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Boys Volleyball Wins Its First Long Island Title

Girls volleyball, girls field hockey both win county crowns

Another championship season for Massapequa High School athletic squads is still underway as the varsity boys volleyball team won their first ever Long Island title last Saturday, defeating Lindenhurst 3-0.

With the win, the Chiefs advance to the New York State tournaments, held at Syracuse University. On Saturday, Nov. 19, they will play in a one-day tournament to determine the state champions.

In the Lindenhurst game, Christian Smith and Chris Husmann were the offensive stars. Smith had 25 assists and eight kills, while Husmann added 20 kills as the Chiefs won all three quarters.

Smith and Husmann were also the stars as Massapequa roared to its third straight Nassau Class A title on Nov. 10 with a 3-1 win over Plainview JFK. Husmann had 20 kills and Smith had 13 kills and 25 assists as this one-two duo helped Massapequa recover from a 26-24 first round setback to win the last three sets and the game.

The girls volleyball team, also a longtime power on the Island, won the Nassau Class AA title on Nov. 8 with a 3-0 win over Hicksville. Lauren Van Buren (10 kills, three aces and 13 digs), Joanne Josephson (nine kills and six blocks), Kristen Marchisotto (33 assists), and Erin Bies (18 digs) lead the Lady Chiefs to another title as their dominance of Nassau County volleyball continues. However, Massapequa fell short in the Long Island title game, losing a tough one to Smithtown East, 3-1. After losing the first match, 25-21, Massapequa recovered to win the second round, 25-17, but they could not sustain their momentum as Smithtown East rallied to win the final two sets and their first Class AA Long Island crown.

More glory came this year from the girls field hockey squad, which, on Nov. 6, won their third straight Nassau County Class A title with a convincing 6-0 win over Port Washington. Kelly McDonough and Brittany Nachamie shared goaltending honors, keeping the ball out of the net. Meanwhile, Kelsey O’Brien, Lena Pollich, and Jamie Ahrens paced an impressive offensive display, with all three each scoring two goals. Ms. O’Brien also had two assists.

As with the girls volleyball team, the field hockey squad fell short in their Long Island title game. On Nov. 12, the Lady Chiefs lost to Sachem East, 6-1. Jacqueline Harrison had 12 saves in goal, while Lena Pollich scored the lone Massapequa goal as the Lady Chiefs finished the year with a 12-3 record.

The volleyball and field hockey squads weren’t the only champion teams. This year, the boys golf, girls tennis, and girls cross country teams also won conference titles. In addition, the cross-country team joined the boys volleyball, girls volleyball, and girls field hockey in winning Nassau County titles.

“We had a fabulous fall season,” said Massapequa School District Athletic Director John Piropato, pointing to the champion squads. Piropato also praised the charity work of the student athletes, noting participation in the Dig Pink event, cancer and autism walks, and work on a 9-11 memorial. “We’re very proud of our student athletes, both on and off the field.”

As the playoffs approached, no Massapequa team had quite the firepower of the boys football squad. The Chiefs, in fact, were Big Four champs in Conference I play. They roared into the postseason with a 6-2 record and a 54-0 win over Hempstead. In all, Massapequa had 40 points or more in four of their wins and hit the 50-point mark twice.

Playing in the highly competitive Conference I bracket, the Chiefs continued their winnings ways in the first round, defeating Baldwin, 28-7. Vassilis Grigorakos, Taylor Bocchiaro, and Jack Korber all paced the ground game, with Grigorakos scoring two touchdowns, Korber scoring a touchdown while running for 101 yards, and Bocchiaro gaining 113 yards. The Chiefs scored a touchdown in each quarter, and the defense kept Baldwin scoreless in the last three quarters.

On Nov. 12, the Chiefs traveled to East Meadow for semifinal action. East Meadow jumped out to a 14-7 first quarter lead and never trailed, winning by a 55-21 margin. Grigorakos, Bocchiaro, and Matt Pagano all scored for Massapequa, which finished the season with a 7-3 mark and more promise in future campaigns.