The Great Neck North boys volleyball coach Tim Nguyen is enjoying his best season ever with an 11-2 record in Conference 5 and a first place tie with Bethpage with one week left to the season.
On Friday, May 14, North defeated Mineola 15-10, 15-4 and 15-6. North also defeated Westbury on May 12 with scorers of 15-8, 15-3, 15-5. "We have experience this year with all six starters back from last year's team," commented Coach Nguyen. The seniors are Todd Abramson, Hal Burg, Jeff Kadavi, Robert Monge, Evan Weisbrot and Jonathan Wu. The remaining team members are all juniors and they are: Michael Gondafi, Keven Hakimian, Mohammed Khaghani, Mathew Myles and Vincent Wu.
Coach feels that the turning point in the season was a thrilling five set win over Great Neck South May 4. Great Neck South won the first two games 15-9 and 15-6. North won game three 15-10, and game 4 15-8. The fifth and deciding game went to North in a thrilling 16-14 decision. "The last three games of the South match was the first time we played together as a team all season," stated Coach Nguyen.
North will play Clarke monday, May 17 away. In the first meeting the Blazers won three straight games 17-15, 15-2, 15-7.
On Wednesday, May 19, North will travel to New Hyde Park. The Blazers defeated the Gladiators in their first meeting 15-6, 15-8 and 16-14.
Friday, May 21, North will have the showdown against Bethpage for the Conference Championships should both teams defeat their respective opponents. North lost to Bethpage in their first meeting in five tough games. North lost the opener 15-10, then came back with 15-6 and 15-13 wins. The Golden Eagles won game 4, 15-10 and the final game went to Bethpage 16-14. Coach Nguyen believes North can defeat Bethpage. He knows the team must focus one match at a time. North's other loss was to Elmont. Bethpage lost to Elmont and Valley Stream Central.
Last year North finished the season at 3-12 in Conference 3.
There are six conferences in Nassau County. The first two conferences are the upper ability group, and all of those teams qualify for the county tournament. The next two conferences form the middle ability group. The top two teams in each conference will make the playoffs. The last two conferences make up the lower ability group, and Nassau County will take the top team in these two conferences. "We have the talent, we just have to maintain the mental part of the game," stated Coach Nguyen.