By Derek Turner
EAST HAMPTON >> Morgan has been the class of Shoreline Conference girls volleyball for a while, but more recently East Hampton has joined them at the top. The teams shared the 2012 conference title and last night the rivalry was renewed.
Morgan entered the East Hampton High School gym undefeated and left with another 3-0 victory.
The Huskies (6-0) dominated early, taking advantage of some East Hampton mishaps, to gain a 9-1 lead in game one. The Bellringers (4-1) struggled to put together any sort of run and only scored consecutive points once in falling 25-10.
“We struggled early, we got a little too hyped up today playing Morgan,” said East Hampton coach John Post.
The Bellringers settled down some to start the second game, hanging with Morgan through eight points apiece until the visitors reeled off five straight and six of seven to take a 14-9 lead. A big kill by sophomore Riley Smith turned the momentum in Morgan’s favor. East Hampton came back within three, but couldn’t keep it going as Morgan won the second set 25-18.
“We weren’t able to be as aggressive as we wanted too be because of the errors we made earlier, so we kind of toned it back a little bit,” said Post.
Post changed the lineup for the third game, moving Grace Fales, a sophomore, to libero, giving the Bellringers a different look with Katie Beem up front against Jen Dawson and the Morgan outside hitters.
A few errors gave the Bellringers life, but they couldn’t seem to put enough ground between them as the Huskies just wouldn’t go away.
“They’re such a good defensive team and they’re very aggressive. It’s tough to win points when we can’t be aggressive too,” said Post.
A big spike from Sarah Massie sparked a six of eight point run by East Hampton, capped off by a Jennie Eurbin touch shot which gave the home crowd something to cheer about, an 8-7 lead. Morgan answered right back scoring eight of the next 10 points, going up 15-10, but East Hampton kept attacking. Eight of the next 10 went their way and the Bellringers again had a one-point lead thanks to a Lauren Randall kill.
It looked as if East Hampton was going to win a game versus Morgan, something that no Shoreline Conference school has been able to do since Haddam-Killingworth on Oct. 26 of last year.
“Dakota Reed, my setter, did a very good job moving the ball around, we just had a tough time putting it away tonight,” said Post.
Morgan won the last five of six points to take the third set 25-22.
“We really didn’t anticipate the types of scores we had in the first two games,” said Morgan coach Joe Grippo. “The third game is more typical of when we play East Hampton.”
Morgan has yet to lose a regular season match since October 17, 2007.