After an early exit from the postseason in 2014, the MSIT Girls Volleyball team had some unfinished business to take care of in the 2015 season. The Seagulls dominated the PSAL this year and finished the regular season as the only undefeated team on Staten Island, and claimed the number three seed in the playoffs (this means they are ranked third in the city). After cruising to a straight set victory in their second playoff victory, the girls met their match in the semifinal. They took Midwood to a final set but ultimately lost a thriller two sets to one. Much of their success this season could be attributed to the outstanding play of seniors Caitlyn Curran, Elizabeth Khusid, and Jaycee Cartolano. Cartolano was interviewed about her thoughts on their playoff run and the thrill of being undefeated.
What were your expectations coming into this season?
I knew we were going to be good this year because our starters were all old players. We were good last year, so I knew we were only going to get better. Last year we came close to being undefeated, and we had the potential to even be first on the island. But we weren’t ready. This year I knew we would be ready to take on anything, and would be eager to work hard.
Did you ever think that you would enter the postseason undefeated and with a #3 seed in the city?
Being undefeated is something we have always wanted, the seniors especially. So I knew we would really fight to get what we want. Being seeded 3rd in the city was something this team has never done before, and it was a pleasant surprise. I think the girls were shocked at how good we are and surprised themselves.
What are the keys to your team’s success?
Well, we are all aggressive. But in a good way. We work hard and go for every ball. Literally nothing hits the floor. But more importantly, we are all friends off the court. We have each others’ back everyday, so when it is time to play it only seems natural to do the same. We all work hard not only for ourselves, but each other.
How are the playoffs different from the regular season?
The regular season is filled with quick games that are scheduled two or three times, which means limited practices and a lot of playing. The playoffs are the opposite. The games are very spaced out with a lot of time for practice in between. Therefore, we now work to keep up game level intensity at practice in order to make sure to keep our skills sharp.
What are some general thoughts on your team and the season?
This years team has been the best I have ever been on. I’ve never seen so many girls dedicated to each other and to the sport as well. I’ve also never been on a team where even the girls who don’t play have so many skills. When something goes wrong on the court, we have the ability to put anybody in and the intensity will stay the same.
It is clear that the MSIT Girls’ Volleyball team is a talented and close knit group that has a knack for winning. They had a great season and a great run in the playoffs all the way to the semifinals. We would like to congratulate all the seniors: Jaycee Cartolano, Caitlyn Curran, Elizabeth Khusid, Vanessa Belford, and Lobna Ahmed, as well as all the members of the team on a season well played.