Sachem North coach Matt Rivera displayed a wide smile when he was asked at what point he believed junior Dylan Missry was a special leader.
"We pulled him up last year as a sophomore and coming into this year, we kind of expected him to be the best offensive player for us and he's been that," Rivera said.
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That was especially evident Monday, when Missry led Sachem North to a 25-11, 25-22, 21-25, 17-25, 25-19 win over host Lindenhurst for League I supremacy. Sachem North is 11-0.
Missry had 26 kills and four blocks in the five-set match. Playing on the right side, Missry racked up several kills in the deciding game, silencing a very loud and supportive Lindenhurst crowd inside the packed gym.
"We're a young team, but we're also focused," Missry said. "We know there's a game here and it's not about yelling or getting overly excited. We knew we had to stay composed here against a very good team."
Missry wasn't alone in securing the win.
Rob Steinberg, a junior, had 55 assists, which Rivera said was a career high.
"He was tremendous for us today," Rivera said. "I can't recall what his previous high was, but it was more than 50, that's for sure."
Nick Miller chipped in with 18 kills and Matt Grace added 22 digs.
Behind strong play from Ryan McDonough, Steven Schrank and Brandon Rebich, Lindenhurst (9-1) responded after losing the first two games.
Lindenhurst, a team that plays with its emotions on its sleeves -- McDonough was constantly animated after his kills -- seemed to feed off the energy of the crowd during the comeback.
"We're a young team and we have very little experience in big-game situations," Rivera said. "So in games 3 and 4, I could kind of tell that we got a bit out of our own selves and didn't know how to handle the adversity."
But then there was Missry, who said he instructed his team, "to simply relax and believe we could pull it out."
The team seemed to take the advice and reverted to what had previously worked, as Steinberg continuously fed Missry.
"In every situation that we needed someone to step up in, we've gone to him with the ball and he always has delivered for us," Rivera said.
And Monday, in the biggest situation so far this season, Missry delivered.
Said Missry, "For us, the sky is the limit."