12/10/12 8:00am
12/10/2012 8:00 AM

COURTESY PHOTO | Riverhead senior Megan Conroy and sophomore Joscelin Morrow, joined by coach Amy Green, received all-league honors at the all-county dinner.

Riverhead senior Megan Conroy and sophomore Joscelin Morrow were honored as all-league players for their performance during the 2012 volleyball season.

Morrow was also also selected as the League IV Rookie of the Year.

Morrow helped anchor the Blue Waves’ defense playing libero. She was a key player on serve receives, but also was talented enough to contribute in a number of other ways, including hitting from the back row.

Conroy was a versatile middle hitter whom the Blue Waves relied on to deliver big hits at the net. She was one of four seniors for Riverhead.

The Blue Waves finished the season 5-8 overall. Their final match of the season was cancelled after Hurricane Sandy disrupted more than a week’s worth of games across the county.

Conroy said after the final home match that she was looking into playing volleyball in college.

11/08/12 9:03pm
11/08/2012 9:03 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Marisa Balbo of McGann-Mercy and Shannon Dwyer of Mattituck meet at the net Thursday in the Class C out-bracket playoff match.

The McGann-Mercy girls volleyball team lost 3-1 Thursday afternoon in a Class C out-bracket playoff match at home against Mattituck. The Tuckers, who are two-time defending Long Island champions, lost the first game before bouncing back and taking the next three.

The Monarchs won a dominant first game, 25-14. But the Tuckers took over from there, winning 25-12, 25-19, 25-13.

The Tuckers advance to play top-seeded Babylon Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. Mattituck lost both matches against Babylon this season 3-0.

Mercy had its final regular season match against Port Jefferson canceled because of the hurricane. The Monarchs would have needed to win that match in order to make the playoffs. But they were able to get in once the match couldn’t be played. Mercy finished the season 5-10.

Mattituck improved to 6-12.

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ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTOS

10/25/12 8:07pm
10/25/2012 8:07 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Rebecca Lessard was one of three Riverhead seniors honored Thursday before a match against West Babylon.

BLUE WAVES 3, EAGLES 0 (25-18, 25-21, 25-3)

Only a few words into her speech, Riverhead junior Megan Brewer began to tear up. On Senior Night at Riverhead High School Thursday, Brewer spoke about her sister Amber during a pre-game ceremony in what’s become an annual tradition for an underclassman to honor a senior.

Junior Danielle Thomas followed with an equally emotional speech about Megan Conroy. And finally it was junior Hali Martens’ turn to talk about Rebecca Lessard.

All the while, the tears never stopped flowing.

“It was really emotional,” Amber Brewer said after the match. “It made me feel so good to hear all that stuff. I wasn’t expecting it at all. I just cried right away.”

Amid all the tears, a volleyball match against West Babylon awaited.

It didn’t take long for the Blue Waves to get rolling as they jumped out to a 12-3 lead in Game 1. The quick start helped propel the Blue Waves to a three-game sweep as they ended their final home game of the season with a 25-18, 25-21, 25-3 victory.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead junior Megan Brewer goes up for the hit Thursday against West Babylon.

Riverhead coach Amy Bullock said she was worried at first whether the girls could overcome the emotion of Senior Night to focus on playing.

“They came out and used that emotion in a positive way,” she said.

The seniors said the motivation of playing their last home game helped them.

“You want to win your senior game,” Lessard said.

The Blue Waves accomplished that while improving to 4-7 in League IV and 5-8 overall with one match remaining on the road against Half Hollow Hills West. A win against the Colts would have the Blue Waves finish the regular season one win short of qualifying for the playoffs.

Bullock said this year’s team has been a tight-knit group all season.

“This group of girls cannot be duplicated,” she said. “They’re definitely one of a kind.”

“We’re playing more as a team this year than we did last year,” Conroy said.

Early in the third game after Riverhead led the match 2-0, the three seniors went to the bench where they held clipboards and tracked stats.

Sophomore Joscelin Morrow got the serve with the Blue Waves ahead 8-2. By the time junior Hali Martens delivered one of her team-high seven kills, the score had ballooned to 20-2.

With the girls on such a run, the seniors never even got a chance to get back into the match.

“We were on such a roll,” Bullock said. “We didn’t even get to rotate. I think there was only two rotations that time.”

