By Mary Kate Cashman, Editor-in-Chief
The volleyball team finished its season with a record of 6-18, a solid improvement over last year’s record of 2-22. Carol Moser and Howard Schneider coached the team and seniors Kelsey Cooper, Sam Devine and Ryen Miller served as captains.
The first of the team’s six wins came in a game against St. Rose on Sept. 10, where the players pulled off a 2-0 win. Cooper had 10 digs, three service points, two kills, and one assist, and sophomore Helena Pecci had eight assists, seven service points, four aces, two digs, and one kill. In addition to contributions from other teammates, the team was able to defeat its rival, creating momentum that carried into their game against Mater Dei the following day.
On the Sept. 11 game against Mater Dei, the team earned another 2-0 win. Miller had eight service points, four aces, four kills and one dig. Sophomore Caitlin Bermingham had eight digs and one kill.
Moser credits the team’s positive attitude in the face of losses as the key factor in their wins. “The most important factors in these wins were their ability to stay focused, persevere and play as a team,” Moser said. “They refused to get down on themselves and kept the energy up for the wins.”
Cooper agreed with Moser that the team’s bond helped them to their wins. “Compared to last year, we are doing much better in moving as one on the court and fighting for every point,” she said. “A great example of this is when we played St. Rose, where we were really working together and secured a satisfying win.”
Sophomore Sofia Lehman said she believes that the bond between players lends itself to a more cohesive team. “Overall our team love is constantly there, which is great because it makes playing volleyball so much fun,” she said.
The team gained momentum in the second half of the season, going 3-1 in a one-week stretch from October 11 through 17 with wins against Mater Dei (2-0), Manasquan (2-0), Keyport (2-1) and Point Pleasant Beach (2-1).
“Early in the season we lost some very close matches, but the girls continue[d] to play with passion, excitement and increased focus,” Moser said. Although the regular season has ended, the team will find out if they qualified for the state tournament on Oct. 28.
Overall, Miller led the team in serving percentage, aces, kills and points on serve. Devine led in blocks, senior Maya Gardner led in serves received, Pecci led in assists and Bermingham led in digs.
The team had no seniors last year, but with six players who will graduate this year, the team dynamic will shift next year. Lehman said, “[The seniors] have really been our founding rock for us. Next year will be tough, that’s for sure.”