Old Rochester girls volleyball ‘has a lot of potential’ this season

Sep 15, 2023

MATTAPOISETT — On Wednesday, Sept. 13, the Old Rochester Regional High School girls varsity volleyball team scored a decisive 3-0 win against Dighton-Rehoboth in their “best full-game performance so far this season,” said head coach Jimmy Oliveira.

“I think overall it was our most complete effort,” said assistant coach Ryan Grace of Wednesday’s game.

Then, with a 3-0 win against Dennis-Yarmouth on Friday, Sept. 15, the team is now 3-2 in the season and 2-1 in the South Coast Conference with a 3-1 win against West Bridgewater and a 1-3 loss against New Bedford Vocational Technical High School.

The team’s win against Dennis-Yarmouth also gave Oliveira his 100th career win as volleyball coach and put the team on a three-game winning streak.

This year’s team, said Oliveira, “has a lot of potential.”

“All of our teams in the past have made progress but it seems like this team specifically really stands out,” said Oliveira. “We should be able to make a ton of progress with the talent we have in the gym.”

Although the team lost three seniors, younger players are “stepping up,” said Oliveira.

“I think we have the leaders to get it done, I think we have the athletes to get it done, and I think we have the skill to get it done,” he said. “It’s just building their confidence on and off the court.”

He pointed to team captains Aubrie Letourneau, Kamryn Rodrigues and Arielle Troupe who are “doing a great job leading the team.”

This year’s team “has a lot of good energy,” said Oliveira.

“It makes the time here more enjoyable,” he said. “Aside from just teaching them volleyball skills, you’re building relationships with them — hopefully building trust and teamwork skills.”

And teamwork skills are something that Oliveira hopes his players take off the court and into their lives.

“Volleyball is a sport that you’re not going to be successful [at] unless you trust your teammates and allow your teammates to do their jobs,” he said. “We emphasize having your teammates back and I think that’s something that goes a long way in their futures.”

“It just seems like a group [of players] that is willing to learn,” he said. “They’re listening, they want to get better.”

And Oliveira, who describes himself as being “too involved in volleyball,” leads by example. Each December he travels to the American Volleyball Coaches Association Conference to learn from other coaches and professionals.

Last December he went to Nebraska and learned how to involve more of his team by establishing committees that handle everything from team bonding to the team’s social media presence.

“I think it’s cool to give everyone that feeling of being involved,” he said. “I just keep learning and that’s how I show the girls that I’m involved in the off-season. I’m still learning and I’ve been at it for 12 years.”

Oliveira started playing volleyball as a student at New Bedford High School and has now been a varsity volleyball coach for about seven years.

“I’m really excited for the season. I trust these kids. I’m out here [being interviewed] and they’re still working [in the gym],” he said. “I think we can make a very deep run looking at the talent we have and where I think we can get skill-wise.”