Montclair State University women’s volleyball team had an impressive season, and much of that success was due to New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Rookie of the Year, Carly Waterman.
The freshman outside hitter from Verona led the team in kills, ending the season with 316 while also collecting 22 blocks. Her offensive performance has proved to help bring the team to the top, averaging 3.19 kills per set.
Starting volleyball at 12 years old, as well as playing for Verona High School and Sideout Sports Volleyball Club, gave Waterman the edge she needed for college volleyball. Having a club volleyball background made Waterman hard to miss on the court.
Although she only stands at 5’11, her defensive performance proved that she is an extremely versatile player for the team. Waterman’s 233 digs most definitely contributed to the 20-10 season as well as an NJAC finals trip the Red Hawks achieved.
Aside from the statistics, Waterman’s selfless attitude is another reason why she has been so successful this season. She stresses the fact that all of her accomplishments, especially NJAC Rookie of the Year, are always a team effort.
“It was definitely extremely rewarding,” Waterman said. “But I couldn’t have achieved it without the other 18 girls on the team.”
In the few months she has played for Montclair State, the volleyball team has become another family on and off the court to her.
“Everyone’s super close on the team and we all get along pretty well,” Waterman said. “It’s just a lot of fun to be with all the girls and just playing on the court with them.”
Proof of the impact that Waterman has made on the team in her freshman year comes from a fellow teammate, senior right side Natalia Majkut.
“Carly plays smart. She knows to move the ball around the court and mix up her shots,” Majkut said. “Her consistently positive demeanor both on and off the court is what made playing with her so fun.”
Waterman also makes sure to give credit where it is due, thanking her family for their support.
“My parents are always there as a backbone through it, and they always help me whenever I need something,” Waterman said. “If I need something like a new shoe when they break, they always get it to me.”
Another contribution to Waterman’s generous attitude comes from coaching volleyball as well as playing it. She goes back to her volleyball club Sideout Sports to help out younger players.
“Since I want to coach, I have the opportunity to [start] coaching at such a young age and I’m the youngest coach at my club,” Waterman said. “So just having that, putting it on a resume, will be able to get me through to my goals in the future.”
Although she is undecided as of now, Waterman hopes to be accepted into the teacher education program and use that to achieve her goal of being a volleyball coach. Her altruistic ways and volleyball background will be main factors in helping her achieve this goal.
Waterman has a few seasons left to improve her game even more, especially coming off a very successful first season with the Red Hawks volleyball team.
“We went really far, the last game was definitely an upset but beating Stockton in the semi-finals was definitely an experience that I won’t forget,” Waterman said. “Next season I’m super excited for.”
Majkut also commented on the future of Waterman’s success with the Montclair State volleyball team.
“As long as she remains as level-headed and confident as this season, I have no doubt she will continue to have success throughout her athletic career,” Majkut said. “I’m excited to cheer her and the other girls on as their season progresses.”
The team is looking to an even more successful season next year, and Waterman will be a huge part of that. She was named to the Second Team All-Conference team as well as the Rookie of the Year honor.
“We definitely want to make it to semis next season, and hopefully NJAC champions,” Waterman said. “That would be a very nice goal.”