Girls Volleyball Sport Recap


Peter Ficuciello

Photo from WOHSSA

Charley Dvorin, Co-Editor in Chief

The one word to describe this past Girls Volleyball season was “adaptable” according to senior Danna Urias. Starting this season with a new coach was challenging and led the team to rely, encourage, and trust each other and their in-game connection to win more than ever before. Coach John Chang was different in the way he practiced and prepared before games by listening to the girls, taking their advice, changes his plans based on the girls feedback. Coach Chang declared that “this season has been better than I anticipated.” 

 The experiences, wins, and bonding that occurred during the season is more important than the scoreboard. Urias declared that “the mental health of all the girls improved from last year because of the difference in confidence in all the girls and the way the coach led the team. It was the most fun I’ve had in all 4 years.” The season ended on November 1st in the quarter final round of the state tournament with a record of 14 wins and 10 losses. 

The season started with a bump in the road, losing to Caldwell and MKA 0-2. Junior Olivia Raymond, however, realized that in order to get rid of this early riff, the team had to “work on our confidence and stop playing the ‘blame game’. We had to work on our connection and put in effort to become friends. We also were wearing our old uniform those first 2 games, so I feel as if once we got our new uniforms we blossomed into a new team.”  Clearly, this worked as the girls went on to win their next 3 games against Cedar Grove, Bloomfield, and West Essex all 2-1 respectively. 

One of the most memorable games they played this season was Mount St. Dominic because it was a challenging game as they were ranked highest in your division and it was the most fun because it was an intense, tight game. It was significant because it showed the team how good they were and gave them more confidence onward in the season. 

Another important game was from a tournament they participated in late in their season in Millburn. Although they got eliminated before semi-finals, they had beat Columbia High School, one of their biggest rivals and a team they had lost to on their Senior Night the night before.                        

Stacy Folas, Gabriella Pineda, Nola Duncan, Sophia Feli, and Lucinda Edwards had particularly stellar seasons, as all were selected to be on Super Essex Conference Teams for the Liberty Division. Juniors Stacy Folas and Gabriella Pineda were placed on the first team, Freshman Nola Duncan on second team, and Junior Sophia Feli and Senior Lucy Edwards were both honorable mention. 

One unique aspect of the volleyball team was that they used TikTok to create volleyball-related content to have fun and encourage others to go to their games. “It was a more bonding experience than anything and I found them fun to do together. The little things were most important in bringing us together as a team” Urias noted. 

Next year, Raymond hopes that they “build off the momentum from the team and family we created this year. We have a good chance of winning a title next year with the skills we have and we hope to create an even better environment for next year.” Coach Chang believes that “now that we have laid a solid team foundation it’ll be easier to focus more on refining and sharpening our team skills which will ultimately help us be a more dynamic team.”