RANDOLPH, NJ- A team composed of 11 seniors, 2 juniors, and one sophomore; the Randolph Girls Varsity Volleyball Team has been seeded 7thin the county with a winning record of 6-4.
The team is inseparable, and the girls chemistry is evident both on and off the court, adding to the team’s success.
One player has stood out with exceptional play thus far; senior captain Jenna Leanza. Leanza has been a varsity starter since her sophomore year and is always consistent in her performance.
As an outside hitter, Leanza carries the team throughout each match, constantly passing and earning points for the team.
“Every mistake I make, and every time I screw up, I try to make it up within the next three points,” Leanza said. “I constantly set goals for myself in order to redeem myself for the mistakes I do make.”
Leanza has 175 career kills, with 56 this season alone, and has accumulated a remarkable 137 career digs. 100 of those digs have come this season, and Leanza had 17 in a game against Mount Olive.
According to Coach Sebastian DiPietro, his senior captain and team leader can do it all.
“Jenna’s an outstanding outside hitter,” DiPietro said. “But in the Bloomfield Tournament, in a game against Hunterdon Central (#2 in the state), the team needed her to play middle blocker. She went right into it, no questions asked, understanding what the team needed and filled in the gap.”
Coach DiPietro admired Leanza from the start of his coaching career at Randolph High School.
“When I was first hired over the summer,” DiPietro said. “She reached out to me and helped me adjust. I felt very wanted and accepted (being new to Randolph), especially by a player.”
Not only does her coach admire her, but her teammates respect her as a player and person as well.
“I think Jenna is a great captain because she is always there to support anyone when they get down on themselves, or when the team gets down as a whole,” senior Jessie Pasquale said. “And her enthusiasm and passion for the sport is contagious.”
“She motivates us to want to do better and succeed,” senior Rachel Sorgi added. “When we’re in the huddle, she always has something inspiring to say to help us, or encourage us to be the best we can be.”
“My team is always there for me when I’m down,” Leanza explained. “They’re always there, cheering me on when I do well and behind me when I have an off game. I wouldn’t be the player I am today without their support.”
Aside from being the high school’s all-star, college volleyball coaches have been in contact with her as well.
“I’ve been in contact with Rowan University, Montclair State, Ithaca College, Manhattan College, and a few others,” Leanza said. “If I do decide to play in college, my dream would be to play at Marist, but realistically, I’d be perfectly happy with playing at Rowan.”
All in all, Leanza is an exceptional athlete and teammate. The girls on all three teams (Freshman, JV, and Varsity) look up to her for inspiration and as a role model.
“She’s literally the girl everyone looks up to,” coach DiPietro stated. “She’s a true role model for the younger girls and she’s a genuine, humble, and modest athlete, and I’m honored to be able to coach her through her last year at RHS.”