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead sophomore Joscelin Morrow celebrates a Blue Waves point.

The seniors said the underclassmen on the court worked really well together.

“It’s good to know that when we leave, we’re still leaving behind a good team,” said Conroy, who had five kills.

Morrow led the team with 12 digs as the libero, a position Lessard used to play. With Morrow moving up to varsity this season, Lessard switched positions to outside defense.

“[Morrow] is obviously amazing,” Lessard said. “They all helped me learn my rotation and get into the groove of it.”

With only three seniors graduating, the Blue Waves will return an experienced lineup next year. Junior Sara Tucci (21 assists) helped get the offense rolling for the Blue Waves and she’ll be a key returner next season.

“We basically have an entire lineup for next year,” Bullock said. “Offseason, if they keep working on getting our passes up to target, it’s a very promising season next year for those girls.”

Martens threw down some of the biggest hits of the match Thursday, something the Blue Waves have grown accustomed to this season.

“Her snap and her arm swing is probably one of the best,” Bullock said.

For Amber Brewer, the final match for the Blue Waves won’t be the end of her volleyball days. A three-year varsity player, she plans to play at Suffolk Community College next year. Conroy said she’s looking into possibly playing in college as well.

joew@timesreview.com

10/11/12 11:02pm
10/11/2012 11:02 PM

BILL LANDON PHOTO | McGann-Mercy libero Rachel Klink dives to dig out a serve from Greenport Thursday.

CLIPPERS 3, MONARCHS 0 (28-26, 26-24, 25-13)

As the Greenport/Southold Clippers prepared to take the court for the start of Thursday night’s match at McGann-Mercy, an unexpected ceremony unfolded.

Mercy’s four seniors greeted the Clippers at their bench with a gift: a yellow rose for every player and coach.

Attached to the rose was a note, which read: “We may be opponents on the court, but when the game ends, and we go our separate ways, there’s no reason why we can’t be friends.”

It’s a tradition the Monarchs started this season. The seniors hand out the roses to their league opponents when they play their final game against them.

It caught the Clippers by surprise.

“It kind of touched my heart a little bit,” said Greenport senior Shelby Kostal. “It was a nice gesture.”

A collective “Awww!” from the Clippers filled the gym when the Monarchs began handing out the roses.

“I love roses,” Greenport coach Susan Kostal said afterward. “They’re my favorite.”

When it came time to play, the Clippers fought through a sluggish start to sweep Mercy 3-0 and improve to 7-1 in League VIII. The loss dropped Mercy to 3-6 in League VIII and facing an uphill battle to reach the postseason.

The Clippers found themselves dealing with some early jitters a day after clinching a playoff spot.

Part of it had to do with who was in attendance. The head coach from SUNYIT (Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome) was on hand to watch outside hitter Shelby Kostal play. Kostal said she visited the school a few weeks ago as her college search begins to heat up.

“I have no clue where I want to go,” she said. “It’s a hard choice because there are so many teams out there, so many different programs and you don’t know which one you’re going to fit into.”

Kostal said she’s known since her freshman year that she wanted to play volleyball in college.

“It kind of runs in my family,” she said. “But I didn’t really start hammering down and thinking about it until the start of my senior year.”

She put on an impressive performance Thursday, helping lead the Clippers to come-from-behind victories in the first two games. The Monarchs were a point away from winning Game 1 and two points from taking Game 2. The Clippers came back from a 21-15 hole in Game 2.

Greenport prevailed 28-26 in Game 1 and 26-24 in Game 2 before putting it all together for a runaway win in Game 3, 25-13.

The Clippers thought the Monarchs could give them trouble with their freeball style of play. Without any heavy hitters, the Monarchs shy away at times from the traditional set/serve routine in favor of quick hits to try to land the ball into no-man’s land.

“I always get nervous playing Mercy,” Susan Kostal said.

The Monarchs stick to their strengths and it worked for them throughout the first two games.

Shelby said the freeball style makes it hard to predict where the ball is going.

“Usually when a hitter goes up to hit you can read her arm and where you’re going to hit,” she said. “But when they send that freeball over, anywhere can be the spot. It’s hard to practice for that.”

Mercy coach Jamie Calandro said it’s about relying on smarts.

“They use their best skills to their advantage,” he said.

