‘Unstoppable’ Watts Leads Northport Tigers’ Comeback

  Northport Tigers volleyball team captain Tim Luft sets up his teammate at the Sachem North Tournament.   Photo by David Luft

Northport Tigers volleyball team captain Tim Luft sets up his teammate at the Sachem North Tournament. Photo by David Luft

By Janee Law

The Northport boys volleyball team trailed by two sets Monday night against Ward Melville, but the spirit of the game shifted in the third set.

Junior middle Andrew Watts brought both the energy and kills, rallying the Tigers to follow suit, coach Amanda DiPietro said.

“When we got him [Watts] the ball he was unstoppable,” she added. “He was smart with the ball, he had a couple of great kills and a couple of key blocks that really helped get the energy up on the court.”

Working together, the Tigers took better care of the ball, coming all the way back to defeat the Patriots, 3 sets to 2.

The Tigers lost the first two sets and came back victorious, winning the third set, 25-22, the fourth set, 25-16 and the fifth set, 15-11.

“We were able to take care of the ball and put it over on their side and force them to make the errors,” DiPietro said.

Watts had 17 kills and four blocks, sophomore libero Ryan Parker had 42 assists and junior defensive specialist Trent Mayer had 32 digs in the contest.

Competing in Suffolk League I, the Tigers currently carry a 3-2 record and expect to face a lot of quality teams in both their regular season schedule and tournament play, DiPietro said.

“We have the potential to play up there with the best of the best when we play to our full potential,” she said. “We just have to keep coming out with the same energy and the same focus and we can hang with the best.”

DiPietro said that she has high expectations for senior captains Ben Sandt, a setter, and Tim Luft, an outside hitter, who have executed a lot of hits and blocks for the team so far this year.

The offensive game plan for the season is to stay in tune with one another, and make good passes to the setter to run their options on offense, DiPietro said.

“Defensively, we just try and focus on the primary hitters from the other team, and read the players as best we can, whether he’s hitting or tipping the ball,” she added.

The Tigers also faced Smithtown East on Tuesday, falling to the Bulls, 3-1. They’re next slated to host Center Moriches on Monday, Sept. 25 at 5:45 p.m.