The Montclair State University volleyball team had a historic night in their 3-2 victory against Ramapo College with the spotlight shining on freshman setter Emily Carcich.
Carcich tallied 61 assists against the Roadrunners which is the third-highest in the program’s history. This milestone is also the first time a player has reached 60 or more assists in a game since alumna Raisa Silva had 62 assists against Stockton University in 2007.
Head coach Eddie Stawinski was very impressed with the freshman’s performance.
“[I] was very impressed because it was a very high total,” Stawinski said. “We didn’t notice it until after the match when we saw the stats. That kind of stood out. I knew she was doing a really good job with our offense, and I knew she was getting the ball to the right people.”
The achievement was a surprise to Carcich as she didn’t find out exactly what she accomplished until after the match.
“I had no clue obviously while I was playing that I even had that many assists,” Carcich said. “I found out when we got back to the gym after the game, [sports information coordinator] Pat [Duffy] was there and he told me what happened. It was really cool and really exciting especially since it was my first game as a freshman that I was starting in.”
Carcich got the opportunity to start in her first game as graduate student setter Delaney St. Pierre was in concussion protocol at that time.
“I had a concussion so I wasn’t even there, I was watching online,” St. Pierre said. “But she played great. It was a long match so plenty of time to get all those assists. She beat me, I’m trying to be like her. I’ve never had that many assists in a game ever I don’t think, so it was awesome to see her get that record.”
Carcich was not expecting to have the stellar performance she had but was excited to see the results and appreciated the recognition she received.
“I had no expectation to do anything this big my freshman year,” Carcich said. “Obviously every time I play I go out and try my hardest. After seeing the post that was made saying it and seeing everyone congratulate me, it felt really good. It gave me an extra little confidence boost that I needed.”
Despite being only a freshman, Carcich has shown that she’s cool, calm and collected during games and has made a positive impact on the team this season.
“Coming in as a freshman and trying to set at a college level is very, very challenging,” St. Pierre said. “You touch plenty of balls during the rallies and you have to set your teammates up for success and you’re kind of the tone setter for the team. For her to be able to step in like she has been, she’s so calm and collected and does her job in such a professional way. It’s very impressive for sure.”
Stawinski noted that Carcich is a humble player but shows that she is in control when it matters.
“She is in control out there,” Stawinski said. “If you have a player that’s quiet but not in control of the situation in that position, then you’re not going to see the results that you saw with the 61 assists. The fact that she’s a little bit more quiet but she’s in control of our offense, that basically gives the trust back to the team. They’re not wondering anything like, ‘Is she in control, is the match getting too fast for her?’ She’s more that type of player.”
Carcich has been lucky to have a team and coaching staff so supportive in helping her be as successful as she can be. St. Pierre, who leads the team this season with 332 assists, has always been there to give advice when she needed it.
“She asks a lot of questions, she’s not shy about it,” St. Pierre said. “I was there for the Rowan game that she started after that because I was still in concussion protocol. I just talked her through all the things she needed to do. She’s been like a sponge and just soaking up all the information I’ve been giving her.”
Stawinski is also very happy that Carcich can learn from St. Pierre and take advantage of learning from the veteran setter. The former Division I, All-American and Player of the Year in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) has proved to be an exemplary role model for the young player.
“She’s really taking advantage of this opportunity that she has [been] playing alongside [St. Pierre],” Stawinski said. “The fact that [Carcich] gets a season to learn from her, see her work ethic, see her practice is something that we might not see right now, but I think down the road we’re going to see all that come out.”
Carcich couldn’t have started her college career any better than she has already. She is currently second on the team in assists with 159 and has already made the history books. She plans to keep working, better herself and be a valuable asset for the team, not only for the rest of the season but for the years to come.