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Newsday's All-Long Island girls volleyball team 2017

Meet the players who earned first-team honors for Newsday's All-Long Island girls volleyball team in 2017.

Long Island Player of the Year: Mackenzie Cole, Connetquot, OH, Sr.

A natural libero, Cole switched to outside hitter
Photo Credit: Errol Anderson

A natural libero, Cole switched to outside hitter this season for the needs of her team. Going to Duke for her skills at libero, Cole was new to being a full-time hitter.

But given her volleyball IQ, Cole made the transition almost seamlessly. She led the state Class AA champions in kills (333), finished second in aces (74) and still showcased her defensive prowess by chipping in 292 digs.

"This year, she sacrificed a lot to move outside," coach Justin Hertz said. "But the team needed it, and it was without question."

Cole looked like a seasoned hitter during the Thunderbirds' championship run, using her court vision to execute a variety of different hits. She fed off the strong passing of her teammates to keep the T-Birds' offense rolling.

Combine her success at a new position with her already-polished defensive skills, and Cole was an all-around player. She even earned state tournament MVP honors. Hertz said her dedication to the sport is what sets her apart from others.

"She's been a six-year varsity starter," he said. "She's never once, not one single time, missed a practice. Even when she's sick, she's come and sat in the corner because she refuses to miss a practice."

Nassau Player of the Year: Julia Beckmann, Garden City, OH, Sr.

Ask Trojans coach Heather Holecek what makes Beckmann
Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Ask Trojans coach Heather Holecek what makes Beckmann special, and she'll sing the Harvard commit's praises. From her powerful swing to her serve that is "painful" to receive, Beckmann is the top player in Nassau, Holecek says.

"She plays all-around," she said. "There's nothing that she can't do."

Beckmann tallied more than 300 kills and provided sturdy defense all around the court. Perhaps her biggest contributions this season for Garden City, a Nassau Class A semifinalist, came from the way she helped her teammates.

"There are a lot of girls out there who are good and know they're good, but she's somebody who's just not about her," Holecek said. "She wants to help every single player. It's not about her."

Erika Benson, Kings Park, M, Sr.

Her 401 kills and 92 blocks were all
Photo Credit: Richard T. Slattery

Her 401 kills and 92 blocks were all team highs as the middle hitter paced the Kingsmen's seventh straight trip to the state semifinals.

Mia Cergol, Glenn, S, Jr.

As versatile a player as there is on
Photo Credit: Richard T. Slattery

As versatile a player as there is on Long Island, she was a threat to post double digits in kills, digs and assists in any match.

Kathleen Doherty, Massapequa, OH, Sr.

The on-court leader used a big swing and
Photo Credit: Peter Frutkoff

The on-court leader used a big swing and sound defense to lead the Chiefs to yet another successful season.

Abbey Dummler, Commack, OH, Jr.

A catalyst for the surprising Cougars who provided
Photo Credit: Handout

A catalyst for the surprising Cougars who provided power on the outside and sturdy defense in the back row.

Madison Gale, Kellenberg, S, Sr.

Her 589 assists and 27 aces paced the
Photo Credit: James Escher

Her 589 assists and 27 aces paced the Firebirds to a third straight CHSAA title.

Caroline Lanzillotta, South Side, RS/MH, Sr.

A powerhouse who helped the Cyclones win a
Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

A powerhouse who helped the Cyclones win a Nassau Class A title as the team's go-to hitter and blocker.

Nicole Migliozzi, Connetquot, S, Sr.

One of the most consistent setters on Long
Photo Credit: Errol Anderson

One of the most consistent setters on Long Island, she racked up 809 assists and will play at Quinnipiac.

Meagan Murphy, Kings Park, L, Sr.

An absolute rock on defense, she tallied 712
Photo Credit: Errol Anderson

An absolute rock on defense, she tallied 712 digs and wasn't afraid to fly across the floor for a ball.

Cassandra Patsos, Connetquot, MB, Sr.

The Iona commit led the team in kills
Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

The Iona commit led the team in kills (347) and blocks (96) and paced the T-Birds in the state tournament.

Grace Rosenberg, Long Beach, S/RS, Jr.

A fantastic two-way player, her setting and hitting
Photo Credit: Peter Frutkoff

A fantastic two-way player, her setting and hitting was integral in the Marines' county final victory over Massapequa.

Suffolk Coach of the Year: Justin Hertz, Connetquot

He led the T-Birds to their second state
Photo Credit: Richard T. Slattery

He led the T-Birds to their second state Class AA championship in three years.

Nassau Coach of the Year: Cathy von Schoenermarck, Kellenberg

She led the Firebirds to their third consecutive
Photo Credit: Kellenberg

She led the Firebirds to their third consecutive CHSAA title.

The All-Long Island second team

Daniella Balsano, Connetquot, L, Sr. Emily Barry, Sacred
Photo Credit: Peter Frutkoff

Daniella Balsano, Connetquot, L, Sr.

Emily Barry, Sacred Heart, OH, Jr.

Allie Brady, Smithtown East, OH, Sr.

Haley Holmes, Kings Park, S, Sr.

Molly Jandris, Sachem East, M, Jr.

Caroline D. Kelly, Manhasset, L, Sr.

Caroline LaMacchia, South Side, L, Jr.

Emma McGovern, Long Beach, OH, Jr. (pictured)

Madison Osler, Mattituck, OH, Sr.

Sam Schroeder, Mineola, OH, Sr.

Mackenzie Taylor, Connetquot, OH, Sr.

Lauren Wilke, Bayport-Blue Point, S, Sr.

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