Wantagh has long established itself as one of the top volleyball teams in Nassau County.
Holding on to that status is not easy, and Wantagh discovered that Thursday night. It needed five games to hold off South Side, 3-2, and capture its third consecutive Nassau Class A championship at SUNY-Old Westbury.
Things began smoothly enough for Wantagh as it surged to an early seven-point lead and took Game 1, 25-21. South Side came back with a strong second game as junior outside hitter Allison Glass had three kills in a 25-20 win for the Cyclones.
The teams then traded victories, with Wantagh taking Game 3, 25-15, and South Side running away with Game 4, 25-22.
The fifth game, which featured a tie or a lead change 25 times, was a thriller. But the Warriors put away South Side, 25-18, behind junior setter Carly Simeone, who had five consecutive service points.
Wantagh was led by seniors Jenny Ilibassi (19 kills) and Lauren Pennino (10 kills).
The Warriors (18-0) will take on the Suffolk Class A champion in the Long Island final Saturday at 5 p.m. at St. Joseph's College.