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Long Island Sports

Putting The Pieces Together

Chemistry matters for

St. Joe’s volleyball

Hall of Fame NFL quarterback and Dallas Cowboys great Roger Staubauch once said, “In any team sport, the best teams have consistency and chemistry.” The same applies to the volleyball court, according to St. Joseph’s star players Heather Ferchland and Tiffany Willms. The duo led the Golden Eagles to the Skyline Conference title with a victory over No. 1 ranked Sage. It was the first conference title for women’s volleyball since 2003.

Ferchland was named the tournament’s most outstanding player for her performance which included 22 kills and 5 digs against Sage. She was also named ECAC Metro Player of the Week for the second time this season.

“It is an amazing feeling,” the Centereach sophomore said. “Knowing that all of the hard work and time my teammates and I have put into this season have paid off. It is so rewarding to win the Skyline Conference and it is truly a moment I will never forget.”

She comes from a large family of high school athletes. She feels that her family roots have contributed to her success at this level. “Sports play a big role in my family. All of my siblings and I are athletic so we influence one other and help each other on certain things. They have helped me become the player I am today and I am very grateful for that.”

Volleyball was not always her first love. Ferchland admits that lacrosse always came first but she has learned to love volleyball “more and more each day.” Ultimately, she believes the success would not be possible if not for such a good relationship with her teammates, especially Tiffany Willms.

“Team chemistry is extremely important in volleyball,” said Ferchland. “It is a mind game, it is all in your head. It is also a game of mistakes and we all make mistakes during a game. It is important to be there for your teammate when they mess up. If they get frustrated, pick them up. That’s what teammates are for.”

Willms agrees with the significance of trusting your teammates. After all, she and Ferchland have been playing together since 7th grade, which has allowed them to become comfortable with playing alongside one another.  

“Team chemistry is crucial,” said Willms. “It’s one of those aspects in volleyball when you’re down you know that the girl next to you is going to pick you up and have your back,” she added.

That type of chemistry allowed the Golden Eagles to enter the regionals with a record of 19-12. They will head to Boston to face Roger Williams. It will be quite a challenge considering they have compiled a 30-3 record while playing in the Commonwealth Coast Conference.