IN THE NEWS: Mount Volleyball Aims to Improve its 3-10 Record

Mount volleyball team aims to improve its 3-10 record

CALDWELL - The Mount St. Dominic Academy volleyball team is in a season of rebuilding.

The Lions lost six seniors - all starters who played four years on varsity - to graduation last year. The team is 3-10.

“We are playing some really good volleyball, just not getting results, unfortunately,” said first-year head coach Claire Scully.

Last year, the team finished with a 25-7 record, won the Prep Tournament for the first time since 2013, advanced to the semifinals of the Essex County Tournament, and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NJSIAA Non-Public Tournament. It also finished in second place in the Super Essex Conference American Division and won the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Tournament.

Scully said the team hopes to repeat its success of last year.

“Our goal for this year is to win the state Prep Tournament again and to make a deep run into counties,” she said. “I have seen moments of volleyball that can beat anyone in Essex County, and all we have to do is try to play that level of volleyball.”

The team has had victories over Verona, Cedar Grove and Montclair Kimberley Academy.

“Our team consists of seven seniors, who hold a lot of talent and experience, and we are rounded out by five younger players: one freshman, two sophomores and two juniors,” Scully said. “As we have so many seniors, I expect all of them to step forward and lead in their own way and in different moments.”

Leading the team are captains Tess Lucanie'20 and Gianna DeLotto '20.

“Our two captains have done a wonderful job of being leaders,” the coach said. “Tess, who has had to change her position as a senior, uses her skill and experience to constantly work to better the team. She has played at a highly consistent level and works hard to help her other teammates do so. Gianna is a ball of energy and positivity who takes control of situations when her team needs her.”

Last season, Lucanie led the team with 229 service points and had 340 digs.

Freshman Bridget Lonergan '23 has been impressive.

“She is a true offensive threat and is clearly coming into her own on this team,” Scully said. “She is a highly versatile offensive player with an incredible amount of potential that we hope to draw out and use in the back half of this season.”

She said the team hopes to improve as the season goes on.

“We are sometimes in a battle with ourselves. We had a tough run in the beginning of the season, playing a lot of good teams. Our challenge right now is to bounce back and push to improve the end of the season. This team has the heart and has shown the determination to do it. Now it is just a matter of if we can make it happen.”

Scully started her high school coaching career at Golda Och Academy in West Orange. She soon will begin her seventh season coaching girls competitive club volleyball. She began with Phoenix Volleyball New Jersey and is in her second year coaching at Atlantic Valley Volleyball Club.

The Lions will play in the Prep Tournament on Friday, Oct. 4. They were set to take on Clifton on Monday, Sept. 30 and Caldwell on Tuesday, Oct. 1. They are scheduled to face Montclair on Monday, Oct. 7 and Millburn on Thursday, Oct. 10.

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