Volleyball 2019 Season in Review

Skylar Mink, Staff Writer

 The 2019 Varsity Volleyball season recently ended in NMHS with a regular-season record of 17-3. Coach Anthony Nocera says, “this was the most wins in a regular season at New Milford High School since 1990; when that team went 18-0 in the regular season.” 

One of the 17 wins was versus Newtown, marking the first time New Milford was victorious since 2007. The three losses included two, narrowly, to Immaculate and Masuk as well as a 4-set loss to the eventual Southwest Conference champion, Joel Barlow. 

   The Southwest Conference (SWC) is a high school athletic conference in southwestern Connecticut where sports teams from fourteen different schools come to compete in postseason playoffs. In the SWC tournament, the varsity volleyball team made it to the semifinals before falling to Joel Barlow. Although, the team won their first quarterfinal match since 2007, with a 5-set win over Newtown. Nocera says, “We lost the first two sets and came back to win the final set 21-19 in one of the most exciting high school athletic events I have ever witnessed.” 

   This year, the volleyball team took on a new culture. Nocera describing it as; “[We] transitioned to everyone taking ownership [and] being a leader on and off the court. We use the phrase “Ubuntu” to describe our team culture. Ubuntu is a Nguni Bantu term meaning ‘humanity.’ This word often used in a more philosophical sense to mean ‘the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity. He continued praising the unity the team showed this season, “We took enormous strides this year in believing in each other and trusting one another to do their job for the betterment of the team over any one individual.” Four players earned SWC recognition this season, two of them earning All-Conference, which is a top 10 ranking in the league. The additional two earning All-Colonial, which is a top 20 position in the competition. 

Seven seniors who have been in the volleyball program all four years graduate this year. 

  Nocera congratulates the team saying, “this has been one of the most successful seasons in recent history and hopefully just the beginning of what we can accomplish as a program soon.” It is exhilarating to see what next season will bring for New Milford’s Volleyball team, although on and off the court Ubuntu reigns true.