SOMERS, N.Y. – Senior Julia Vitale was the starting setter on Somers’ volleyball team this past season. The Tuskers finished the season with a 9-11 record, with their biggest win coming over annual powerhouse, Walter Panas.
How old were you when you started playing volleyball and how did you get started?
I first played volleyball with Ms. Turkewitz in seventh grade! I started playing because my older sisters loved the sport and I knew I would love it to! I enjoyed watching their games and soon enough I tried out for the team.
How did you feel the team performed overall during the volleyball season?
Overall, I feel our team performed great over the season. We had a few games that went to the fifth set that didn’t end in our favor but we had some great accomplishments other times! We would play to the best of our ability and pull out a win. We had some really great wins including beating Panas, which Somers hasn’t done in over a decade! This was a huge team win! By the end of the season, our team really came together and played as a family.
As a senior on the team, how much did you value being a leader?
Being a senior leader on the team is very important to me. It was a honor to be taught by very talented upperclassmen, including Alexa Casciano, who took me under her wing coming up to varsity last year. I learned a lot watching them play and their attitudes on and off the court. So, learning from them and being a responsible leader to the underclassmen or new girls on varsity was an important role to play.
What was your favorite team activity, pregame or postgame ritual that you shared with your teammates?
Getting Salsa Fresca or Bobo’s with the team before or after games is by far my favorite ritual. Also purchasing Gatorades with the sippy cup top before games.
Who has been your biggest role model over the years and what have you learned from them?
My parents. I have learned what being dedicated to a sport means and having that team become family. They have always kept me focused and happy. They encourage and help me to do what I love and always stand beside me.
Tell us one thing about yourself that not a lot of people know?
My first job was at a yogurt shop called Aunt B’s!
Do you plan on continuing to play volleyball in college? If yes, where are you going and why did you pick that school?
No, sadly I will not be continuing volleyball at a division level but may participate in club or intramural volleyball!
Do you know what you want to study in college? If yes, what and why?
I am going into college undeclared, but I may find myself in the biomedical engineering field. I have been taking engineering since eighth grade and I feel it has always been an important class to me. The engineering field expands every day and it would be great to be apart of it.
Who is your favorite pro or college sports team?
My favorite pro team is the Jets or Rangers. Growing up I have watched the Jets play some really rough games but always continue to keep their head up, especially after being beat by the Dolphins this year. All their hard work paid off after beating the Giants.
What is your favorite music to listen to warming up for a game?
Before every game I listen to rap with Pooja Rao. It has become a serious tradition that puts us in the best hype mood for game time. Lil Tecca is an important artist on our pregame playlist.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
Reading minds has been a superpower I’ve always wanted. I think it would be cool to always know what’s on people’s mind or know their next move.
If you could pick one place to visit on vacation that you’ve never been to, where would you go and why?
Bora Bora because I have never been anywhere tropical.
What is your favorite food to eat before or after a game?
Chicken cutlet on a roll with hot sauce and lettuce, a blue Gatorade and a Snickers bar.
Best place to eat around in Somers?
In Somers I can’t choose between Somers Super Deli, Mobil or Bobo’s. They all have quality food.
Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram? Why?
Snapchat. It’s very popular for our generation. Everyone uses it and it’s a fast way to communicate with your friends ether hilarious or cool things. It also just lets you stay in touch with them.
For a young athlete growing up in Somers, what would you tell them about the experience of being part of the volleyball program and why should they go out for the team?
In Somers, we’re starting to introduce volleyball at a younger age like we do with other sports. I recommend everyone does volleyball. The volleyball team is a family on and off the court. Everything about it is fun, intense and quick. With work it’s easy to improve your skills and quickly becomes a hobby. People who don’t play it wish they did and say it’s even fun to watch. Joining the volleyball team when I was younger and sticking with it has been one of the best decisions of my life.