As Lindenhurst's top setter and middle blocker, senior Chris DeLucie often assists on his team's biggest points, but rarely gets to finish them off.
Wednesday against Sachem East, however, DeLucie converted the most critical point of the match, all on his own.
After the teams split the first two games and the third was tied, DeLucie rose up and ended a long rally by blocking a spike from Sachem East's Nick Laffin, giving Lindenhurst a lead and it would later to close out the third game. DeLucie's block proved to be the turning point of the match, as Lindenhurst pulled away in the fourth game to beat Sachem East, 19-25, 25-17, 25-22, 25-20, in Suffolk League I.
DeLucie finished with six blocks and tallied two of his 36 assists in the closing points of the fourth game, but said his tiebreaking block in the third was the difference in the match.
"Assists are great but getting big blocks when you need them are even better," DeLucie said. "The momentum all shifted to us and we won."
The third game was back-and-forth the entire way and was within two points throughout until Lindenhurst (6-1, 5-1) ended it at 25-22 with a kill at the net by Kenny Serwan. Lindenhurst led in the fourth game from 6-5 on, with junior Ryan McDonough playing a key role, maintaining some of the match's longest rallies, and seniors Rob Sarneckis and Michael Comens' ability to finish.
Leading 23-18, an authoritative Sarneckis spike off a DeLucie assist put Lindenhurst at match point, and a kill from Dylan Claud, again off a DeLucie assist, ended the match after Sachem East (6-2, 4-2) had scored two quick points. Sarneckis finished with 21 kills and Comens 19.
"The passes were good up on the net and sets were in a great place all night," Sarneckis said. "I just had to go up there and swing at the ball."
Lindenhurst coach Kevin Muscarello said he liked how his team got contributions from a number of players, including McDonough, who finished with six kills and 11 digs.
"McDonough's a gamer," he said."We look at him to hit, to use his jump serve and to play defense. He's consistent, he hits the ball well and we were able to spread the ball out today and our middles came up big too."