Moments before the Massapequa boys volleyball team prepares to take the court, coach Elissa DiSalvo reminds her players of her daily, resounding message.
Put on a show.
For the third straight season, Massapequa consistently put together exactly the kind of high-flying, precision-filled displays of which DiSalvo speaks, and rode those brilliant performances all the way to the county title.
Outside hitter Jack Schiffl and middle blocker Joseph Heimbauer orchestrated the show on Tuesday night at LIU Post with dynamic hitting and blocking throughout the match, sparking No. 1 Massapequa over No. 2 Port Washington, 25-17, 25-18, 21-25, 25-17 to win its third consecutive Nassau Division I title, as well its fourth over the past five seasons.
Schiffl said the three-peat, also achieved by Massapequa’s girls program the previous night, was an unforgettable highlight for him.
"I’ve been waiting for this my whole life," Schiffl said. "I’ve always had dreams of winning this way with my teammates. It’s a great win. We dropped one but we ended up winning in the end and that’s all that matters."
Massapequa (13-1) advances to the Long Island Division I championship against the winner of Smithtown West/Northport at 11 a.m. on Thursday at Longwood. The winner will earn a trip to the state championships in Albany on Nov. 20.
The Vikings (13-3) battled back following a Massapequa run that tied the score at 20 in the third set and won 25-21 to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Regaining its composure in the fourth, Massapequa stretched a 16-12 lead to 20-12 before later sealing the title with a kill from right side Ryan Annunziato.
After getting out to a quick 11-5 lead in the second, Massapequa maintained control throughout on its way to a 25-18 win and a commanding 2-0 advantage.
Heimbauer detailed the adjustments that Massapequa made following its two regular season meetings with the Vikings, which came down to the wire and went the full five sets.
"We just increased our focus," Heimbauer said. "Which we didn’t really have in our first two games. And that just exponentially grew and made us so much better."
That focus and intensity proceeded to propel Massapequa to yet another county title, as the squad responded to DiSalvo’s opening message in the exact manner she expected.
"I tell them, ‘You work in the practice gym to put on a show,’" DiSalvo said. "That’s what I say to them every day. People are here, they come and cheer your names. Put on a show for them.
"So I tell them in the huddle, ‘It’s showtime.’"