Massapequa's Zachary Russo (4) serves the ball during Division I...

Massapequa's Zachary Russo (4) serves the ball during Division I pool play during the boys volleyball state championships against Shenendehowa on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. Credit: Hans Pennink

ALBANY – Massapequa’s first loss of the season was also its last.

Massapequa was eliminated in the semifinals of the state boys volleyball championships, falling to Shenendehowa (Saratoga), which went on to win the championship, 25-19, 25-17, and Webster (Rochester), 27-25, 25-19 in Division I pool play Saturday at Albany Capital Center.

“This is a really good group,” coach Elissa DiSalvo said. “That’s what I’m most emotional about. They’re funny, entertaining and really good at volleyball. I knew today was the definitive last day we’d be together no matter what, but I wasn’t ready for it and I don’t think they were either.”

Massapequa struggled in its first two sets of pool play against Shenendehowa. DiSalvo thought the teams were evenly matched, but her team just made too many mistakes.

“We didn’t underestimate anybody, but there were times where I felt we sat back a little bit,” DiSalvo said.

After dropping those two sets to Shenendehowa, Massapequa needed to win both sets against Webster to advance to the final.

Massapequa led 24-23 and looked as if it had just clinched the set win, but Webster managed to keep the ball alive and win the point to tie the set at 24. Jack Schiffl won the next point for Massapequa, but Webster scored three in a row to earn a spot in the final and eliminate Massapequa.

“Once that third set ended and it didn’t go our way, I think all my sadness was out already,” said Schiffl, a senior. “I figured if we had one last set, we might as well play together and have fun.”

In Massapequa’s last set, DiSalvo played all five of her seniors and let her players play different positions.

“We ran some different things just to have a fun time and play fun volleyball for the last time together,” senior Patrick Radomski said.

Radomski and his teammates had a great time in that last set, which they won to end the year on a high note.

“Even though it didn’t go the way we wanted it to go, we still had a lot of fun on the court,” Schiffl said.

Massapequa finishes the season 19-1, having won its first Long Island title since 2011.

“I’m gonna miss hanging out with the team and making each other laugh,” said Radomski. “Sometimes we’d stay an extra 30 minutes after practice and it was always such an amazing time.”

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