The Monarchs scored back-to-back points in Game 1 on a kill from junior Fiona Nunez and ace from senior Caitlyn Walsh to make it 23-20. The teams traded points, putting Mercy one away from the victory. But the Clippers fought back to tie it and the teams continued to trade points until it was tied at 26. Greenport scored the next two points to finally prevail.

“I think Mercy came out to play and they played really hard,” Shelby said. “I think we just had to settle down. For some reason we were so nervous and uptight.”

Mercy led by as many as eight in the second game and appeared on the verge of tying the match. But after the Clippers got the ball back following a Mercy service error, senior Nina Papamichael rolled off seven straight service points. It put the Clippers ahead 23-21. Senior Megan Van Gorden ended the game shortly after with an ace to give the Clippers a commanding 2-0 lead.

Calandro said the key for the Monarchs is controlling their emotions on the court.

“We’ve been battling the balance between emotions and volleyball a lot this year,” he said. “The girls hold themselves to a high standard. Sometimes when they feel like they don’t meet that standard, it falls apart.”

Greenport gets right back at it Friday with a non-league match against Mattituck. The Monarchs have a long break before returning to action Oct. 23 against Ross. The Monarchs will need to win their final three league matches to reach the playoffs.

joew@timesreview.com

09/28/12 8:00pm
09/28/2012 8:00 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead libero Joscelin Morrow has helped solidify the Blue Waves’ defense.

FALCONS 3, BLUE WAVES 0 (25-13, 26-24, 25-21)

As a libero — the defensive specialist in volleyball who wears a different color shirt than her teammates — Riverhead sophomore Joscelin Morrow doesn’t get opportunities to hit at the front of the net. The position restricts her to the back row, but it doesn’t mean she still can’t hit.

As Morrow showed off in Friday night’s 3-0 League IV loss at home against Deer Park, she has the ability to deliver strong hits from the back row, despite the difficult angle and the fact she’s not as tall as most of her teammates.

It’s a unique skill, one that makes her that much tougher on the court.

“You can’t count her out,” said Riverhead coach Amy Bullock. “She’s all over the floor. As she gets older she’s going to be a big key for the program. She’s a great all-around player.”

Ultimately as a libero her role is about defense. And nearly every time the ball came soaring across the net Friday, Morrow was there to dig it out.

At the beginning of the season Bullock talked about serve receive being a key for the Blue Waves. Without it, it’s impossible to get the good set and a strong hit.

“Having her has been a great impact for our defense,” Bullock said.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead outside hitter Hali Martens goes up for the hit as Deer Park’s Laura Santare attempts to block.

The defending league champion Falcons (2-3 League IV) provided a strong test for the Blue Waves, who after a sluggish first game battled closely. Riverhead dropped the first game 25-13 before playing two entertaining back-and-forth games that could have gone either way. Deer Park won Game 2, 26-24, and closed out the match with a 25-21 win in Game 3.

The Falcons advanced to the quarterfinals of the Class A playoffs last season and return several key players from last season, including some tough hitters. Junior Julia Connolly, the League IV Rookie of the Year last season, had a strong game for the Falcons as an outside hitter.

For the Blue Waves, they’ll try to build on the positives from the second and third games.

“It’s back to the basics again,” Bullock said. “Working on our defense and getting our balls up to target.”

The Blue Waves (1-3 League IV) were on the verge of evening the match in the second game. They led nearly the entire game, including 22-19. The Falcons rallied for the next three points and tied it with a big block in the middle from the duo of Sam Pazenbeck and Alex Santora.

Riverhead got the next two points, including one on a kill from outside hitter Hali Martens, to get within one point of victory. But the Falcons got the next four points to steal the game and take a commanding 2-0 lead.

Martens provided most of the kills for Riverhead and has been a huge part of the offense all season, Bullock said.

“She’s been moving well, attacking well, her confidence has definitely improved big time from last year,” she said. “I tell her that she wants to be the go-to girl with our attack.”

The Falcons took control of Game 3 behind Connolly on the serve. She had four straight service points, capped by an ace, to give Deer Park a 13-9 lead after Riverhead opened up with a fast start. The Falcons never relinquished the lead, although Riverhead kept it close. After a kill from middle hitter Megan Conroy and ace from Allison Fox, the Blue Waves closed to within a point at 16-15.

