Seventh grader Lauren Donaghy and eighth graders Kate Barba, Tess Calabria and Reese Rinaldi led the J. Taylor Finley Middle School girls’ volleyball team this winter.
Coached by Carrie Postel, the Finley squad consisted of 20 players, including Brianna Borenstein, Sophie Carlson, Alexandra Centrone, Charlotte Curtin, Alyssa Evans, Jenna Italiano, Kaylee Smalling and Devon St. John and eighth graders Zaida Correal, Chloe Hunt, Joanna Lee, Jessica Maixner, Andrea Martinez-Posantes, Isabella McCarthy, Neurdia Osias and Aylana Powell.
“I really enjoyed working with this group of girls,” Postel said. “They were coachable and a pleasure to be with each and every day after school.”
Barba had impressive totals in the aces (a serve that results immediately in a point), “kills” (an attack that results in an immediate point or side out) and blocks. “Kate was a dominant player on the court,” Postel said. “She is very skilled in all areas of volleyball.”
Calabria and Rinaldi both specialized in assisting on points through their sharp passing. “Tess is a natural,” Postel said. “She can play any position. Reese is a hustler. She runs and dives for any ball.”
Donaghy was exceptional as a seventh grader in her first season on the team, tallying untold number of aces and kills. “Lauren is another universal player who dominates at the net,” Postel said.
The Finley players practiced and played hard. “Our best team accomplishment was when the team beat West Hollow,” Postel said. “They played well together and used all three skills of volleyball during the game. They were passing, setting and hitting.”
With nine current seventh graders eligible to return next winter, Postel is optimistic about the team’s future.