By Coaches Jim Signorelli and Karen Liang
This year we had only two returning players from last season and a large group of inexperienced but eager new seventh and eighth grade players on the team. Every practice we worked on the fundamentals and gradually began to feel comfortable working together. When it was time to play the first game we didn’t know what to expect and the players were understandably nervous.
Our first game was an away game. We won the first set in triple overtime and the players were surprised when we won the second set. They won their first match against a really talented team! Our second game was another away game against a team MMFS had never beaten. The returning players were nervous based on last year’s game, but we played well as a team and were victorious! We had begun the season 2-0 and were on a roll.
There were so many highlights throughout the season, starting with the performances of our returning players, Beck and Harry. They were true leaders on the court, making sure everyone was in his/her/their place, hustling and hitting the floor time and time again for every loose ball. Harry “Houdini” provided the magic as our server supreme and kept us in every game with his consistent and unhittable serve. Leanne, Noah, and Andrew, although new to the sport, were key players for every victory and played above and beyond what we ever thought was possible. Their hustle, great serves, and determination inspired all of their teammates. Olivia provided us with a spark of energy in every game and we couldn’t have won without her. Stephanie’s talent and hustle helped us win point after point. Max, Eddie, and Annie were our most improved players winning points with their serves and play around the net. Rebecca and Sawyer were the ultimate team players and cheered us on, encouraging us every step of the way while accomplishing so many of their own firsts – their first points and their first serves.
One of the hallmarks of this team was their ability to shrug off the mistakes and never let them interfere with their enjoyment of each game. They were amazingly supportive teammates and together they had an impressive and historic run. We won the last four games and ended the season 6-1, which is the all-time best record by a MMFS middle school volleyball team! It was a most satisfying way to end a most successful season. This team should be very proud of its accomplishments over the course of the season. The students really understood that if you play hard and have fun, then good things will happen. The 2018 Lightning Middle School Volleyball Team is a great example of why we value sports at MMFS – teamwork, camaraderie, sportsmanship, and confidence in one’s own abilities.
A special thank you to all of the volleyball families who came to every game and made it seem like a home game wherever we played. Thanks to all of the students and faculty who supported us throughout the season. A special shout out to Jenny and John D. who were our scorekeepers extraordinaire and scoreboard wranglers. Thank you to Justin for the beautiful new net and the support of the MMFS athletic department. Finally, a big thank you to Katelyn and Carlos who experienced every game and practice with us from the beginning to the end. We will miss our eighth graders who are moving on – Harry, Beck, Leanne, Noah, Olivia, Andrew, and Rebecca. We look forward to building next year’s squad around Stephanie, Eddie, Max, Annie, and Sawyer.
Check out the photos here.