Middlesex County College (MCC) has recently added a women's volleyball team to its roster of student athletics, and they are actively gearing up for the start of the season.
According to the college, MCC is the fifth community college in the state to offer the sport, joining Atlantic Cape Community College, and Bergen, Passaic and Union County Colleges.
“Volleyball is growing in popularity all over the state,” said Bob Wisniewski, the
college's athletic director. “We’ll be the fifth community college in New Jersey to offer volleyball, and I suspect that that number will increase in the near future.”
Team coach Colleen Masterson said the team is currently practicing multiple times a week, with their first match scheduled for Sept. 8.
Masterson, a volleyball player for the past 13 years, played for Kean University and coached a high school team in Watchung Hills.
She began recruiting players over the summer months, and ran them through a "crash course" of learning and improving on the game.
Only four of the girls have played on organized teams before, she said.
Wisniewski said volleyball came to MCC as he was searching for another sport for women at the college.
Currently, MCC has women's soccer, basketball, cross country and track and field, and softball, an equal amount of offerings as the male sports. However, the college's sports have usually attracted more male attention than female, he said.
To further expand the offerings for women at MCC, the volleyball team was added to the roster, he said.
"I love the sport," said Wisniewski, who coached high school volleyball in New York for a dozen years.
MCC's team is part of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and the Garden State Athletic Conference, and is scheduled to play teams predominantly from community colleges and technical schools around New Jersey.
Admission to the games is free and open to the public. All home games are played in the gymnasium of the Middlesex County College Physical Education Center, located at the college's Edison campus.
The fall schedule of home games is as follows, according to the college:
- 12 p.m. Sept. 22 against Atlantic Cape Community College/Community College of Morris
- 7 p.m. Sept. 27 against Passaic County Community College
- 7 p.m. Oct. 3 against Bergen Community College
- 7 p.m. Oct. 16 against Union County College