Long Beach celebrated a special night with a special victory Thursday. For the first time in more than 15 years, the Marines beat Massapequa in a girls volleyball game.
In front of a loud Long Beach crowd there to support Eddie Roesch, a member of the boys volleyball team diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, the Marines registered a stirring 25-17, 25-19, 25-23 triumph in Nassau AA-I. Long Beach hadn’t beaten Massapequa since Sept. 23, 2002.
Emma McGovern’s 13 kills, seven digs and three aces and Grace Rosenberg’s 29 assists paved the way for Rehnback’s first win over the Chiefs, the 17-time defending county champions.
“I’m feeling extremely confident and proud of my team,” McGovern said. “They’ve always been a good program, but I’m just so happy Long Beach boys and girls were able to pull out wins tonight.”
In the first game of a doubleheader, the Long Beach boys beat Massapequa, 25-17, 20-25, 25-22, 25-17. Both Massapequa teams entered undefeated.
“It’s a big win for this program,” Rehnback said. “It’s pretty huge.”
McGovern said members of the boys team wore purple socks, and the girls team was decked out in purple, the color of cystic fibrosis awareness, also.
They made tie dye purple shirts with Roesch’s No. 33 on them, wore purple ribbons in their hair and plastered purple balloons and posters around the gymnasium.
“We really wanted to be there for him,” McGovern said.
The Marines (5-0) used the strong emotions from the crowd as fuel. McGovern said the key was Long Beach’s ability to stay aware of the court, and it was the Marines’ execution of the game plan that led to a statement win.
“The fundraiser was really part of the motivation for us to play so well,” she said. “It was really fun atmosphere.”
Now, Long Beach might be the team to beat in Nassau.