Nutley’s Boys' Volleyball Team Brings Home A Win After Their First Game In NHS History
On April 1, 2022, Nutley’s boys' volleyball team had their first game in Nutley High School history. The team defeated Immaculate Conception High School (25-14, 25-22). The varsity team consists of 16 players and is coached by Amy Gewecke and Kevin Reilly. The boy's volleyball team is a new program. So, the team has to do a lot of hard work to get ready for the season, “a lot of our preparation has been focused around getting our fundamentals sound and beginning to gel as a team on the court.,” said Gewecke.
The volleyball team practices six days a week for around two hours a day. The constant work can take a toll on the players. "Some days are harder than others, sometimes we get sore and tired and we practice almost every day which is not always easy but I love it regardless,” said Shane Castellanos, a freshman on the varsity team. Nevertheless, the team always has a great attitude and they are always ready to work. “Every day is a blast. As much as we laugh, goof off, and have fun, there is no doubt about the level of work and dedication being put into this program. Everyone is 100% in and it shows,” said Gewecke.
Getting ready for a game consists of many things for this team which typically starts with stretching and warming up like any other sport. “We move into peppering (a sequence of bump-set-spike with a partner). After that, we have a routine that gets everyone hitting and/or blocking. This is followed by six players on the court at a time doing a few game sequences and then the routine ends with some warm-up serves,” explained Gewecke. If the team is home they do this with music because it helps get the players energized and ready for the game.
The team has many strengths when it comes to team bonding, keeping up a good attitude, and always working their hardest. This can be attributed to their great leaders who help keep the team motivated, on their toes, and in good spirits, “everyone comes every day with a great attitude, ready to play and to work. This translates into great practices which can turn into great skill-building, and then into great games,” said Gewecke.
They also have their challenging moments like when they play away games where they don’t have their typical setup or fans cheering them on. “To carry that energy on the road. It's not easy heading into another school where the crowd isn’t on your side and you have to carry all that energy yourself. It's tough, but I think it's something this team can handle,” she stated. The team is prepared for the many challenges they will face and for the excitement of the season.
The team is very excited for the new season and hopeful they will end with many wins under their belt. “We mainly focus on taking it one game at a time, our main goal is to have fun, learn new things, and grow our skills,” said Castellanos.