
“Our energy has to be up from start to finish. We need to be loud every single point, whether we’re winning or losing,” said Lawson.
As of press time, the Clippers played the West Islip Lions (3-5, 2-4 in league) on Tuesday. Their next match will be at home tomorrow against North Babylon (0-4). n