But they couldn’t get any closer.

Bullock said Conroy has made big strides this year as well.

“Her movement has improved really well,” she said.

The Blue Waves couldn’t get much of anything going in the first game. Bullock called an early timeout after Deer Park scored the first four points, but it still took until the second game for the Blue Waves to get some momentum.

“It’s like we were the away team when we started off,” Bullock said. “All credit to Deer Park. They came out strong after a long bus ride. We were sleeping, a little bit slow. We didn’t move to the ball and the biggest thing, we didn’t communicate.”

Bullock said the way the team bounced back in the second and third games shows the Waves can compete with good teams.

“They came back really strong,” she said. “They got the pass up, which is what we needed from our serve receive and we were able to get a couple balls, but not enough.”

joew@timesreview.com

09/27/12 9:00pm
09/27/2012 9:00 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | AnneMarie Taggart digs the ball out for Shoreham-Wading River Thursday against Mattituck.

TUCKERS 3, WILDCATS 0

The score after Game 1 of Thursday afternoon’s match between Mattituck and Shoreham-Wading River was as mystifying for the Tuckers as it was the Wildcats.

For two young teams still trying to navigate their way back to last year’s level of play, the League VII match figured to be tightly contested.

No one could have predicted the outcome of Game 1, a 25-3 walloping by the Tuckers over the Wildcats, igniting a three-game sweep at Mattituck High School.

“When we walked away with that [Game 1] win, I told the girls, don’t think it’s going to be that easy,” said Mattituck coach Frank Massa. “If you think that then you’re going to start letting down a little bit.”

While the Wildcats slowly began to get their legs under them as the match progressed, it wasn’t enough to avoid the sweep. Mattituck won Game 2, 25-13, and the final game, 25-19.

Shoreham coach Katherine Winkler said it was the first time all season the Wildcats opened a match so flat.

“I guess you could chalk it up to young, rookie mistakes, but it’s really not what we’re about,” she said.

The Tuckers (2-3 League VII) dominated early thanks to outstanding serving by Courtney Ficner and Emily Reimer. Ficner rolled off 11 straight service points, several aces included, that gave the Tuckers a 15-2 lead. Reimer closed out the game by serving nine straight points.

The Wildcats were left scrambling all across the court. Sloppy passing made it impossible for Shoreham to get any kind of offense going.

“We served tough that first game,” Massa said. “That was about the toughest I’ve seen these girls serve.”

Massa said that Ficner, a senior in her second full season on varsity, can serve the ball to any spot on the court.

“It’s got that top-spin on it and she hits it hard, low to the net,” he said. “When she’s on, nobody knows where the ball is going.”

While the Tuckers were strong on the serve, it wasn’t anything the Wildcats (1-3 League VII) hadn’t seen this season. Winkler said Shoreham scrimmaged against Mount Sinai Tuesday and opened the match flat before dominating toward the end.

It was the first sign Winkler saw this season of a slow start and it was enough to raise some concern prior to Thursday’s match.

“We had a huge talk before this game,” Winkler said. “You can’t waste that time warming up in the first game. You need to come out and be strong immediately.”

By the time the Wildcats got their first bit of momentum in the match, they trailed 20-5 in Game 2.

AnneMarie Taggart got the Wildcats going with three straight aces for Shoreham. She also had four aces during a stretch of nine straight service points during Game 3 as the Wildcats rallied from an eight-point hole to take a 16-14 lead. It was the largest lead for Shoreham since scoring the first two points in Game 2.

It was the kind of lull that had plagued the Tuckers throughout the season.

“A lot of our games had that section in every game we played,” Massa said. “The first two games was probably the best passing we’ve done this year both off the serve and free balls. I was really hoping we could have made it through the match without going through a stretch like that.”

The Tuckers rebounded from their one tough stretch in the match and regained the lead behind the serve of Sara Perkins.  Mattituck never relinquished the lead after going ahead 18-17.

Massa said the Tuckers got Perkins back a week ago from an injury. In last year’s Long Island Championship match, Perkins was huge on the serve for Mattituck, Massa said.

“When she gets back there she has that same type of serve, very low, hard, fast and top-spin,” he said.

Winkler said Taggart, one of three captains for Shoreham, was uncharacteristically off at the beginning of the match. After taking a breather during the second game, Taggart returned the court focused.

