Grace Rosenberg saw the pass in front of her and knew what she had to do.
“My coach has been telling me all season to go for it — and I really haven’t been, but today I turned it on,” Rosenberg said. “After I got the kill I looked at her like, ‘I did it.’ It was awesome.”
With that final kill, Rosenberg propelled the top-seeded Long Beach girls volleyball team to a 33-31, 25-22, 25-20 win over No. 2 Massapequa in the Nassau Class AA championship Wednesday at SUNY Old Westbury. Massapequa had won the last 17 county titles.
The teams split regular season meetings, with Long Beach’s win on Sept. 28 its first against Massapequa in 15 years.
“This is an incredible feeling for us because we know what a talented team Massapequa is,” Emma McGovern said. “They’ve always been a really strong and consistent program and always have good players. We knew this was going to be a great challenge against a great opponent.”
McGovern finished with 19 kills, two assists, three aces and two blocks.
The first set was a marathon that saw constant lead changes that turned on an athletic point by Rosenberg that tied it at 31. The Marines won the next two points to take the set.
“We knew the first set was going to be pivotal,” coach Kerri Rehnback said. “That was really going to set the tone and when the score kept going up I knew whoever won it was going to have great momentum . . . I knew we had a really good team coming back and it was a priority not to just get here but win it.”
Long Beach (13-1) jumped out to leads in the next two sets but both times Massapequa (12-2) rallied to close the gap.
“Our win earlier this season really gave us a boost knowing that we had the capability to beat them,” McGovern said. “We knew tonight we had to finish and play the same way if not better.”
Even though the Chiefs never gave in, Rosenberg knew her team was going to come out on top.
“The second we stepped on the court today I knew we could do it,” said Rosenberg, who had 10 kills and 25 assists. “There was some kind of energy and I knew it was going to happen.”
Long Beach will play the winner of Connetquot and Commack in the Long Island Class AA championship Saturday at Suffolk CCC-Brentwood at 6:30 p.m.