Massapequa's girls volleyball team played the way we've come to expect.
Now 13-0, the Chiefs were far from flawless Monday. But their 3-0 Nassau AA-I victory over host Plainview JFK -- 25-16, 25-8, 25-13 -- was convincing -- much like their other wins this season.
Latest HS sports stories
"What motivates us is that we have potential to be the best of the best,'' Jamie Smith said.
Smith, who had 12 kills, six assists and four blocks, led a fast-paced attack that frequently caught Plainview (11-2) off guard. The simple formula? Win the point, receive the ball and get back to attacking as quickly as possible.
Offensive and defensive pacing is something coach CarolAnn Habeeb said her team has been working on with the playoffs looming.
"We're really trying to step up our speed on our offense,'' said Habeeb, who has won 201 consecutive league matches. "The quickness of our defense and our rotation needs to get better.''
Another area needing improvement was front and center against Plainview. The Chiefs started slowly in the first and third sets, despite eventually winning both.
It was tied at 10 in the first before Massapequa pulled away after its next point. Plainview was within one point, at 10-9, in the third set before two aces by Emilie Marzano highlighted a run of five unanswered points.
Massapequa's Kole Pollock, who had four blocks and three kills, said: "Sometimes we struggle a lot with starting out slow. We practice getting it together. We focus, and eventually it clicks.''
After Massapequa clicked, not even brief surges by the Hawks could stop the Chiefs. After being tied at 10 in the first set, Massapequa scored 10 of the next 13 points to take a 20-13 lead. After being up 10-9 in the third set, Massapequa scored 15 of the final 19 points.
The second set was the lone exception. Massapequa took a commanding 13-3 lead midway through before eventually winning 25-8. Smith, Pollock, Nicole Furka and Gabriella Azzariti set the tone early and never looked back.
Massapequa has yet to truly be challenged. Pollock thinks this is just the beginning of what her team is truly capable of.
"Our team has definitely come very far this season,'' she said. "Losing five seniors was hard on us, so it's been taking a little while for us to develop into this new team. We're starting to finally click and mesh. We're almost there.''