The school’s 88th year was truly an historic one for our athletic teams. To put it into perspective, in 87 years the Bears had won three Long Island Championships and zero State Championships, but by the end of the winter season the total number of Long Island titles had doubled and the first state crown had been brought back to campus. 2009-2010 saw banners added to the walls of Swanson Gymnasium for 3 Long Island Championships, 4 County Championships, 2 League Championships, and the school’s first State Championship. Here is a recap of one of the teams that victoriously wore the blue and white.
The 2009 campaign for the girls’ volleyball team was the best in their history. The Bears closed the regular season with an 11-3 record to finish 2nd in the league. Even more impressive is that in ten of their eleven victories the Bears won in straight sets, 3-0. Their outstanding season landed the team the #2 seed in the Class D semifinals against #3 Pierson who made the trek to Stony Brook from distant Sag Harbor. The Whalers began the season 2-4 but ran off a 7-1 streak to finish 3rd in the league.
It was apparent in the early going that it was not the same Pierson team the Bears had easily dismantled during the regular season. It was a tense, hard-fought contest and Pierson refused to go quietly, but a packed Swanson Gymnasium urged on the Brook. In a pivotal 4th set, our girls fought back from a sizable deficit to win the match, sending the volleyball team to its first County Championship. Whenever the Bears needed a crucial point Shelby Green seemed to step up with a clutch serve or Linnea Peckham with a critical spike. Christine Boss and Natalie Istrati were a formidable presence in the middle, blocking the Pierson attack and finishing much needed points. The defense was anchored by Jess Winston, Emily Stone, and libero Alex Angove. Pierson’s coach reiterated the importance of the Stony Brook crowd throughout the match saying, “We were evenly matched and the first and the fourth games could have gone either way. We played well but their crowd carried them at times and that made a difference.”
In the County Final the girls faced a 14-0 Shelter Island team and played courageously in defeat. Overall, it was a fantastic season for the girls, one coach Stan Winston and the rest of us can be proud of.