Meet the players who earned first-team honors for Newsday's All-Long Island boys volleyball team in 2017.
Long Island Player of the Year: Brennen Brandow, Eastport-South Manor, OH, Sr.
The top hitter on a Sharks team that found success in a more competitive classification this season, Brandow did so much more than just tally kills.
"For our team, of course he was the top hitter," ESM coach Bruce Stiriz said. "But he was also our second-best defender. Serving-wise, he had the most aces. Blocking, he was our second-best blocker."
With a vertical that makes it seem like he's floating in midair, Brandow surveyed defenses all season to find weak spots. When he found them, he exploited them time and time again.
Stiriz said Brandow is receiving interest from several colleges, including at least one school in Division I. This after a 2016 season in which he showed so much as a right side hitter that Stiriz just knew he needed to get him the ball even more.
With that came the responsibility of both leading the team's offense and making sure everyone is on the same page.
"I would hate to think what we would've been about him," Stiriz said. "His calmness just resonated with the rest of the team. If there was a problem on the court, he was the first to smooth it out."
Nassau Player of the Year: Sammy Gibson, Long Beach, OH, Sr.
Displeased with the height of his vertical after last season, Gibson worked with a personal trainer and watched what he ate to improve that height by six inches this season. The increased vertical elevated his game to the next level.
"He lived the life of a high-level athlete, and it paid off for him," said Long Beach coach Bill Gibson, Sammy's father.
Sammy tallied 223 kills, 132 digs, 42 aces and 24 blocks for the Marines, who lost a thriller to Massapequa in the county final. Most of their success was made possible by his commitment to improving himself.
"He was absolutely one of the key pieces," his father said.
Tyler Anderson, Bellmore JFK, OH, Jr.
He took Nassau by storm as an athletic hitter, and head coach Dennis Ringel called him "a special player."
Timmy Drake, Massapequa, OH, Sr.
A powerful hitter and server, Drake was a force for the Chiefs, who won a county title.
Nick Galasso, Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK, OH, Jr.
He was a leader for a young Plainview team, leading the charge on offense and contributing on defense.
Jason Koehler, Lindenhurst, M, Sr.
An excellent overall player, he amassed over 200 kills as a middle and hurt defenses with a jump-serve that's difficult to receive.
Dan LaRosa, Sachem North, L, Sr.
Long Island's top libero this fall was the catalyst for the Flaming Arrows, turning defense into a potent offense.
Tommy Ogeka, Eastport-South Manor, OH, Sr.
He contributed in all areas, providing kills, blocks, digs and aces for a talented Sharks team.
Connor Pallmann, Sachem North, OH, Sr.
He posted a team-high 209 kills and 37 aces for the Flaming Arrows.
Kyle Shaffer, Smithtown East, S, Sr.
He led the fifth-seeded Bulls to the county semifinals as both a setter and hitter.
Chris Shanley, Smithtown West, OH, Sr.
Shanley was a threat each game to produce double-digit totals in kills and digs.
Jared Weissberg, Long Beach, S, Sr.
He paced Nassau with 632 assists and contributed on defense in the back row and at the net.
Suffolk Coach of the Year: Bruce Stiriz, Eastport-South Manor
He led the Sharks to the state Division I semifinals after winning the state Division II championship last year.
Nassau Coach of the Year: Dennis Ringel, Bellmore JFK
He led the Cougars to the state Division II finals and has won eight Nassau titles in his 10 years.
The All-Long Island second team
Mike Biscardi, Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK, S, Jr.
Steve Carlson, Bellmore JFK, M/OH, Sr.
Daniel Dash, Port Washington, M, Sr.
Jack Driscoll, Sachem North, S, Jr.
Quinn Foglia, Eastport-South Manor, M, Sr.
Adam Gorgone, Hauppauge, OH, Sr.
Josh Kaplan, Bellmore JFK, RS/S, Sr.
Kevin Kelleher, Smithtown West, OH, Sr.
Daniel Murphy, Smithtown East, M, Sr.
Colin Nikc, Eastport-South Manor, S, Sr. (pictured)
Jack Poplawski, Whitman, OH, Jr.
Chris Scandole, Long Beach, OH, Sr.