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Massapequa beats Baldwin to remain undefeated in girls volleyball

Gabriella Heimbauer of Massapequa spikes past Tevin Mahlstadt

Gabriella Heimbauer of Massapequa spikes past Tevin Mahlstadt of Baldwin during a Nassau girls volleyball match on Thursday in Baldwin. Credit: Dawn McCormick

The girls volleyball powerhouse that is Massapequa just keeps rolling along.

The Chiefs continued their sparkling fall season Thursday night, defeating host Baldwin, 25-13, 25-13, 25-17, to improve to 13-0 in Nassau AA/B/C-I. Gabriella Heimbauer had 18 kills and both Meghan Kirtyan and Bella Lembo had 16 assists.

Massapequa has yet to lose a set this fall. Baldwin fell to 8-4.

“I honestly just think we’re really well-rounded,” said coach Amanda Ostapow, who is in her first year. “I don’t think we’re extremely great at one thing, but I think we’re really good at everything.”

Ostapow, who won a state championship playing for Ward Melville in 2005 before playing for LIU Post and later coaching the Pioneers from 2016-17, said players bought into her style right away.

And because of their overall strengths, the Chiefs have thrived.

“It makes my job enjoyable,” Ostapow said. “They make me look good. We work on stuff in practice, then they execute it.”

The Chiefs boast power on the outsides in Heimbauer and her younger sister, Alessandra, two focal points on the offense. With middle hitters Alexis Panagoulias, Meghan Wildes and Sidney Benvenisti also attracting attention in the middle, the Heimbauers are able to get free near the pins and drive home points.

Winners of 17 straight Nassau Class AA championships from 2000-16 before Long Beach captured the title each of the past two seasons, Massapequa is hungry to return to the top spot in the county. The last regular-season hurdle comes Monday against Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK for the Chiefs’ senior day event that will honor the team’s seven seniors.

But that won’t be the last home game in their varsity careers, as Massapequa figures to be a force in the playoffs.

“I really couldn’t have asked for anything better than what I came into,” Ostapow said. “These girls are hungry, and they want to work. When you think of your perfect volleyball team, this is it.”

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