Here are your 2013 LoHud girls volleyball all-stars for Rockland, headlined by Albertus Magnus phenom and player of the year, Mallary McFadden:
BARDONIA — If you go to Albertus Magnus, it’s hard not to recognize the name “McFadden.”
As of this year, four members of the McFadden family were actively involved in the Falcons’ athletic program — from varsity boys basketball coach Pat, to his wife and varsity volleyball coach Valerie, to oldest daughter and JV volleyball coach Taylor, to younger daughter, Mallary, the Journal News Rockland volleyball player of the year.
Early in her athletic career, which included volleyball, soccer, basketball, swimming and softball, McFadden had to make a choice. Like most multi-sport athletes, McFadden chose to specialize in a sport that would lead to a college career. It wasn’t that difficult of a choice.
“If volleyball wasn’t in the fall, I would probably be playing soccer. But since my dad is a basketball coach and I’ve also been around basketball all of my life, I’d probably be playing basketball in the winter,” said McFadden (pictured right), sitting in her father’s chair in his office next to the Albertus Magnus gymnasium.
Once McFadden committed to volleyball as a in her freshman, the student-athlete did her best to make sure that “student” stayed before “athlete” in a sport that runs essentially year-round from high school through club.
McFadden, who was selected as the Section 1 Conference 4 player of the year, plays for the prestigious Do It Garden State club team, commonly known as “DIGS” in the volleyball community. With a 45-minute commute to and from practice, one of the skills the blonde-haired setter/hitter hybrid hadto hone, was time management.
With practices that end around10:30 p.m., plus the commute home, the senior says she regularly does homework in the car. Whenever she gets spare time from schoolwork or volleyball, McFadden said she tries spending time with her friends before heading off to college.
“Senior year, I’m really trying to get my grades up as high as they can, so I’m studying a lot,” McFadden said. “Especially since volleyball takes up a lot of my life right now, I’m definitely trying to take some time to hang out with my friends. I’m trying to balance everything.”
McFadden estimates she gets 10 days off a year — time between high school volleyball ending and club volleyball beginning. But “off” in McFadden’s mind only means more time in the gym to lift weights. During the summer, she is on the beach… playing volleyball to strengthen her legs.
She should get plenty of beach time at Winthrop University, an NCAA Division 1 program in South Carolina. McFadden has given her verbal commitment to the Eagles, but is waiting for admissions to send her a Letter of Intent.
“I love the girls on the team, the coaches, the school, and I definitely wanted to go South,” said McFadden, who also considered Manhattan, Adelphi and Coker in South Carolina. “Winthrop was a great choice for me.”
The rest of the Journal News first-team all-stars:
Taylor Cimillo, Suffern: The junior made an immediate impact in her first year on varsity, helping Suffern reach its eighth Section 1 Class AA final in nine years and establishing herself as one of the top hitters in the county.
Nia Diaz, Nanuet: The junior set a program record with 27 kills in a win over Pearl River on Oct. 3 and is currently being recruited by Georgetown, Marist, Ohio University and the University of Maryland at Baltimore County.
Julia Hrycyk, Suffern: After missing the first two weeks of the season with a hip flexor injury, the 6-2 junior became one of the best setters in the section.
Meghan Smith, Tappan Zee: The model of “senior leadership,” the captain (pictured right) made her team contenders and, following a playoff loss to Ossining, went out of her way to thank the officials and congratulate Pride coach Lauren Riccardi.
Samantha Uline, Suffern: The junior provided the bulk of Suffern’s offensive firepower and will be among the top players to watch in 2014. Uline has already received interest from Division III schools and has visited a few D-I programs.
Coach of the Year: Mark Stanford, Tappan Zee: Following a 4-12 season, Stanford turned Tappan Zee into a 10-8 team that challenged No. 5 Ossining in the Section 1 Class A first round.
Natalie Boyd, Jr., North Rockland
Barbara Kapustin, Jr., Clarkstown South
Rachel Maggiore, Jr., Tappan Zee
Annie Singh, Jr., Clarkstown South (pictured right)
Kiana Whitney, Sr., Clarkstown North
Sarah Zazyczny, Jr., Nanuet
Honorable mention: Danielle DiModugno, Sr., Nanuet; Brianne Gallagher, Sr., Albertus Magnus; Nastasia Kapustin, Jr., Clarkstown South; Nikki Petri, Sr., Clarkstown North; Deja Smith, Sr., Suffern; Nicole Talamini, Sr., North Rockland.
All-section: Maddie Brown, Byram Hills; Brigitte Burcescu, Panas; Courtney Barbara, John Jay-East Fishkill; Chelsea Barberan, John Jay-East Fishkill; Samantha Blanchfield, Lourdes; Shaina Campbell, Panas; Nicolina Chenard, Ardsley; Sara Chirico, Haldane; Taylor Cimillo, Suffern; Colette Clarke, Mamaroneck; Katie Cunningham, Haldane; Danielle DeIulio, Yorktown; Alexis Demitirovic, Dobbs Ferry; Nia Diaz, Nanuet; Selena Drinks, Ossining; Kaitlyn Faugerstrom, Arlington; Alayne Felix, Mahopac; Casey Foley, Ardsley; Amanda Flayhan, John Jay; Nicole Franciosa, Pelham; Julia Hrycyk, Suffern; Barbara Kapustin, Clarkstown South; Gabby Kempski, Hen Hud; Rebecca Kendra, Panas; Lindsey Kim, Blind Brook; Hayley Kmetz, Ardsley; Michelle Li, Scarsdale; Morgan Loh, Hen Hud; Catherine Manning, Eastchester; Molly Marks, Blind Brook; Taylor McCarthy, John Jay; Mallary McFadden, Albertus Magnus; Angelea McPartlin, Yorktown; Shannon McKeon, Ursuline; Kristella Morina, Yonkers; Molly Newcomb, John Jay; Janine Patora, Arlington; Allie Patriciello, Panas; Lindsay Pelaccio, Hen Hud; Stephanie Rizzo, Westlake; Drue Robertson, Pelham; Michelle Ruffino, Yorktown; Meghan Smith, Tappan Zee; Carina Spiro, Scarsdale; Madison Strippoli, Ossining; Kristen Sweeney, Yorktown; Theresa Swertfager, John Jay; Megan Theiller, John Jay-East Fishkill; Samantha Uline, Suffern; Kelly Vahos, Haldane.