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East Rockaway tops Carle Place for Nassau Class C crown

Riley O'Hagan of East Rockaway returns a serve

Riley O'Hagan of East Rockaway returns a serve against Carle Place April 26, 2021. Credit: Mike Stobe

At the beginning of the season, East Rockaway girls volleyball coach Ksenia Brito had a request for her team — don’t stress me out. With a new baby on the way, that was the last thing she wanted. Instead, her team gave her something she did want — a championship.

East Rockaway beat Carle Place 26-28, 25-18, 17-25, 25-19, 25-17 to win the Nassau Class C Championship Monday night at East Rockaway High School.

The match was intense, Brito said, with momentum teetering on every serve and East Rockaway needing to win the final two games to take home the prize.

"The first and the third set, we made a ton of errors," said Brito, who will be having her second child this weekend. "I think we were playing a little scared. Going into that fourth set, we said ‘this is our house. We need to make them earn their points. We have to put the ball in the court. We have to run the pace of the game. That’s what we did. We were able to finally have serving runs and we were running some aggressive hitting options. We minimized our mistakes and took control of the pace of the game."

Theresa Lynch spurred the offense, Brito said. Lynch had eight kills and eight digs.

"She probably took the most swings of anyone on our team," said. Brito. "She was able to throw [Carle Place] out of system a lot with her hits."

Riley O’Hagan was all over the court, Brito said.

Katy Howard added 13 digs and five aces. Gianna Mancusi had four blocks and three kills. Alyssa Walsh had 10 assists and Adrianna Polizzi had 16 assists and seven digs.

"She had some big serving runs in every set and was able to move and come available to swing when she needed to," Brito said.

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