Every game was a tight one in the Nassau Class B semifinal match between Mineola and West Hempstead on Saturday afternoon at Mineola High School. Both teams were vying for a berth in the finals, which are scheduled to take place on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Adelphi University.
The Lady Mustangs got off to a quick lead in the first game but the Lady Rams countered with good defense and passing the ball well to each other with multiple lead changes. Mineola was able to gain the edge on the strength of their consistent play, eventually getting a 25-23 first game win.
The second game of the match was more of the same as both teams stayed tight with each other throughout. Mineola’s offensive front hit some nice driving balls but the West Hempstead defense made some beautiful diving saves to even the score at 19 a piece. Mineola was able to pull away at the end and outside hitter, Adriana McKeever capped off the game with a thunderous spike down the line for the 25-20 win.
West Hempstead came out rejuvenated in the third game of the match and jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead. Mineola was able to regain the lead, 13-11 off of steady serving by setter Kathryn Priolo.
West Hempstead lost their composure a bit and made some wild shots giving Mineola a commanding 19-14 advantage. But just like the first two games, the Lady Rams fought back and made a contest of it tying the score at 22 all. That would be as far as they would get though as Mineola ran off the last 3 points for the game and match win.
“We played our game today like we’ve played all season long,” first year varsity head coach Hyunah Park said, adding that her servers and hitters had a particularly strong day helping to send Mineola into the County finals on Sunday. “We try to stay as consistent as we can and try to stay positive each and every point even when things don't go our way.”