October 22, 2013 | 606 views
Long Beach clinches No. 2 seed
Ten days after Long Beach’s boys’ volleyball team squandered a two-game lead and lost at Roslyn, the Marines were on the opposite side of the fence against West Hempstead in a Conference III matchup on Oct. 17.
Senior Josh Ayzenberg had 49 assists, seven kills, seven digs and six aces, and juniors Luke Gelfand and Jack Gesuale added 14 kills apiece to lead Long Beach in its 22-25, 29-31, 25-18, 25-15, 25-18 come-from-behind victory over the Rams. Senior Tyquan Scott added 13 kills, while senior libero Bryan Snow totaled 15 digs, as the Marines upped their record to 9-3 and clinched the No. 2 seed behind defending state champion Bellmore-Kennedy in the Nassau County Class B playoffs.
“We played as well as we’ve played all year in the last three games, after playing probably our worst two games,” coach Bill Gibson said. “We couldn’t match their emotional level, so we toned it down and just focused on making plays. We made a few changes and got into a good rhythm.”
It marked the third time the Marines went the distance this fall. They beat Roslyn at home in five on Sept. 18, then lost to Roslyn in five on Oct. 7 after winning the first two games. “It was a good learning experience, because it’s something we may have to deal with in the playoffs,” Gibson said of the West Hempstead match. “We made a lot of errors early, but we were clean in the last three games. We were able to grind out the win.”
Long Beach returned just two starters — Ayzenberg and Snow — this fall and was ranked sixth in the conference. “We came into the season mostly young and inexperienced, and it took a while to find out our best lineup,” Gibson said. “The guys are competitively tough. They don’t have complete meltdowns.”
Gibson describes Ayzenberg, a four-year standout on the verge of breaking the school record for service aces in a single season, as the “most skilled player I’ve ever coached and one of the top all-around players on Long Island.” Ayzenberg, who has played everywhere except in the middle during his high school career and holds the school mark for digs in a season set as a freshman, is a dynamic hitter, passer and server.