Volleyball has been good to trioWHS co-captains enjoy both varsity and club experiences.
By: Tom Carothers, Woodbury Bulletin
Their varsity season may be over, but there’s still volleyball to be played for Woodbury varsity co-captains Natalie Pascutoi, Rachel Johnson and Emily Irey.
The trio, like many spikers these days, adds months to their experience in the sport by taking to the court for club volleyball not long after their varsity seasons conclude.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Pascutoi said. “It’s a lot more competition and a lot of travel.”
Pascutoi and Johnson ought to know about the travel for certain as they were part of a M1 Open (top level) team that finished fifth in Nationals last season in Miami, Fla.
“It was really cool,” Johnson said. “The girls on that team are very fun to play with — it was a really neat experience and there was so much energy.”
The two Royals also became better teammates and friends through the experience, according to the senior middle hitter.
“It was really nice having her on the team,” Johnson said. “We got to know each other better.”
Irey, the Royals setter for the past couple of seasons, also played M1 and Adidas club volleyball, said that the “off-season” play in club ball made her a more polished player.
“You definitely get better in club,” she said. “I’ve been playing club since eighth grade and have greatly developed my game.”
WHS head varsity coach Wally Bomgren agrees with his player’s assessment of the experience and said that their non-varsity playing time made them better players and captains for the Royals.
“These girls have been around and understand the concept of team,” he said. “They are very respectful of the program and the sport in general — I was thrilled to be able to work with all three.”
Pascutoi, who expects to go to “a larger college” after her high school days end this spring, said that collegiate volleyball is probably not in her future.
However, Irey, who said she will “possibly” attend the University of Minnesota-Morris and Johnson, who expects to go to a Division III school, hope to play organized volleyball post-grad.