Alec Helford and Matt Fasulo are clicking again and that has been a very good thing for Massapequa.
Helford had 37 assists and Fasulo had 14 kills and five blocks to lead No. 2 Massapequa to a four-set win over No. 3 Long Beach in a Nassau Class A boys volleyball semifinal Tuesday at Great Neck South. Peter Toutoulis added 10 kills for the reigning county champions, who won, 25-17, 25-19, 24-26, 25-19. The Chiefs will play either No. 1 Plainview JFK or No. 4 Port Washington in the county championship at 7 p.m. on Thursday at SUNY-Old Westbury.
“We know our offense is one of the best on the Island,” Helford said. “We had a game plan and we executed.”
Part of that game plan involved getting the ball to Fasulo, who had missed parts of September and October with ankle injuries.
“Matt’s a big option,” Helford added. “It helps us on offense. It helps me spread the ball around and be more deceptive.”
“We’ve been playing together since ninth grade. We know how we click,” Fasulo said. “You could tell things were a little off after I first came back, but we’re getting it right back.”
This was evident from the start Tuesday, as the duo played a big role in helping Massapequa (14-3) win the first two sets comfortably. Long Beach (11-6) fought back in the third, using an 11-5 run to take a 24-18 lead. The Chiefs won the next six points to tie the set, before the Marines won the final two points to stay in the match.
Massapequa’s late surge in the third fell short, but it carried its hot streak into the fourth, starting the set with a 9-2 run before winning nine of the final 15 points.
“We kept our energy up, which is a huge thing,” Fasulo said. “We have a mindset that we’re not going to stop until we finish.”
With Helford, Fasulo and Toutoulis leading the offense, Steven Schulte helped key the Chiefs’ effort on defense.
“Their hitters hit in some pretty unique spots,” said Schulte, who stepped into the starting libero role in Saturday’s first round win over Farmingdale. “We were dialed in on every point.”
Massapequa now has the opportunity to become the first team in Nassau to repeat as Class A champions since the Chiefs won four straight titles from 2009 to 2012.
“It’s nice to go back to the county championship,” Helford said. “We have the chance to take back what’s ours.”