Massapequa Girls Sports Domination

Whether it was on the court, on the field, or in the water, the Massapequa Girl’s Sports teams dominated during this fall season. Despite the challenges of last year’s shortened “Covid seasons,” Girl’s Volleyball, Soccer, Field Hockey, and Swimming came back stronger than ever, ready to put Massapequa High School on the map. 

Each team accomplished some amazing achievements and made their school and community proud, but more importantly, made some great memories. Massapequa has always had strong sports teams, but this fall season, the girls teams definitely reinforced that idea throughout their conferences in Nassau, Long Island, and even the state, they were here to win. 

The Massapequa Girls Volleyball team started the school year off with an impressive undefeated season. They quickly won their conference and went on to win the county championship against Syosset in three sets. Things started to become more intense as the team prepared for the Long Island Championship which was against Smithtown West. 

The final point of the LI Championship game was scored by senior middle, Sidney Benvenisti, with an impressive block. “I had tears in my eyes and I was smiling from ear to ear,” Sidney says. “Being on the court with my best friends was the best experience I could imagine and being able to have that last point by blocking was the best feeling.” 

Each girl on the team had their mind fiercely set on obtaining their goal of the season, which was going to the state championship, and after they beat Smithtown West in three sets, this dream of making it to states was finally becoming a reality. 

The “Tribe” fought hard when they arrived at the state tournament in Glenn Falls. They easily secured a spot as a state finalist on their first day, and on their second, they returned to Massapequa as second in the state. 

Defensive leader and starting libero, Kylie Squires, believes that one of the reasons this season was so special was because, “we didn’t have a season last year, so it was even more important to make every second count.” 

In the state championship game, each player left everything out on the court, worked their absolute hardest, and played the best competition they had ever seen. The Massapequa Girls Volleyball program has not made it to the state championship since 2007, so the fact that the team was able to secure the title of a state finalist this year was an incredible feat. 

Megan Kirtyan, senior setter for the “Tribe”, explained that the biggest factor that got the team this far was ,“the fact we had a strong mindset, everyone played their role on the team and we pushed each other to get better.” Seniors Emma Reilly, Alessandra Heimbauer, Emily Keaveney, Aly Harding, and Ava Lembo were also essential to the points that the team fought for during the state tournament. 

For Massapequa Girls Soccer, the legacy of girls fall sports this year continued. With a record of 19-0-1, the Girls Soccer Team, also known as the “Herd,” went undefeated in their season as well. Into the playoffs, Massapequa Girls Soccer pulled out two outstanding wins against Syosset and Smithtown West. Then, they carried this outstanding record all the way over to the state championship tournament where they went undefeated once again, taking home the state title. Now, Girls Soccer has a county, Long Island, and state championship title under their belts. 

After speaking with one of the defensive leaders, Julia Gaglinao, who held down the opposing teams in the state games to zero goals overall, both games 3-0, insight was given on this experience., “It really came down to communication on the defensive end. We have each other’s back and the bond we’ve created has carried over on and off the field,” Gagliano stated. Some seniors who were also part of this powerful defensive force included Nicole Kilkeny, Mia Baldinger, and Kali Konstantinakos. 

Throughout the season, countless members of this extremely talented team have contributed to the winning streak for the Chiefs. One of these main contributors is Lia Howard, who was named an All State and All American as well as is recorded as the leading point holder in the conference says, “It was an honor to make history with such a wonderful group of young women. This is what we all dreamt of as little kids…and we actually did it.” 

Alongside her is Jessica Lynskey, a left striker who came to play winning impressive county awards. Lynskey says “We all had the same goal since day one. I knew since then we could do it.” 

This offensive unit had not been taken down all season. Seniors Gianna Savella, Thalia Morisi, and Sam Nolan, along with many others, took part in this domination. Massapequa Girls Soccer in the 2021 fall season was a force to be reckoned with. As all competition fell to them, the Chiefs took home a state championship and lifelong bonds that will live on forever.

    On the other hand, Girls Swimming and Diving made another huge bang on Massapequa’s name, making their presence known. As four of our own Chiefs made it to the state finals in Ithaca, New York, they all placed in the “A” and “B” finals. Their success does not go unrecognized. These athletes include Brooke Haag, Lacey Bowen,Victoria Ehrhardt, Margarita Dubavets, and Katja Vardoulias. 

Brooke Haag, a senior who placed 10th in the state for freestyle in the “A” final, spoke about her experience on the team this 2021 season. Haag is carrying on with her career next year at Towson, a division 1 school. She says, “It was extremely exciting to finally get back to states after the championships being canceled last year and to go with a relay after years of only one of two girls going was really cool. It’s nice to know that even after the seniors are gone the team is in some really good hands with a talented group of younger girls.” 

Haag is hopeful for the future of the team which she leaves her legacy on. She sees a bright path for her teammates and encourages them to keep making the Massapequa name proud. Overall, the Massapequa Girls Swim and Dive closed the season with pride and achievement, making us all proud.

    Bringing home an incredible county championship win for the chiefs this year is the Girls Field Hockey Team, who beat Port Washington in a nail biting OT game. Additionally they defeated East Meadow in a semifinal county game , dominating the scoreboard 8-1. 

With a season record of 8-7, the Chiefs were able to work together and pull out this long awaited county win. Nicolette Buffolino, a junior on the team, ended the season with 16 goals and 6 assists, giving her a total of 22 points, making her the leading scorer on the team. This also placed her 3rd in the conference for point leaders. 

Nicolette credits much of the win to her team dynamic and ability to work off of each other. Buffolino states, “It was an overall great experience to be a part of. The season went great and I feel we really bonded like a family. It made me feel excited coming to practice and hanging out as a team.” The connection carried onto the field and brought the Chiefs to their undeniable success. Seeing all their hard work pay off in winning the county championship, the team ended the season with their heads high.

This fall season, the powerhouse collection of girls teams can be credited with four county championships, three Long island championships and one state championship (five state placements). 

A county sweep by all of these teams has brought great pride upon the Massapequa district. The common victories of each fall team can all be connected back to the friendships and bonds created throughout the season. 

Each teammate pushed each other to achieve their greatest potential as well as each having a strong mindset and a resilient work ethic. Another thing all teams had in common was the overwhelming confidence and support that was supplied by their community. Each team was held up through their wins and their losses by cheering crowds full of their classmates, friends, and families. This fall season, the Massapequa Girls Teams have set a precedent for all the teams of the future to follow in their footsteps. 

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