“She was thinking too much,” Winkler said. “We had to calm her down and give her the confidence she needed and then put her back out there. When we did that she was so much better. She went out in the third game and played like the game she plays every day.”

While the Tuckers don’t have many wins to their credit, they battled through a tough non-league schedule against some tough competition like Eastport-South Manor and Westhampton.

“Hopefully that pays off in league play where they’re used to playing a lot of games against good competition,” Massa said.

joew@timesreview.com

09/13/12 11:24pm
09/13/2012 11:24 PM

BILL LANDON PHOTO | McGann-Mercy senior Danielle Gehring helped lead the Monarchs to a win over Stony Brook Thursday night.

MONARCHS 3, BEARS 2 (22-25, 25-21, 25-20, 23-25, 26-24)

After four exhausting games, the match knotted at two, and the decisive fifth game hanging in the balance, McGann-Mercy senior Kaylee Navarra cradled the ball on the back line, waiting to deliver the all-important serve.

The Monarchs and Bears of The Stony Brook School had battled to this point by trading massive runs, each team seizing the momentum at times, only to have it slip away.

The Monarchs found themselves with their backs squarely against the wall as the serve came to Navarra and her team trailing 24-23, one point away from defeat in Game 5 at McGann-Mercy High School Thursday night.

In the first two years of her varsity career, Navarra likely would have never found herself in this position. But now? There’s no one Mercy coach Jamie Calandro would rather have with the ball.

“She’s been like the setter extraordinaire for four years, but inconsisent when it comes to serving, to the point where in her freshman and sophomore year, I’d sub her out,” Calandro said. “This year, we played a tournament at Bay Shore last Saturday and she showed quite a lot of consistency when it came to serving.”

Navarra’s first serve rocketed toward Kaera Vancol, who couldn’t control the ball as it deflected behind her and out of play. Tied game.

The next serve shot across the court toward the right line, nearly going out of bounds, before a Stony Brook player attempted to play it and couldn’t keep it in play. 25-24 Mercy.

With one point to go, Navarra dropped in another ace, clinching a 3-2 Monarchs victory as the players jumped together on the court in celebration.

“The past teams I coached lose that game,” Calandro said. “When you get down, they kind of run out of gas. But now I hold them to a high standard to make sure they play every point and play to the end.”

In a wild back-and-forth match, the Monarchs fell behind 7-0 in Game 5, the largest deficit they faced all night. But the Monarchs knew on this night no lead was safe. Mercy already saw a nine-point lead in Game 1 evaporate and an 11-0 lead in Game 4 disintegrate. Both games ended in Stony Brook victories.

“This game was all about momentum and about trying to take momentum back for both teams,” Calandro said.

The Monarchs had the final run and with it, their first victory of the season in League VIII.

After the best season in the program’s brief history last year ended one win shy of the playoffs, the Monarchs come into this season with a mostly new starting lineup. Navarra was the only full-time starter who’s back. Fellow senior and captain Marisa Balbo saw a lot of time last year, but didn’t always start.

The Monarchs lost three all-league players from last season, raising some questions as to how the new group would come together early in the season.

“I didn’t know if they knew exactly how they would mesh right away,” Calandro said. “But I think this is going to be the confidence game. If they can pull of this one, they can hang with anyone in this league.”

Both teams struggled throughout the match with serve receiving, leading to an abundance of aces. “Too many aces,” Calandro said. Both teams got on long streaks and for Stony Brook, mostly behind Katie Dahlseide.

The lefty vaulted Stony Brook back from a 20-11 hole in Game 1. She ran off nine straight service points to give the Bears a 21-20 lead. They went on to win the game 25-22, a tough blow for Mercy to bounce back from.

Stony Brook carried that momentum into an 8-2 lead in Game 2, only to see the Monarchs rally back and win the second and third games and go ahead 2-1.

And just as it looked like Mercy had the match in hand with an 11-0 lead in Game 4 behind some outstanding serving from  junior Amanda Blacknik, the Bears climbed their way back into the game and pulled ahead with Dahlseide on the serve. Stony Brook closed the game out on an 11-2 run to send the match to a fifth game.

Calandro said the Monarchs struggled with the left-handed serve from Dahlseide.

