River Dell JV girls basketball team overcomes early challenges to remain undefeated

One re-scheduled game, two postponements, and four cancellations are what the River Dell JV girls basketball team had to encounter during the early part of the 2021-22 season.

Despite these challenges, the Golden Hawks have focused on winning games. Last week they defeated Mahwah at Mahwah High School to extend their undefeated record to 10-0. A roster comprised of one freshman, eight sophomores, and six juniors.

In his third season coaching the team, Head Coach Charlie Weinfeld spoke about this year's team and program in general. "The girls have had a really good year, a COVID shortened season, but we picked up where we left off and the girls are definitely playing at a high level."

"These girls are of very high character; they root for their teammates, and I don't think I could have a better group of girls to be around, and coaching them makes it that much easier. "We preach to the girls that when you put that jersey on, you are representing your family, town, and shows in their play." Their sportsmanship is an integral part of youth sports and exhibits the hard work they put into it and get out of it.

"We have six juniors on the team, there is a ton of talent at the junior and senior level, but we can't put everyone in varsity but our juniors I've had for two or three years in a row." "I have seen them as freshman and now they're juniors and seen the strides they have taken in terms of development."

"For example, Erin Nader, we moved up to varsity this year, but she is also playing JV and splitting time between both levels and the same goes for Olivia O'Donnell." "I had Olivia as a freshman, and she has come a long way as a player and a better shooter now and playing with a lot of confidence." The same goes for Anna Vidaic and Hailey Volmar.

"My first year I was here, the team was 22-1, and last year lost a game or two." "I can't stress enough the amount of talent within the program and don't see too many JV teams with six juniors on it," I tell the girls they would probably be starting for many teams in our league. Still, I try to keep them motivated to work, and you will reap the rewards.

Junior Hailey Volmar talked about the success of the team up to this point in the season, "There have been a lot of cancelled games, but we had to practice harder because we never knew if we had to play a certain team again." "I feel we've gotten close throughout the season and really good friends which definitely helps on the court and have been playing for a really long time."

"Our confidence is usually high because we have won so many games which helps us play better." "The Jefferson game was definitely our best game because we were not expecting such a good game because we weren't used to playing teams to our level." We came out well and worked together.

"Erin (Nader) is a really good shooter, scored so many points this season a good defender and always so aggressive." "Olivia (O'Donnell) is always aggressive all the time on offense and defense and gives it her best at everything."

"When I'm on the court, everyone from the bench is encouraging me and cheering me on. "I was excited for this season, outside practicing my shooting." "From game to game and practice as well, I've gotten a lot better."

River Dell returns to action on Tuesday, February 15th, facing off against Ramsey at Ramsey High School, with tip-off set for 5:30 p.m.

Head Coach Charlie Weinfeld on the upcoming game, "We're definitely in the second half of our schedule and playing the second round of games against league opponents." "It's tough no matter if you are even better than your opponent it's always going to be a dogfight." Away games are always a little bit tougher, but I know the girls are ready.

Hailey Volmar said on the match-up vs. Ramsey, "Ramsey is an outstanding team, and we usually have a tough fight against them." "I know if we keep practicing and working hard with our coaches and come together as a team, I think we'll be able to win."

I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified