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Brian Maloney, Plainview JFK sweep past Port Washington

Plainview JFK head volleyball coach Russi Villalta.

Plainview JFK head volleyball coach Russi Villalta. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Plainview JFK's strong start to the season continued Wednesday, at the expense of a fellow contender in Nassau County.

Hawks setter Brian Maloney had 29 assists as Plainview JFK won in three sets, 25-13, 25-10, 25-22, over host Port Washington in a Conference A-I boys volleyball game.

Plainview JFK improved to 5-0 with the victory and has only dropped a single set in the process. Coach Russi Villalta said the victory over Port Washington, the defending county champion who were the top-seeded team in the preseason, was indicative of the progress her team has made.

"Last time we saw them, [we had] the same exact team," said Villalta, referring to last season's 3-1 loss to the Vikings in the county semifinals. She said this year, those same players "are more mature, they set a goal, and now they're a lot more confident."

Villalta said Wednesday's game highlighted her offense's versatility, and credited her senior setter for getting the whole team involved.

"Maloney did a great job spreading the ball out," said Villalta, who added every Plainview JFK hitter had at least three kills. "He ran the court very well."

On the outside, Nick Godino led the Hawks with nine kills and Brian Wang had four kills to go along with two aces.

With Maloney spreading play to the outside for most of the first two games, it opened things up for senior middle hitter Allen Durutovic in the third.

"He ripped them apart," Villalta said. "He had seven kills in the third game."

"Defensively, we're stronger too," she added, praising senior libero Dan Kwon in particular. "He was the man back there."

Steven Lopez had a team-high nine kills for Port Washington, which fell to 3-2.

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