The McNicholas High School women’s volleyball regular season came to an end on Thursday, October 13th. This squad has been led this year by the new head of the program, Darlene Tierney.
Varsity is coached Darlene Tierney and assistant coach, Beth Osterday Strange. Leading Junior Varsity is Jason Gundrum and leading freshman is Sammie Wheatley.
This year, as a bonded program, the Rockets have gone 11-5 and placed second in the GCL small school division. They have taken down top teams including Fenwick and Badin.
Tierney stated , “to be successful, it is important that everyone has a role, and no role is more important than another.” The goal is to build good teams and compete at a high level.
This year varsity captains, Kaitlyn Schulte and Maria Massa, have seen some changes in the program. These two seniors have been in the program all four years of their high school career.
This year, the coaches have been more involved in team bonding and program activities. The goal is build the program into a family and come together as one program.
Schulte stated, “the coaches are getting more involved, and we are doing more stuff as a team.” There have been many program bonding activities including a sleepover in the gym and a car wash.
Massa stated, “we always have so much fun together and are always laughing.” Not only are the players working hard, but are also having fun and becoming closer and more bonded together with each other and the coaches and staff.
This year, team bonding has been a very critical part of success this year. Tierney stated, “I think we have succeeded in making the program feel like a family from the players to coaches to families.”
Gundrum stated, “all of the players have come in with great attitudes and want to get better.” Throughout the summer, there was offseason conditioning, open gyms, and small scrimmages.
Tierney has made some major changes this year to the program. Some of the biggest changes are off season training and commitment level. There has also been higher-level play since the program has moved to Division II.
Tierney stated, “the addition of Pete Collopy has been a huge advantage for the coaching staff”.
Pete Collopy, the strength and condition coach, has helped improve the physical ability of all athletes and helps with injury prevention through work out sessions throughout the week.
Tierney wants the competitive nature of the program to keep rising. Tierney stated, “getting players to buy into that hard work results in success and success results in a true belief that we can become an even more elite program.”
Tierney has enjoyed coaching here so far. Tierney stated, “I have enjoyed getting to know all of the players and seeing them gain confidence, improve, and find success.”
Gundrum has also enjoyed his time as a coach at McNicholas. Gundrum stated, “my favorite part is my team for sure. My girls are fun and energetic and they have great attitudes and always work really hard.”
Even though the regular season is over, varsity will continue and go onto sectionals. The Rocket volleyball program has had a very successful year and have many more great seasons to come.
There are many ways that the community can help support the program. Tierney stated, “continuing the excitement and coming to games is very important. There has been a lot of excitement this year.”