ORANGE – Orange High School has started a boys’ volleyball program this spring.
Melissa Natalie is the head coach and Blas Ortega is the assistant coach.
Mohammed Abdelaziz, Vice Principal/Athletics, noted the strong interest from students about forming a boys’ volleyball program.
“We had students interested,” he said. “I brought it to the attention of the district and we were able to find the funds to create a program that will continue to support our students and build school pride. We are all about developing programs that can support our students and provide an experience that will help shape the whole child.”
Natalie is excited about leading the new program.
“I am very excited about being able to start the boys’ volleyball program here at OHS,” said Natalie. “My coaching philosophy is to help the students here at Orange grow into successful, well-rounded athletes by pushing my student-athletes in the classroom as much as I do on the volleyball court. I believe volleyball is a great outlet for many of these students as it helps them to learn valuable skills such as perseverance, being a strong team player, dedication, commitment, and self-confidence; all of which are essential skills for a successful life after high school.”
Natalie outlined her goals for this season and beyond.
“My short-term goal for this season is to bring some recognition to boys’ volleyball and help foster excitement for the sport itself,” she said. “I also want my boys to develop the mental toughness and perseverance that this particular sport requires.
“As a long-term goal my hope is that the volleyball programs – both girls and boys – would continue to grow here at OHS in popularity as this is a community where volleyball is a very unknown sport. I would especially love to see the programs expand so that the younger kids in the community could start to be exposed to this sport and learn basic skills at an earlier age.”
OHS has a girls’ volleyball program that competes in the fall season.
The team’s regular-season opener is April 4 at Livingston. The season include 19 regular-season matches.
OHS boys’ volleyball schedule
April 4, at Livingston
April 6, Newark Central
April 8, at Belleville
April 11, Linden
April 12, Newark Tech
April 14, at Union
April 19, Millburn
April 21, Lincoln (Jersey City)
April 22, Elizabeth
April 26, at Lincoln (Jersey City)
April 28, at Montclair Immaculate Conception
April 30, Scotch Plains, 11 a.m.
May 2, Union
May 4, Livingston
May 6, at Newark Tech
May 7, at Millburn
May 10, at Newark Central
May 12, at Elizabeth
May 16, Bloomfield
Match times are at 4 p.m.