Skip to main content
 The team during one of their games

Freshman Volleyball Wraps Up Season

The Nutley Raiders Girls Freshman Volleyball Team wrapped up their first year of high school volleyball on October 19th, winning a home game 2-0 against Caldwell. They end the season with a record of 6-7.


As a freshman, starting high school can be an interesting and exciting experience, seeing unfamiliar faces along with being in an unfamiliar building. But, stepping onto the volleyball court is a whole new thing. That’s what Olivia Miller and Sydney Bello found when they were both selected as captains for the Freshman Girls Volleyball team. Sydney’s position is a setter while Olivia’s is a defense on the team. Both players have dominated on the court this season.                                         


“I think my experience was really good for a freshman team. It started off rough, not everyone got along, but over the season we got better, and got along more” said Bello. 


“It was really fun with all my teammates. I met a lot of new people,” said Miller. 


When asked about their goals prior to the beginning of the season, Bello said to “communicate more and get to know everyone more.” This comes in handy when welcoming a brand new class to the high school and team, some coming from the John H. Walker Middle School and others coming from different schools who have transferred to the NHS.


As for Miller, she said, “My personal goals were just to get better at the basics since it's my first year playing volleyball.” Miller had never played volleyball before. She originally only played softball and basketball but decided to quit basketball and try out a new sport, which is the reason she tried out for the freshman team, and her efforts landed her a captain’s position on the team. 


While trying to reach their goals, both Bello and Miller faced challenges that made it harder for them to achieve them. “We had some hardships, one of them was not being able to communicate properly with my teammates on the court,” said Miller.


However, “The team all had a big meeting and we talked about how to get along better and that we shouldn’t be talking bad about each other because we're all one team and we represent Nutley,” said Bello. “We got better and understood each other more. And that really affected the team because in the beginning, we didn’t play as well; we weren't at our full potential, but at the end we definitely improved and started winning more.”


Their differences all disappeared during their game with West Orange. When the Raiders were down five points, “we called a timeout and we talked about all of our issues and we went back on the court and we were definitely ten times better; we just needed a second to collect ourselves and we came right back and we won that game,” said Bello. They ended up winning that game.


With that last game, they wrap up the season. Gualtieri “definitely saw improvement as throughout the season we were able to get to the third set of games as we would split the first two games with the other team, or we would win in just the first two sets.”


So, next year Bello hopes “that I get to know the coaches more and  I get to know more players because I'll either be put on JV or varsity.” 


“I wanna get better at serving, passing, diving even, maybe hitting,” said Miller. “But, I just wanna be a better player overall next season.” 


“The team began to bond more towards the end and have a stronger and more positive group connection,” said Gualtieri. 


The two have made a good start to their high school volleyball careers and built a strong foundation of teamwork, and skill, that should just keep getting better.