The J. Taylor Finley Middle School girls’ volleyball team featured many talented players this winter, but while the team was competitive, it fell just short in many of its matches.
Coached by Carrie Postel, the 23-player squad was captained by Sophia Toscano, Adrianna LoScalzo and Kianna Criscuolo. Finley compiled a 1-9 record. The mark is somewhat deceiving since the Falcons lost four matches by 3-2 scores.
“I was very impressed with the skill level of this year’s team,” Postel said. “They played volleyball the way it is supposed to be played with a bump, set and spike.”
The team was led by the three captains along with fellow eighth graders Analisse Batista and Caroline Gorecki. “Our best team accomplishment was when we played Oldfield,” Postel said. “It came down to the fifth game to determine a winner. The girls communicated and worked together to pull out the victory.”
Postel praised the team’s top players. She termed Batista a “great all-around player” and said LoScalzo is a “leader on the court.” The coach said Toscano is a “great setter and leader” and said Goreceki is a “tough server and a good all-around player.” Criscuolo was also completed by the coach, who said she “played tough every time she was out on the court.”
Seventh grader Lauren Gennarelli was another one of the team’s standout players. “She was one of our best passers and a very good server,” Postel said.
The Finley squad also included seventh graders Laurel Bonn, Ava Brandine, Megan Donaghy, Gianna Forte, Tessie Maerz, Neha Rathore, Asyria Rios and Hailey Smith and eighth graders Madelyn Bavaro, Cassidy Casabona, Sofia Marchetta, Mackenzie McManus, Caroline O’Rourke, Francesca Stamatatos, April Swanson, Kristen Toomey and Eliza Walther.
“We had a split team of seventh and eighth graders,” Postel said. “Although we will miss our eighth graders, I’m confident the seventh graders will step up next year.”
Mrs. Postel has been a Huntington physical education teacher since September 2001. A graduate of Sachem North High School, she obtained undergraduate and graduate degrees from Long Island University-C.W. Post and Touro College, respectively. Before coming to the district, she was a part-time health and physical education teacher in the neighboring Elwood School District. She also previously worked as a permanent substitute teacher in Sachem.
Mrs. Postel has coached varsity, junior varsity and middle school girl’s volleyball and middle school girl’s track and field.