Jessica Rini powers Seaford to its third straight county Class B crown
It's called the "Rini Smash," and Thursday, it was literally and figuratively a smash hit.
That's the label given to the empathic, crowd-pleasing kills recorded by 6-1 Jessica Rini, and they've been seen with regularity this season.
"Instead of just hitting it, she looks at the other side of the court now and is like, 'Oh, that spot is open,' " Seaford coach Marie Savage said. "She learned how to exhale, wait, then jump."
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Rini dominated the net to lift top-seeded Seaford to a third consecutive county championship with a 25-11, 19-25, 25-21, 25-18 win over No. 3 Lynbrook in the Nassau Class B final at SUNY-Old Westbury.
"This means the world to me," said Rini, who smashed her way to 14 kills and seven blocks. "Once August came around, I was in the gym every day, hitting and hitting, I wanted this so bad."
Fellow captain Emma Schait added nine kills and 18 digs. Teresa Angelastro had 19 digs and Erin Russell had 34 assists.
Seaford (13-2) advances to the Long Island championship at 5 p.m. Sunday at St. Joseph's.
"This championship is so much more fulfilling because this is the closest I've ever been with any team," Schait said. "It's a dream come true."