The Red Hawks volleyball team is off to an incredible start so far with a 13-2 record and already making a significant impact to the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC). Led by six-year coach Eddie Stawinski, the team is looking to make a huge improvement in relation to previous years.
Coach Stawinski entered this 2016-17 season with a 94-66 record and a 23-16 NJAC conference record. After an 18-14 2015 season where Stawinski brought his team to their first NJAC Championship appearance in seven years, this season is looking very optimistic as the Red Hawks have a new team ready to take their conference by storm.
The team came into this season with more passion and motivation than previous years. The Red Hawks made it a goal since last year to work harder and push themselves more than ever in order to be more successful than previous years.
The team is improving each week and has grown faster, stronger and more consistent than last year, according to sophomore Ashley Griffiths.
“If we continue to be consistent as an entire team and get together, the possibilities are endless,” Griffiths said. “We’ll continue to improve as a cohesive unit and defeat top opponents.”
It’s obvious the team’s goal is to become NJAC champions, having come so far last season. Junior setter Alyssa Plum gave a little insight on the team’s rivalry with Stockton University.
“We are all hoping to play Stockton University in the NJAC Championship at the end of the season because it would make us more motivated to practice and prepare ourselves for a title that we’ve wanted for so long as a university,” Plum said, “Overall we want to win, have fun and grow as a team to complete an unforgettable season.”
The Red Hawks have had, what they describe, a “roller coaster” of a season. “Each game situation we seem to start inconsistent and then gradually improve throughout the game or the complete opposite,” Griffiths said.
The team’s ability to make it through these inconsistencies is one of the factors that keeps them all so close. “One of the things I love about volleyball and this team is that the girls are my second family which makes me love the game even more than I could have possibly imagined,” Griffiths said.
The team knows that in order to come out strong they have to work harder than ever before. The volleyball team believes that behind Stawinski, they can dominate the conference. All they need to do is work hard, not just individually but as a team.
“This is our year to shine above the rest and show Montclair State volleyball is the best around,” Plum said. “We’ve been pushing each other to our full potential and it’s definitely paying off more and more each day.”
The volleyball team will face off on Tuesday, Oct. 4 against Rowan University as they look to continue dominating the remainder of the season.