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Back-And-Forth Game Ends In Defeat 

Hills East is on offense looking for a successful spike.

Half Hollow Hills East’s varsity girls volleyball team on Oct. 17 played Lindenhurst in a nail-biter that came down to the fifth game of a five-game match. Hills East was looking to rebound from a tough loss to first-place Connetquot.

The match started off well for Hills East when they won the first set by a score of 25-22. The crowd cheered and the stands rumbled. However, Lindenhurst came back and won the second set by a score of 25-18.

The third went back-and-forth the whole time. As soon as Hills East would have a lead, Lindenhurst would come from behind and take it back, and vice versa. In the end, Hills East fell to Lindenhurst 25-22. This was a pivotal point in the match, because it meant that Hills East had to win every following set to win the match.

Hills East answered this call by winning the fourth set 25-22. The win pumped even more energy into the crowd. This game was coming down to the fifth and final set.

With the final approaching, everyone in the bleachers knew this would not be an easy victory for Hills East. Parents did not want to miss a moment of the action, and on a night that was parent-teacher conferences, many stayed to watch the game instead of going to the conferences.

With each point Hills East scored, the crowd grew louder, but with each point Lindenhurst scored, the crowd grew nervous and anxious. All of the excitement and anxiety came to a high when Hills East was one point away from victory. However, Lindenhurst fought back valiantly and was able to tie the set at 24-24.

Normally, a set is played to 25, but to win the set, a team must win by 2. Lindenhurst scored, putting Hills East down to their last chance. This proved to be too much for the talented Hills East team, and Lindenhurst came back to win the final set 26-24 and the match 3-2.

The crowd was heart-broken, as a team that played amazingly to come within one point of victory ultimately fell.

The Thunderbirds saw big plays by Julia Stewart, Vanessa Brancato and Stefanie Alpert, who kept the game close and thrilling until the very end.

“I think both teams played hard,” Hills East Head Coach Lauren Weber said. “That was a great game of volleyball. Unfortunately, one team has to come out as not the winner and that was us today.”

Weber said she is not worried about this loss affecting the mentality of her players.

“I think we will rebound fine. Our goal was to reach the playoffs and we did. I’d rather get these losses now than in the coming weeks,” she said.

The coach called this season “probably one of the best I ever had,” and after this game, it is hard for anyone to disagree.

She also gave credit to the stands, from where the cheers and claps from the players’ parents can’t be silenced.

“Our parents are awesome. They are always here supporting us. That pushes us to a win usually,” Weber said.

The next challenges for Hills East were an away game against Bay Shore and a home game against Northport, both of which were completed before press time.

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