It was quite the season of highs and lows for Wall coach Jared Musolf.
About the highs.
Musolf led the Crimson Knights to the Shore Conference Class A North title in his third season at the helm. They went 24-3 overall and set a school single-season wins record. Fifth-year Wall went 12-0 in Class A North to win its first outright division title in school history.
Wall advanced to the semifinals of the Shore Conference and NJSIAA Group II tournaments.
About the lows.
Superstorm Sandy hit the Jersey Shore on Oct. 29. Musolf, his wife, Sandra, and 10-month-old child, Bane, were forced from their home in the Baywood section of Brick. Sandy left the family with four feet of water in its yard and one foot of water in its home. The family lost three cars to Sandy’s wrath.
Musolf said he and his family hope to be back in their home within six months to one year. For now, Musolf and his family are staying with his dad, John, who coaches boys soccer, indoor track and field and baseball at Manchester, and mother, Kathy.
“It has been a season of ups and downs,” coach Musolf said. “To lose our home was devastating.”
The family has received support from the Wall community.
“It has been great,” Musolf said. “People stepped up with toys and diapers. They have donated food. They have given us duc tape, plastic bins, cleaning supplies and gift cards to Target and WalMart. It’s refreshing to see the support. Every little bit helps. Not having content insurance coverage, we have to replace everything in our house ourselves.
“This whole thing was unexpected. It’s amazing how everything can change in a moment. You can’t take anything for granted. You never know what is going to happen.”
Wall assistant coaches Dan Leonard and Cathy Gavaghan supported Musolf and his family.
“They stepped up to help me,” he said, “especially at the end of the year when I tried to balance everything. Coaching was a nice forced break during the day. It has been very crazy since the storm. We’re trying to salvage all we can out of our old house. I’m trying to balance work (Musolf teaches health, physical education and driver’s education at Wall), my family and baby sitting.”
The Crimson Knights’ top players were senior outside hitter Olivia Hayes and senior opposite hitter Alyssa Stansfield.
Wall also received strong play from senior libero Samantha Plewa, senior defensive specialist Katie Kilgallen, senior setter Shannon Ward, junior defensive specialist Raquel Rudofsky, junior middle hitter Anna Litowinsky, junior middle blocker Kelly Miller, junior opposite hitter Veronica Portelli, sophomore middle blocker Rachel Noble, sophomore defensive specialist Taylor Mitchell, freshman outside hitter-defensive specialist Katie Mitchell and freshman opposite Jessica Stansfield.
“This year, we began to have the girls specialize at playing different positions,” Musolf said. “That enabled them to concentrate on one position and improve at one position. The girls made oncourt adjustments. It was neat to see.”
Musolf, 32, and a former Manchester baseball, indoor track and soccer athlete, said the team was a pleasure to coach.
“The girls were great players and excellent people,” he said. “They did a lot of off the court things as a team. Before big games, they had pasta parties at each other’s houses. They met at restaurants for lunch after practice on Saturday.”
Chris Christopher: email@example.com; 732 643-4249