Lucas Seely and Philip D’Aguanno remember the pain of the final day of their 2017 boys volleyball season and have held it close. They were part of a Bethpage team that reached the Nassau B championship game only to get blown out by Bellmore JFK. That defeat has become the driving force to make 2019 a championship season.
“I can say with confidence, this team has what it takes to finish at the top of our conference and win the county,” said Seely, the senior captain. “We really like playing together and we are driven.”
That was clear on Wednesday afternoon as the Eagles traveled to Class A Herricks and dismantled the Highlanders, 25-14, 25-9, 25-15, in a non-conference match. Bethpage (5-3, 4-1 in Nassau B1) showed how it is equal parts tall, athletic, resourceful and cohesive.
“We are blessed with a lot of qualities,” Eagles coach Chrissy Bennett said. “We have all kinds of athleticism and depth where different people can be our big weapon any given day. What brings it together is what a good time they have. They like playing together and that’s something that helps teams play their best.”
D’Aguanno, a junior, played backline defense the past two years and this season stepped in to be the main setter and playmaker. Against the Highlanders (2-7, 2-6 in Nassau A1), he had a staggering 50 assists on their 75 points. Bennett said “he amazes me every game — and this one he was close to perfect.”
“All our hitters had great approaches and that made it easier for me,” D’Aguanno said.
Brian O’Boyle delivered 12 kills and had six blocks, Patrick Kerrigan had 11 kills and 7-footer Matt Lane had eight kills and six blocks for Bethpage.
Ted Kim had 11 kills and nine digs, Daniel Vargas had 20 assists and Andrew Brala had seven digs for Herricks.
Bethpage followed up its 2017 trip to the Nassau final by getting eliminated in the quarterfinals a year ago. However, they may have a transformative player in O’Boyle, who will attend LIU on a baseball scholarship next season and has played soccer and football in other fall seasons at Bethpage. He has tremendous leaping ability and can deliver a kill or be used as a decoy by D’Aguanno before another player strikes for a point.
He played volleyball in middle school with many of his new teammates and said “I know these guys are shooting for something and I’d like to help them get there.”
Asked why he’d made the move from other sports back to volleyball for this season, O’Boyle replied, “I’d already done everything else in the fall and this is more fun. You get to be in on every play.”
Every play, the Eagles hope, until the season ends on a satisfying note.