WALL – When you have a tradition of winning your division and combine that with a roster that has 11 seniors out of 14 players, the expectations are understandably going to be high.
The Crimson Knights of Wall girls volleyball team has met those expectations, winning the A South division title for the 10th straight year. They finished the regular season 14-8 overall and 11-1 in their division, with their only loss coming to Marlboro on Oct. 15.
Two of the 11 seniors are twins Maddy and Sammy Hansen. The two have been beel playing volleyball a long time, and they made an immediate impact on the program.
“When they came in as freshman, it was clear they have been playing a while,” said second-year head coach Seth Hewitt, who was an assistant prior to taking over the program before the 2017 season. “They have such a passion for the game and are really smart on the floor. They have meant a lot to us these last four years.”
Maddy Hansen leads the team in service aces with 47, while Sammy leads the team in kills with 100. Another senior, Molly Kernis, leads the team in digs with 177.
Katie Fletcher, a sophomore, leads the team in assists with 289. As the only sophomore seeing significant playing time, Hewitt is impressed with what he has seen and hopes to see her continue to improve.
“She’s really stepped up in that spot when we needed to find someone to fill that role,” Hewitt said. “As a sophomore, it has been really impressive to watch Katie play. We hope she will continue to improve over the next two years.”
Also part of the Wall starting lineup are seniors Grace Petersen and Caroline Corcoran. Junior Brooke Bertolino also gets rotated in at times, but Wall mainly uses these seven players.
Wall earned the No. 4 seed in the Shore Conference Tournament, where they opened play against No. 13 seed Rumson-Fair Haven and won, 2-0. They will play No. 5 seed Saint John Vianney in the quarterfinals with a trip to the semifinals on the line.
Last season, they finished 18-5 and earned the top seed in the Shore Conference Tournament, where they fell in the semifinals to No. 4 seed Donovan Catholic. This year, they hope to be playing in the finals on Oct. 25 at Georgian Court University.
“That’s where we hope to be at the end,” Hewitt said.
Hewitt always enjoyed volleyball growing up. He never played it, as his high school did not start a program until after he graduated. But he was able to come back and coach. He had a friend that was coaching at Wall, and he came along, coaching the boys team before joining the girls staff. He is happy right now with where he is at.
“It’s a fun group of girls to be around,” Hewitt said. “I’m fortunate that I’ve gotten to spend the last two years with them.”
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