The Fair Lawn Girls Volleyball 2022 Season: One For The Books

By Cheryl Macasaet

Photo Credit: flhsgvball


The Fair Lawn girls volleyball team had a historic season this year, as they were crowned the Big North Conference Independence League Champions for the first time in seven years. With a league record of 10-0 and an overall record of 19-7, the Cutters made this season one to remember.


The team fought hard to win the league title, facing various powerhouses like Wayne Hills and Wayne Valley. While the score came close at times, the players pulled through and accomplished a momentous feat. 


“I’m proud of the team and everything we’ve been able to accomplish,” one of the senior captains expressed. “We’ve been working together for a long time, so there was a lot of team chemistry. I’m excited to add a year to the banner.”


The team that was particularly tough to beat was Wayne Valley, since the Cutters lost to the Indians for the past four years. With strong and talented hitters, Wayne Valley was no doubt an obstacle that stood in the way between Fair Lawn and the league title.


“Wayne Valley was the toughest team to beat, since they are very much coached like us,” one of Fair Lawn’s starting outside hitters said. 


“Last season, we lost to Wayne Valley three times, the last time being state semifinals. We came into this season with our heads up, and preparing to face this specific team,” Fair Lawn’s starting defensive specialist explained.


Despite these challenges, the Cutters were able to win their first match against Wayne Valley with a score of 2-1, and ended their second match against the Indians with a 2-0 victory in straight sets.  


The team was led by senior captains Gabriella Imburgia, Melanie Malkasyan, and Ashley Kingsley. While Imburgia and Kingsley, both outside hitters, dominated the court offensively, Malkasyan led the team defensively as their libero and defensive specialist. 


When discussing her thoughts about all of the seniors as their high school volleyball careers came to an end, a junior libero and setter explained, “The seniors made every season so special for me, this season especially since I got to play alongside them. They’re all so talented and great leaders who I hope to live up to. Even outside of volleyball, I felt like part of a family that I’ve learned to love so much, and I still haven’t accepted that they’ll be off to college, but it's been a huge honor playing with them.”


While their time playing together has come to an end, the seniors leave the team with words of encouragement and motivation:


“Play with passion and play for each other. Be a supportive unit that conquers all and succeeds,” Imburgia said. 


Kingsley focused on the team’s mindset, as she said, “Continue to grow even if you think you aren’t making progress. Be proud of everything you’ve accomplished--I’m leaving such a great team.”


Malkasyan ended the message by emphasizing the importance of making the most of one’s time as a high school athlete: “Never take playing a high school sport for granted. I’ve played three sports since freshman year, and I remember freshmen tryouts like they were yesterday. Take advantage of every opportunity, and do not sell yourself short of your fullest capabilities.”


The seniors hope that the underclassmen will carry these messages with them into the next season, in order to accomplish the goals they have set not only for the team, but for themselves. 

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