“The angle coming from the left hand into the back position is odd,” he said. “I guess we haven’t practiced that enough, which we should because we have three lefties.”

Blacknik was one of those lefties who caused problems for Stony Brook.

Senior Danielle Gehring helped spark the Monarchs in Game 5 with several aces, the last of which gave the Monarchs a 9-8 lead.

Calandro said senior Caitlyn Walsh has been a much improved player this season who’s developed into a key starter.

“She’s someone I know if the ball is served to her, she’s going to pass it to the setter,” he said.

Junior Fiona Nuñez had a strong game for the Monarchs as well, delivering big kill after big kill.

The Monarchs have  a week off before returning to the court next Thursday at Greenport.

joew@timesreview.com

09/12/12 9:00pm
09/12/2012 9:00 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead libero Joscelin Morrow digs out a ball against Rocky Point.

The goals for the Riverhead girls volleyball team start off small at the beginning of the season. From game to game, match to match, the Blue Waves are focused on improving their communication and serve receive.

The long-term goal still looms in the background: a return trip to the playoffs.

“We would love to get back to the playoffs again,” said second-year coach Amy Bullock. “Who doesn’t want to?”

Riverhead missed out on the playoffs last year, finishing 2-10 in league after making it into the postseason the previous year.

The Blue Waves return with a strong nucleus this season that includes four starters from last year who have all been playing together for three years now.

“The chemistry is coming together,” Bullock said.

The biggest issue for the Blue Waves last year centered around their serve receive. Bullock said she’s seen a noticeable improvement in that area so far this season, which allows the team to set up hits and generate offense.

A strong serve receive allows the Blue Waves to get the ball into the hands of their setter, Sara Tucci, who can set up the hitters to finish the play.

“They just have to believe in each other,” Bullock said. “The end product we’re looking for is a hit. If we’re able to dig the ball, get the ball up, we’re able to produce and hit.”

The Blue Waves return Allison Fox as a back-row hitter along with Danielle Thomas and Hali Marten as outside hitters.

Bullock said those three hitters and Tucci make up the core of the team that have been together for several years.

“They keep the tempo up within the game,” she said.

A big key to the defense is the play of sophomore libero Joscelin Morrow. Bullock said Morrow has played club ball for most of her life and has helped solidify the team.

“It has completely changed our game so far,” she said.

The only seniors on the team are middle hitter Megan Conroy, outside hitter Amber Brewer and libero Rebecca Lessard.

Megan Brewer returns as a middle hitter along with Rachel Clement.

Riverhead opened the season with a non-league loss at Rocky Point before defeating Shelter Island Monday, 3-0. The Blue Waves opened up league play Tuesday with a 3-0 loss at Bellport, a team that advanced to the quarterfinals of the Class A playoffs last year.

Last season was a year to remember for Shoreham-Wading River. The Wildcats, led by a core of eight seniors who came up through the program together, advanced into the playoffs for the first time under coach Katherine Winkler.

While this year’s team is mostly inexperienced, Winkler said she’s been awed by the heart the players have shown so far.

“Although they might not have the talent level of last year, they have a lot of heart, determination and drive,” she said.

Winkler pointed to a match against Babylon Monday as an example. In two games the Wildcats fell behind by double digits, only to rally back and tie it. They won the third game before ultimately dropping the match, 3-1.

But Winkler was thrilled at the perseverance the team displayed.

“These girls don’t quit,” she said.

The Wildcats will start a pair of freshmen in the middle with Hailey Weher and Christina Iannacchino.

Junior Kelly Dillon is a returning varsity player who played mostly in the middle last year. She’ll slide over to the outside this season.

Senior Christine Joseph returns as well at libero for her third season on varsity. Senior AnneMarie Taggart returns to play outside hitter along with senior Bobbie Ferentinos. Junior Toryn Cairo is a first-time varsity player who will play on the outside.

The Wildcats also benefited from a transfer student joining the team. Senior Sabrina Santiago, who was from Chicago, moved to the area over the summer.

“I’m really working on fundamentals with them right now,” Winkler said. “They have a lot of raw talent. It’s a lot of tweaking with them right now and I think in one, two years they’re going to be pretty good.”

The Wildcats are playing in League VII this season, swapping spots with Mount Sinai.

joew@timesreview.com