Girls’ Volleyball Team Rebuilds with Youth and New Coach, Mr. Mooney

Courtesy of The Buccaneer
Sophomore Maddy Thompson (#00) slams the ball while senior Rebecca Martino (#16), junior Brooke Painter (#17), freshman Kaitlyn Mulligan (#23) and sophomore Sierra Harris (#7) watch the play.

Matt Stavalone, Editor

After a long and tiring season, the Cinnaminson High School Girl’s Volleyball team ended up with a 5-16 record, with wins against Hopewell Valley, Pennsauken, Burlington City, and Florence twice. Overall, the team finished in last place in the West Jersey Insterscholastic Volleyball League Central Division season standings in what would be called a “rebuilding year,” but one that saw their new coach, Mr. Mooney, set up the footprints for a new program in his vision.

Overall, the girl’s season just didn’t go as many wanted it to. After facing sweeps from Rancocas Valley, Sterling, and Northern Burlington, all fellow members of the WJ Central Division, it was clear to see that this wasn’t the same team as last year. After finishing with a solid record of 12-12 only a year ago, the team struggled with the departure of multiple seniors.

However, in looking at the CHS wins this season, the 2-0 victory against Hopewell Valley is somewhat of an eye-opener because Hopewell is a Group 3 school and plays in the larger WJ North division against the likes of Princeton, Notre Dame and the two West Windsor schools.  Three of the other victories came against the smaller schools in the WJ South Division and only one victory came against a league opponent with the Pennsauken victory.  In looking at that 2-1 win, the girls were able to avenge a match from Pennsauken earlier  in the season where Pennsauken stole a 2-1 victory.

The sharp change in the season record against Sterling was the eye-opener of the season. Last year, the girls won both matches against the Knights, but this year took a turn for the worse. The team was blanked in both matches against them this year, being outscored 100-47 between both league matches. This excludes the tournament match in which Cinnaminson barely lost to the Knights in both sets.

While the team is losing what is likely the centerpiece of the team, senior Rebecca Martino, it makes way for rising underclassmen, such as juniors Caroline Bailey, Brooke Painter and Julia Evans to lead the team during the rebuilding years and through the second season of the Coach Mooney era.

Regardless of how the season, ended, Coach Mooney knew that this year would be tough, but he would be cementing the building blocks of the future.

“With one returning varsity player, we knew that this season would be tough if measured solely in wins and losses. Yet it could be a great success if we used it to lay the building blocks for future success, and that’s what we did. So while we only won five matches, we developed a core of players, including many freshmen who received varsity time. We now have much more experience to take the program to greater heights next year and beyond as we eventually contend for league championships and, hopefully, make some noise in the state tournament,” Coach Mooney finished.

Coach Mooney definitely looks forward to the future, but laid some of the responsibility on the girls and their off-season work to make sure that the future remains bright.

“As a first-year head coach, it was a great experience to work with a fine group of young ladies who, despite our win/loss struggles, stayed positive and did everything that we asked of them,” Mooney continued, “Now it’s up to them to put in the time outside of the season to improve their skills even more and, when they do, for us as coaches to take their game to the next level starting next season so we can get our program where we all want it to be.”