By PJ Foti / Zip06.com • 09/26/2019 3:25 PM EST
Volleyball is a big part of Sally Cucinotta’s family. Sally became interested in the sport after seeing her father John play in their backyard and then joined the North Branford High School team. This fall, Sally leads the Thunderbirds as one of their senior captains.
“My father plays a lot with friends in our garden. We have people every Monday and we have a field in our backyard, so I grew up watching him play, ”says Sally. “I play a lot outside for fun and I participate in the winter league where he comes to help me.”
A away hitter, Sally is one of 12 seniors in the North Branford roster. Sally and her senior teammates have high hopes for the season and want the T-Birds to succeed in their final year with the program.
“Our senior class in general is very close. We are all very friendly with each other inside and outside of school, ”says Sally. “Our entire university education is made up of seniors, and we all want to come out on a high and do well, because we know this is our last year. We all feel the same, so we all work hard.
Sally is leading North Branford alongside her three fellow captains this season. Sally enjoys playing her leadership role, especially when it comes to being heard during games.
“I love him. I’m very vocal. Even last year you would still hear me talking and screaming, so I think I fit the role pretty well,” Sally says. “Being a captain makes it easier to communicate with the rest. They admire you and you are seen as a leader.
Head coach Tori Ramada describes Sally as a decisive leader who shows great ability on the pitch. Ramada says these characteristics make Sally an ideal role model for other athletes on the team.
“As a team captain and outside hitter, Sally proves every day that she is a versatile athlete and a leader. Not only are his volleyball skills honed and formidable, but his leadership skills are contagious, ”said Ramada. “Sally is a real team player and always pushes her teammates to work together and play with confidence.”
Sally enters her final year on the heels of a strong junior season. Sally recorded 107 digs with 61 kills and 15 aces for the T-Birds last fall.
“I’ve always been on the bigger side so the outside hitter is the perfect position for me and what my coaches think of me as,” Sally says. “I’m jumping pretty high and I have a strong shoulder. My swing is pretty solid so everything is working out for me.
Sally is also a forward for the North Branford women’s lacrosse team, which has won the Shoreline Conference tournament in each of the past two seasons. Sally has helped create a winning culture on the lacrosse field and seeks to do the same with the volleyball team.
“As I go through high school on two different teams, one of which is successful, I know what it feels like to win and have a good record,” says Sally. “It makes me want to push more towards this in the volleyball season.”
While not sure if she’ll be playing sports in college, Sally will certainly enjoy her last round of competing for two teams she loves at North Branford.
“It’s been such a good experience to be on two different teams,” says Sally. “Both are so much fun.”