Mike Biscardi and Nick Galasso refused to make excuses for Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK’s uncharacteristically slow start, but each had a hand in the Hawks’ speedy rebound.
The Hawks dropped a hard-fought first set in front of a roaring Port Washington crowd, but they prevailed, 27-29, 25-15, 25-19, 25-18, in a Nassau A-I boys volleyball match on Tuesday night.
“We didn’t come out as Plainview volleyball,” Biscardi said. “We came out slow.”
Playing their third match in five days and second in a row, the Hawks improved to 2-1 after regrouping from a first set in which they led 17-12 but let it slip away.
Port Washington’s Daniel Dash, a 6-8 middle hitter, was a weapon, leaping high above the net and sending down hit after thunderous hit. Defensively, his high reach forced Biscardi to adapt.
“I have to think where he’s going every time,” said Biscardi, who had 37 assists. “I have to move Galasso to the right side and move someone else to the outside because he’s not expecting Galasso to move to the right side.”
Adjusting on the fly was crucial to the Hawks’ comeback, as Biscardi moved the ball around and found Galasso (14 kills), Matt Kim (11), Justin Iloulian (eight) and Zachary Herman (seven), all of whom peppered the Vikings back line with powerful hits.
“The second set, we realized that we couldn’t lose this game,” Galasso said. “There are a few big games coming up, so we needed this one. We turned it around.”
As a result, the Hawks took the final three sets without much of a hiccup. Iloulian’s four blocks helped to quiet the Vikings offense, and Nicholas Dechiaro contributed across the board.
Dash still proved an obstacle, tallying 19 kills and five blocks for Port Washington (1-2). His setter, Reggie Bharath, had 29 assists, and outside hitter Jake McElroy added 14 kills.
Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK, which lost to Smithtown West in the Long Island Class A championship last fall, returns just two starters, Galasso and Iloulian. The team isn’t quite in midseason form, but it’s getting there.
Said Galasso: “We experienced [a deficit] early in the season, so come playoff time, we won’t make those same mistakes.”