New Additions to Volleyball: Freshman Team and Covid-19 Restrictions


@JODriscoll13 on Twitter

Becton Regional High School Volleyball players won against their rival team, Wallington 2-1.

“Just like every other sport, volleyball can be very competitive. Volleyball is filled with intensity and excitement” described junior player Sebrina Castillo. This year is more competitive than ever with the inclusion of a freshman team, in addition to the traditional J.V. and Varsity teams. The Freshmen girls are extremely excited to be able to start this season of volleyball. The announcement was made before March 17th, when the 2021 season began. 

The excessive interest in volleyball

this year may be a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the majority of sports canceled and gyms closed, students have been looking for an outlet for their stifled energy. It may also be the Maywood effect, with the town sending it’s freshmen students to Becton for the first time.

Head volleyball coach, Mrs. O’Driscoll along with the sports administration and the rest of the coaching staff. O’Driscoll has been the head coach at Becton Regional High School for 5 years. She explained that the inclusion of a freshman team has allowed for additional social-distancing, with the Freshman team playing away when the J.V. and Varsity teams are home and vice-versa. This has also allowed the coaches to space out their practices, keeping everyone healthy and safe during the pandemic. 

Practices have been a challenge since some players who previously were on winter sports teams had to quarantine for the spring season, missing practices. Coach O’Driscoll had to “move up younger girls in our varsity scrimmage. Although they are younger and not as experienced as the players that are missing, they are demonstrating a lot of effort and hard work and continue to improve each day.”

The first win of the season, against Bergen Charter on 3/25/21. (@JODriscoll13 on Twitter)

Covid-19 has also changed the way the game is played. According to Coach O’Driscoll, “There’s no switching sides. Away teams always serve first in the first match and home teams serve first in the second match, lines people cannot touch the ball, masks must be worn when in the volleyball court or sitting in chairs; teams do not handshake at all before or after the games.”

Currently, the varsity team is 2-2, with losses against St. Mary’s and Woodridge, 2-1 and 2-0, respectively. They have won their last two games against Bergen Charter, 2-0, and Wallington, 2-1. Sebrina Castillo especially enjoyed the energy of the Wallington game, expressing, “as many know, Wallington is our volleyball rival. I personally feel that the rivalry between the teams created a different kind of hype and excitement.” In the first four games, Junior Francesca Matraxia is leading the varsity team with 26 kills, as fellow junior Amanda Hasch has made 28 digs, and senior and co-captain Leila Kalisak, has 20 assists.

Becton Regional High School is in third place, in the fifth division, behind Wood-Ridge and Hasbrouck Heights. In addition to the wins and loses, the sport has a deeper meaning for some of the players, during these troubling times. Castillo shared that “Volleyball has been a good way to make new friends, improve your athletic ability and even teach you valuable life lessons such as patience.”

With the cancellation of the March 29th game against North Arlington, the next game of the season will be on March 30th versus St. Mary’s, and can be live-streamed here.