Against Nassau County competition, only one miniscule difference separated the Massapequa girls volleyball teams of this season and last.
After concluding the 2019 campaign without dropping a single set before reaching the Long Island championship, this year’s version of Massapequa closed out the season by losing just one en route to earning their second consecutive Nassau Class AA girls volleyball title with a 25-9, 25-23, 25-17 home victory over Syosset on Monday night.
Massapequa, which finished with a record of 15-0, also extended its winning streak against Nassau competition to 32 games.
"I think it was our mindset," Massapequa outside hitter Alessandra Heimbauer said. "We have good chemistry as a team and we stuck together. When we were down we picked each other up, and we stayed composed and we finished."
Outside hitter Emily Keaveney led Massapequa with 14 kills and and five aces, while Heimbauer added nine kills and three aces. Setter Meghan Kirtyan recorded 29 assists and four aces.
"Coming into this season we knew we had a target on our back," Kirtyan said. "We just wanted to work hard for every point and I think that’s what we did."
Massapequa made a resounding statement in the opening set, riding a quick 5-0 lead toward a 25-9 finish. Syosset (11-4) responded with a late rally in the second game, scoring six consecutive points to tie the score at 23 before Massapequa powered back-to-back kills past the defense to secure a 2-0 advantage before clinching the title in the final set.
While Syosset seized considerable momentum toward the end of the second game, Massapequa maintained its composure to take the commanding 2-0 lead.
"We knew we just had to make one pass and serve it to someone who was going to get the ball down," Heimbauer said. "And we executed that plan. It was close at times, but we finished."
"She is insanely good," Kirtyan said of Heimbauer. "I just love setting her the ball because I know that when I do that she’s just going to put it down the way we need her to."
Massapequa coach Amanda Ostapow commended her players for refusing to become complacent throughout the last two seasons.
"It’s amazing, we’re blessed," Ostapow said. "We owe it all to the girls. They come in and they work hard, and they want to be pushed to be better. That’s what we’re here for. Our goal was to make sure we played our best at the end of the season and we really did."