Written by Joe Scotchie Friday, 07 October 2011 00:00
Out of all these great teams in the Massapequa program, the most impressive dynasty is the girls’ volleyball squad. The Lady Chiefs have won 11 consecutive Nassau County titles, including both a Long Island and New York State championship in 2007. Guiding Massapequa to Nassau County dominance has been a native of the village itself. Carol Ann Habeeb is now in her 21st year of coaching the volleyball squad and along with her assistants, she has built a dynasty that features a camaraderie that looks to ensure its continuation for years to come.
When Ms. Habeeb was attending Massapequa High School she played soccer. Before that, in junior high, she was a volleyball player. After Massapequa, she matriculated at St. John’s University, where she eventually chose volleyball over soccer. St. John’s is also where Ms. Habeeb began a grueling schedule of both playing and coaching that same sport.
After classes, Ms. Habeeb would drive from the campus in Hillcrest, Queens all the way back to Massapequa, where she would help coach the volleyball squads. When those duties were completed, it was often back on the Long Island Expressway for practice or a game at St. John’s. After graduating from St. John’s, Ms. Habeeb moved back to Massapequa for good, getting a job as a substitute teacher before eventually joining the school district on a full-time basis.
Last year, in addition to winning another county title, Ms. Habeeb celebrated another milestone, winning her 300th game. Asked about her success, Ms. Habeeb cited her coaches, the players, and a program that keeps everyone busy year round.
“We are coaching 12 months out of the year,” Ms. Habeeb said. “The junior high school coaches and I work together.”
Ms. Habeeb also cites modern technology for allowing her to stay in constant communication with coaches and players. She also encourages her players to participate in other sports. And so, athletes who excel in volleyball at Massapequa High School are also playing basketball, golf, lacrosse, softball, and track. “I am very, very lucky to have many different types of athletes,” Ms. Habeeb said.
The teams have been successful and so have the players, namely in their ability to receive scholarships to various Division I and Division II schools. In recent years, volleyball stars have gone to play at such local institutions as C.W. Post, Adelphi University, Siena College and Wagner College.
All this success has translated also into a successful Booster Club at the high school, which benefits the Long Island community in general. “The Booster Club has been fabulous in coming up with different ideas,” Ms. Habeeb said. That includes a Dig Pink tournament, which the volleyball team has participated in for the past three years, raising, in the process, tens of thousands of dollars for Breast Cancer research.
Of all her great teams, Ms. Habeeb remembers the 2007 most fondly.
“That team was driven,” she said. “They weren’t going to accept anything less than a state title. The players were all multisport-talented and very close to each other.”