WEST ORANGE, NJ – After winning its last four matches, the West Orange girls volleyball team is currently 14-3 heading into the second week of October, and head coach Jackie Cruz is pleased with what she's seen from the team.
“Our biggest success is our serving, and our Athletic Director, [Ron Bligh], believes this is the best serving team we’ve had in years,” she said.
With Cruz at the helm, the girls volleyball team has turned into a competitive powerhouse, earning two back-to-back division titles and competing successfully against long-time Group 4 teams. This year’s roster has provided a winning combination on the court.
Cruz enumerated the contributions of several Mountaineer volleyball players.
Ogechi Nwobu – "Ogechi led Super Essex Conference in blocks last year. She is looking to lead again, with her height and athletic ability."
Lindsay Levine – "Lindsay has moved from setter to Libero. She gives it her all in the back row. Lindsay always had an extremely strong serve and now with consistency and spotting, she is dominating."
Onye Bosco – "Onye has made such an improvement from year after year. She is motivated to learn more. Her jump and reach makes up for her 5'8 height."
Gaby Uribe – "Gaby is a third-year varsity player. She has truly shown growth in her game. Her serving is also strong and effective."
Kayla Sanchez – "Kayla is ready to go as our starting setter. As a junior, she is already making noise on the court. She is our hype person; her energy really encourages everyone else on the court."
Tracey Ilderis – "Tracy loves volleyball. The passion that she has for the game really shows in her talent. She has made the biggest improvement by playing club for one year. As an opposite hitter, she has learned to hit cut shots and angles on the court that teams are having trouble receiving."
Lucy Edwards - "As a freshman, Lucy has truly made a name for herself early in the season. Her brother, Jackson Edwards, is a phenomenal volleyball player for our boys volleyball team. Lucy is a spectacular all-around player. Her poise on the court and her team effort is just amazing to watch. She is still young and has years to grow. To think Lucy as a freshman playing all around, having such a technical game play, hitting every spot when serving, and knowing the flow of the game is crazy to me. I could only see her moving up from this point. She is the future of West Orange volleyball."
Along with Cruz, Gina Graziosa serves as JV coach and Caniece Williams as freshman coach.
“Our girls are extremely athletic and work hard every day. They understand what it takes to compete,” Cruz said.