Wheatley needed a wake-up call. It was the county finals and, aside from one minor scare, it looked to be cruising toward a trip to the Long Island championship. Then, after winning the first two games, they dropped the third and things got a lot more interesting.
“We needed a little reality check to realize where we are, what we’re playing for, and what’s at stake,” Sofia Greenfield said. “Once we remembered that as a team and reset our goals, we were able to fight back in the fourth.”
It took until late in the fourth game, but Wheatley did indeed fight back and stave off any possibility of a winner-take-all fifth. The Wildcats walked out of Farmingdale State College 3-1 winners over Island Trees in the Nassau girls volleyball Class B Final Thursday night. The 25-16, 28-26, 21-25, 25-19 victory sends the Wildcats to the Long Island Class B championship. They are scheduled to face Bayport-Blue Point at 3 p.m. Sunday at Farmingdale State College.
Greenfield finished with 17 kills. Jamie Ryan had 10 kills, eight aces and 14 digs. Irene Lountzis added 17 digs and four aces.
After falling behind 14-12 in the fourth game, Wheatley was able to tie it at 15 and then again at 19. Greenfield’s kill late in the fourth game gave the Wildcats a 20-19 lead.
“I read what was going on the other side,” Greenfield said. “I knew that my team was in a little bit of a struggle. We were fighting at 19-19. I had to get my team that little bit of energy push and get us on a run. I took it as my job to make sure I got the next point, which is why I got the kill.”
And run they did. Ryan served the final five points and Wheatley (16-1) was on its way to a win.
“It was a mixture of, ‘I have to get this in’ and, ‘I have to make this hard enough for them to receive to we can win on this point,’” Ryan said.
After winning the first set in fairly easy fashion — a 25-16 technical masterpiece that saw few Wildcats out of position at any point — Wheatley needed to fight back in the second set. After taking a 4-1 lead, Wheatley allowed Island Trees to climb back into it, eventually tying the score four times before taking a 15-13 lead. Island Trees extended the lead to 22-17 before Wheatley climbed back to win 11 of the final 15 points to take the game 28-26 and build a 2-0 lead in the match.