Coming into Wednesday, Patrick Wing knew this match against Port Washington would not be like their previous matchup.
Wing said he and his Massapequa boys volleyball teammates were keyed in on one thing in the week of practice leading up to Wednesday’s match against Port Washington: maintaining focus.
After losing the first matchup on Oct. 3, Massapequa was unrelenting in their seek of revenge, getting out to a two-game lead and holding on to beat the host Vikings, 25-21, 25-20, 15-25, 25-17.
“After the first time we played and they beat us in the first set, we lost our focus and our defense got sloppy,” Wing said. “This time we tightened up our defense and maintained our focus throughout the entire match.”
“I’m not trying to do too much,” Wing said. “I just want to do enough to get my team by.”
Their resiliency would be put to the test after losing the third set 25-15, which featured a stretch of seven consecutive points by Port Washington.
Between sets, Massapequa coach David Vogel had just one message for his players:
“So what? Now what?”
The Chiefs responded. Port Washington got out to a 4-1 lead, but Massapequa tied the score after a service fault and two blocks by Wing. After trading points, a kill by Nick Bianco put the Chiefs ahead 8-7 and they never looked back. Massapequa won the set 25-17 and the match, 3-1.
“When we huddled up after that third set we all looked at each other and just took a deep breath,” Wing said. “We knew what we were capable of and we just needed to stick to how we practiced.”
Wing finished with nine kills, three blocks and four aces. Bianco had nine kills, Dom Anderson had eight kills and Brendan Baron added 27 assists.
The Chiefs improved to 10-2 and all but clinched the Nassau A-II championship. Vogel is happy with the progress his team showed, but is not ready to call for a parade.
“We have been very defensively focused in practice, and today our guys stepped up with their focus and attitude," Vogel said. "We still have a lot of things to work on. But we are definitely knocking some of them off the list.”
After today, it is safe to cross Port Washington off that list.