Floral Park may not have gotten off to the best start in its boys volleyball match against Farmingdale, but the Knights more than compensated with a strong finish.
Ryan Engel had 21 assists, 18 kills and six aces to lead Floral Park, which dropped the first set before winning the next three Thursday in a Nassau A-I/B-I crossover. Nick Felicetti added 16 kills and Bobby Shinde had 24 assists for the Knights (4-2), who won, 23-25, 25-19, 25-15, 25-12.
"We got more intense," Felicetti said. "We had a shaky start, but once we settled down and got into the flow of the game, we picked it up."
"We came out slow, but in the second game we got our passes down," Engel said. "We made our setter comfortable, and he was able to distribute the ball evenly to the hitters."
Led by the strong play of Matt DeLuca, who had 17 kills, Farmingdale (0-4) took the first set, and kept things close early in the second, before Floral Park got separation and took a 17-10 lead.
Farmingdale cut its deficit to 18-16, but Felicetti got three consecutive kills to start a 7-3 Floral Park run that closed the set. The Knights continued the strong play by winning 10 of the third set's first 13 points, but setter Shinde said the runs were less a matter of momentum, and more a product of execution on each individual point.
"Don't think about it," he said of the runs. "Just keep going for it. You have to have a short memory and get the next point."
Floral Park coach Ryan Obloj said the trio of Shinde and hitters Engel and Felicetti is key to his team's fortunes.
"We need those guys to play well. Bobby was setting very well, and if you can set well, we have two big hitters. If you get them the ball, they can put it down."
As Floral Park closed out the match, it also got contributions from James Monahan (15 digs), Brian Rattigan, Jack Powers, and Shane O'Sullivan.
"We needed this win," Felicetti said. "We have some tough matches coming up, so it's really important to keep it rolling."