RANDOLPH, NJ- This was going to be a rebuilding year from the start for Randolph High School’s varsity volleyball team—that was a given, knowing that eleven Seniors graduated in the Spring of 2019.
After starting the season off losing six matches straight, winning just one set to Montville along the way, the Rams soundly defeated High Point 2-0. There was not much momentum after that, dropping three in a row to eventual Somerset County Tournament champion Ridge Red Devils, Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Tournament champion North Hunterdon Lions, and Gloucester County champion Williamstown Braves.
Then the Rams found their groove, defeating the division rival Roxbury Gaels on the road, the Morristown Colonials (Morris County Tournament) and Mount Olive Marauders at home, followed by a stunning win at Kinnelon, the third-seed in the Morris County Tournament.
After getting bounced by top-seed West Morris Central, the Rams dropped two more in a row, to both Morris Knolls and Mendham, followed by a win at Montville and a loss against West Morris Central to end the season.
The Mendham game was a sentimental game at that, being that it was Senior Night. The Rams recognized Adrienne DeFuria (outside hitter), Elena Rossetti (setter), Megan Pinyan (defensive specialist), and Juliet Castro (defensive specialist/libero).
The Rams combined for just ten kills as a team, but Rossetti was the primary heartbeat of the team, tallying seven digs and nine assists.
Two of the Seniors were returning-players to the Varsity squad. One of which was Captain Elena Rossetti. “It’s always so much fun, building the program up, getting the younger girls and seeing how its going to go next season,” Rossetti said.
Both Megan Pinyan and Juliet Castro were on JV last season, and they were definitely going to make the most of their time on the Varsity squad.
Pinyan said, “We’ve looked up to the girls on Varsity for so long, so now to be the girls that the younger ones look up to and be their role models was really fun.”
When asked what the Seniors were going to miss the most, the consensus was that the Seniors were going to miss the team. Captain Adrienne DeFuria said, “If you play with the team, no matter if you win or lose, you’re going to have a group of friends.”
The remainder of the team is Juniors and Sophomores, to which Juliet Castro said, “Have fun, enjoy it while it lasts because it goes by really quick.”
Statistically, DeFuria led the team in kills and digs with 88 and 128, respectively, on the season. Rossetti recorded 289 of the team’s 312 assists, being that she was the setter. Junior middle hitter Natalie Riback led the Rams in blocks with 13 on the season.
Looking forward to next season, the Rams will need to replace a setter, two of their defensive specialists, and an outside hitter; not to mention, most of the service points are leaving the court, as well.
Players on the team this season had roles that evolved, one of which was Megan Pinyan. Pinyan started as libero, but then her role became defensive specialist, with Castro shifting to libero. “No matter what role you have on the court, you should play as hard as you can or cheer as hard as you can,” Pinyan said.
Players like Gabby Trinker and Natalie Riback will presumably have larger roles on the team, in addition to Allie Danias, Ana Aksentijevic, and Catriona Lucus.
The Rams finished the season with a 6-13 record, 4-8 in the conference.