Rectory’s New Girls’ Volleyball Team

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Rectory’s New Girls’ Volleyball Team

Rectory's first Girls' Volleyball Team from the fall, 2015, with coaches D'Angelo and Healy.

Rectory's first Girls' Volleyball Team from the fall, 2015, with coaches D'Angelo and Healy.

Rectory's first Girls' Volleyball Team from the fall, 2015, with coaches D'Angelo and Healy.

Rectory's first Girls' Volleyball Team from the fall, 2015, with coaches D'Angelo and Healy.

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Last fall, 2015, Rectory introduced their first Girls’ Volleyball team with coaches Ms. D’Angelo and Mr. Healy, Rectory’s Athletic Director. It was a huge success, with 18 girls on the team who had a lot of fun and learned a lot about how to play the sport of volleyball. We wanted interviewed Coach D’Angelo to find out how this team came to be and what it’s like to be a member of the volleyball team. Here is what she had to say:

DiRectory: Whose idea was it to start a girls’ volleyball team at Rectory, and what

led you to decide to create this team?

Ms. D’Angelo: Last year, Mrs. Baker and I decided to bring volleyball to Rectory because both of us had been volleyball players. We both had a very positive experience playing volleyball when we were in middle school and high school. We were passionate about putting together a volleyball team at Rectory, and we both felt that it’s a sport a lot of girls here would love playing, just like we did. However, when Mr. & Mrs. Baker didn’t return to Rectory this year, Mr. Healy and I decided that we were going to do it, and we had a great turnout. We had 18 girls, which included a few advanced players and some beginners. So, we had a really great squad!

I think when you really love a sport and you are really connected to it, then you will miss that season if you don’t have that sport. Volleyball was important to me because it was the one sport I succeeded at. As soon as I put my volleyball shoes on, pulled up the kneepads, and walked on the court, I felt like, “This is where I belong; it’s kind of like my happy place.”

DiRectory: Which volleyball teams have you played on?

Ms. D’Angelo: I played in high school on the JV and Varsity teams. I played a little bit in college, but because I was too busy with music, I didn’t get to play organized volleyball. I just played pick-up games when I could.

DiRectory: Did Rectory ever have a volleyball team in the past?

 Ms. D’Angelo: Prior to us adding the team this year, I don’t believe Rectory ever had a Girls’ Volleyball team. They did have a faculty league before. The faculty league had a few players here and there, and I think it just dissipated after a while. Then it came back when I came to work here and Mr. Healy started to talk to me about it, and we decided to pick it back up again. Now the faculty play on a pretty regular schedule, and people really count on it. This year we play every Tuesday.

DiRectory: Is the school going to have a girls’ volleyball team next year?

Ms. D’Angelo: Yes, definitely.


DiRectory: Will Rectory ever have a boys’ volleyball team?

Ms. D’Angelo: We’re not sure yet. The boys’ volleyball happens in the spring, so it really depends on the needs of the school and if other schools have a team. There are a lot of schools with girls’ volleyball teams, but boys’ volleyball is just not as popular. I’ve talked to a few boys about it, asking if they would ever be interested in it. They said yes, but lacrosse, baseball, and tennis are some BIG sports for them. With so many spring sports, adding another one would be kind of difficult. In the fall it was easy to add a girls’ volleyball team because no one was using the gym, and having another girls sport was pretty awesome for them.

DiRectory: Could you describe a regular practice session?

Ms. D’Angelo: A regular practice session always starts with some sort of warmup, followed by some type of stretching. Sometimes we sing the Alphabet to practice our breathing in drill. We have to make sure everyone’s muscles are elastic and warmed up because they throw their bodies on the floor and need to have a very quick reaction turn-around time. And we run a bunch of drills that help us learn to receive the ball when it is coming over the net from a serve. We have a drill to help us get the ball to our target every time. Because it is such a young team, a lot of our past season’s drills were less advanced. They were more about serving, receiving, and getting the ball over the net, instead of spiking and setting.

DiRectory: Can you tell us a little more about the faculty volleyball team? 

 Ms. D’Angelo: Whoever shows up gets to play. We mix up the team every week. Sometimes we get 12 people, so we’ll be able to play 6 on 6; sometimes we only get 6 people, so we play 3 on 3. And if we have a week where there are more than 12 people who show up, we run a substitution. Mr. Burgess, Mr. McCarthy, Mrs. Rodman, Mr. Finnegan, Mr. Loyd, Ms. Euglow, Mr. Rodman, Mr. Smith, Mr. Zerpa, Mrs. Gingras, Mr. Healy, Ms. Bradley and Ms. O’Neil are usually the ones who show up to play on weekends. We have a lot of fun!

DiRectory: What qualities does a student need to be on the volleyball team?

 Ms. D’Angelo: At this point, they just need a good attitude, willingness to learn, and patience. It’s helpful to be quick on your feet and passionate about learning a new sport. The most important thing is to understand that you have to start by developing good habits, and you have to practice those good habits. You also have to be coachable, and you have to be able to cooperate with the whole team. That’s the whole thing about volleyball; if you can’t work together, you’re done.

DiRectory: Now that the first season is done, do you have anything to say to your volleyball players?

 Ms. D’Angelo: Yes! Get excited! Get ready for the next season! Start practicing now; start playing some beach volleyball. Run. Get pumped. Season 1 was exciting, and season 2 will be even better!