NUTLEY, NJ – Coming off a fantastic 16-5 season in Jenna Rubino’s first year as head coach last fall, the Nutley High School girls’ varsity volleyball team is determined to have another successful campaign.
The Lady Raiders, who have moved up to the top division of the Super Essex Conference, will begin the season Sept. 12 at Millburn.
NHS lost several seniors to graduation, but return a good nucleus. The key returnees are Emily Hewett, Jovanna Guzzi and Crystal Mbua.
Rubino likes the leadership from the trio.
“Emily will be a strong outside hitter for us,” said Rubino, formerly Dwyer, who got married over the summer. “Jovanna is most likely going to be our setter. Crystal will be a strong middle blocker for us.”
Other key players to watch are Bella Swann and Rebecca Granata. Swann, a transfer from California, is the team’s other outside hitter, while Granata received some varsity play last year and will ba strong middle blocker, said Rubino, a NHS alum.
The Raiders have displayed tremendous team chemistry, giving Rubino reason to feel that they can be very competitive in the tough SEC-American Division.
“We are moving up into the American Division this year after losing five seniors last year,” said Rubino. “But watching this team play has been encouraging because already they play like a team that has been playing for years together. I think that if they continue playing together and working hard then we will be competitive in the American Division. Our goals are definitely just that – to be competitive in the top division, which I think is definitely attainable.”
Sept. 12, at Millburn, 4 p.m.
Sept. 14, Caldwell, 7 p.m.
Sept. 15, at Belleville, 4 p.m.
Sept. 18, Livingston, time to be determined
Sept. 20, at Mount Saint Dominic Academy, 4 p.m.
Sept. 23, West Orange, 10 a.m.
Sept. 25, Montclair Kimberley Academy, 4 p.m.
Sept. 27, at Verona, 4 p.m.
Sept. 29, Union, 7 p.m.
Oct. 2, at River Dell, 4 p.m.
Oct. 3, Millburn, 4 p.m.
Oct. 5, at Caldwell, 4 p.m.
Oct. 7, at Livingston, 4 p.m.
Oct. 9, at Bloomfield, 4 p.m.
Oct. 11, Mount Saint Dominic Academy, 4 p.m.
Oct. 17, at Montclair Kimberley Academy, 4 p.m.
Oct. 20, Verona, 7 p.m.