VERONA, NJ - After winning a state and county championship in 2017 the Verona Girls Volleyball has a new leader at their helm, but the expectations still remain high for the budding squad.
“We want to win everything that we possibly can. We have girls that are excited to get on the court and have the skills to do it so I’m going to do everything in my power to take them there,” said coach Sherilyn Ferrari.
Hunter Coppola will lead the group upfront in 2018 after a phenomenal year. Coppola was named All-State, Conference and County last year boasting 367 kills and 77 blocks and over 100 service points.
“[Coppola] is a phenomenal player, her hits are just on fire. She can get herself just so elevated over the net that she sees the floor so clearly so she’s going to bring such accuracy with her hits,” said Ferrari.
Brooke Cooney will play alongside Coppola upfront as the team’s primary scorers. Cooney joins Coppola as the “Killer C’s” after producing 129 kills in 2017. The duo combined for nearly 500 kills in 2017.
Continuing the supporting cast will be Nicolette Marino. Marino is touted for her versatility across the court, which aided her in achieving First Team All-Conference honors in 2017.
“[Marino] is an all-around player, I have no fear for her being front row, or back row, she can attack from the front row, but pickup everyday from the back row so I see her as being a complete asset for the team,” said Ferrari.
Senior Kate Ryan will rejoin the fold in 2018 looking to make a lasting impression on the program. After missing her junior season with an injury Ryan will have a chip on her shoulder to continue the team’s historic success from 2017.
“[Ryan] hasn’t missed a beat since she’s been out, her hit is phenomenal, you can really count on her on the right side to get it every time and she makes really good decisions,” said Ferrari.
Daniela Trujillo rounds out the group of seniors on the squad in 2018 after playing a key-supporting role last year. Trujillo will be expected to play an integral role as one of the more powerful servers on the squad after boasting 36 service points last season.
“I feel like everytime [Trujillo] gets the ball she’s going to be consistent and she has such an ability to pinpoint the spot she wants and get it there everytime,” said Ferrari.
Junior Kelly Waterman will take over in the tradition her family has set with solid play. Waterman will head up the setter position after a modest 2017 where she collected 20 assists, 68 service points and 14 aces. Her play was enough to net her Honorable Mention for the All-Conference Team.
“[Waterman] has shown that she can do any set. She’s comfortable doing the outside, middle, and back sets to the right side hitter so she’s really comfortable with all those sets and I’m really comfortable with her more than anybody,” said Ferrari.
Sophomore Jessica Louden is the youngest of the group sliding into the Libero position. Louden will undoubtedly learn from a group that has achieved so much and can easily be a fixture for the program this year and years to come.
Currently the Hillbillies are working on finalizing the last few days of tryouts to round out the remainder of the Varsity unit. While there will inevitably be some disappointment on who does and does not make the roster, Ferrari noted the decision has been extremely difficult as the second and third string has made practice very difficult on the anticipated starting squad.
“We have such a good team this year it’s a shame that we can’t play some girls more consistently because we have such solid players so I think because our team is so deep we’re going to have challenging practices and I don’t think that other teams are blessed with that,” said Ferrari.
Verona and their deep squad will open this season defending their crown with a game on September 5 against Essex County Tournament semifinalist Livingston.
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