Written by Joe Scotchie Friday, 25 November 2011 00:00
The most successful season in the history of the Massapequa boys’ volleyball team has come to an end.
This past weekend, the Chiefs, fresh off of their first ever Long Island title, traveled upstate for a one-day tournament at Cicero-North Syracuse High School, one that would determine the state title.
The volleyball marathon began with Massapequa splitting a match with Bethlehem, 22-25, 26-24. The Chiefs then split another contest with Jesuit High School, losing 25-15 in the first match before coming back for a thrilling win in the second match, 27-25.
With two hard-fought splits behind them, the Chiefs were eligible for the final match of the grueling one-day pool play.
That round got off to a great start for Massapequa as they dispatched of Oswego, 25-21, 25-14. Once again, Massapequa took on Jesuit. But this time, the Knights prevailed in a three-game match, 25-18, 25-19, and 25-21.
In the state final match, Chris Husmann and Christian Smith, the two stars that paced the Chiefs all year long, again came up big with Husmann scoring 15 kills and Smith setting up for 30 assists. The Chiefs ended the thrilling day with a 4-2 mark. The defeat to Jesuit was their first of the year as they finished the landmark season with a 20-1 record.
Afterward, Head Coach Steve Mariano heaped praise on his team and their play, plus parents, fans and administrators of the Massapequa School District.
“This group of kids has meant so much to me. Over the last season, they have grown both as players and as individuals with class and dignity,” Mariano told The Massapequan Observer. “This season was special, in that the guys created a bond with each other and created a family in school, in practice, and on the court. We had many milestones this season, including a third straight Nassau County championship, first ever LI championship, and first ever Nassau team to advance to the state tournament and compete in the state finals. The boys will surely have many memories that will last a lifetime, and it was with a group of people who care about each other, just as if they were family. We have the best group of parents, fans, and administrators, most of who made the trip to Syracuse just to cheer us on. It was really special and the team and myself truly thank all of them. The hard work of my players and the captains and their trust in me all contributed to the high level of success we had this season. I am so proud of my team, especially my captains, Steve Woessner, Christian Smith, and Christopher Husmann. They were able to create excitement, passion, and belief that we deserved all that we accomplished. I wish my seniors the best of luck in their college endeavors, as I know they will be a success and asset to the universities they attend. I am proud to say that they represented Massapequa High School, Nassau County, and Long Island with class and dignity.”
The Chiefs advanced to the state finals by defeating Lindenhurst, 3-0 in a Nov. 12 contest. In the Lindenhurst game, Smith had 25 assists and eight kills, while Husmann added 20 kills as the Chiefs won all three quarters.
That same duo 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 boys’ volleyball squad wasn’t the only championship team from Massapequa. The girls’ volleyball team continued their mastery of Nassau County, winning another Nassau Class AA title on Nov. 8 with a 3-0 win over Hicksville. The girls’ field hockey squad won their third straight Nassau County Class A title with a convincing 6-0 win over Port Washington.
In addition, 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 and solidifying Massapequa’s standing as producing, year in and year out, the most outstanding high school athletic program in Long Island.