An already tight-knit Seaford girls volleyball team has drawn even closer the last two weeks in the immediate aftermath of Superstorm Sandy with the court serving as a short-term oasis from the widespread devastation many players are facing at home.
Despite the adversity from the storm and very few practices due to school cancellations, the Lady Vikings were crowned Nassau County Conference B champions for the second year in a row after a hard-fought 3-2 win against second-seeded Mineola Sunday afternoon at Adelphi University. Top-seeded Seaford (13-0) rallied from a 2-1 deficit to capture the final two sets and will next vie for the Long Island Class B title against John Glenn this Tuesday at Roslyn High School.
“The Seaford community got hit hard [by Superstorm Sandy] and this has been a nice way to bring everyone together with Seaford pride,” said Viking senior captain Emily Palermo moments after her team clinched the county title by set scores of 25-12, 20-25, 20-25, 25-12 and 25-17. “The last two weeks have been very hard but we have all stuck together.”
“They are worried about family friends and didn’t practice as much as they’d like but they came together,” said Seaford head coach Marie Savage. “Because they get along so well, having practices after that period of time where they didn’t get to practice, they were thrilled. They really love each other.”
The positive distraction Seaford’s playoff run has been appeared to be in jeopardy when Mineola took a 2-1 lead in the match after capturing the second and third set. However, Seaford rallied when it mattered most by going on long scoring runs in the final two sets to clinch the title including tallying nine straight points in the deciding game to take a 13-5 lead.
“Our mindset was to just play our game and get those passes up,” said Palermo who finished with 10 digs and four aces.
Seaford also paced Sunday by senior Megan Russell with 10 kills and four blocks. Jessica Rini also recorded eight kills and three blocks for the Vikings.
Seaford’s quest at a Long Island title against Suffolk County Conference B champion Tuesday at Roslyn High School is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. Last season, John Glenn defeated Seaford in the Long Island title match in three sets.