February 11, 2020 – By NJP

St. John Vianney’s Alex Leiba brings much more to the table than just a 6’8″ frame. He has colleges lined up to recruit him in both volleyball and basketball. After our interview, we understand why. He’s just a great kid.

Vianney had a good year in 2019 posting a 13-9 record and a top 40 ranking by NJP. They keep 10 varsity players from last season as well as 71% of their statistical points to earn a #12 ranking in NJP’s pre-season analysis. Alex was top notch as a junior with 177 kills and 40 blocks. We expect him to shatter those marks as a senior.

Alex took home a bunch of hardware last year in the Shore Conference. He is clearly a force to be reckoned with as the Lancers attempt to have a breakout season. We touched base with Coach Jessica Gadaleta and she shared the following… “Alex Leiba is a key piece of our offense and defense, and the Lancers will look to him for leadership and production on the court this upcoming season. Alex’s size is definitely a benefit for us on the pins, but beyond that Alex also has a winning mentality. He is capable of making key plays in big moments, and he is also great about responding to adversity.” She continued “Alex always has a positive mindset and he never gets down on himself or his teammates. On the court, in the hallways, or in the classroom, you can always find Alex with a big smile on his face. We are so excited to see what he and this highly motivated group of seniors can accomplish in 2020.”

We asked Alex about playing for St. John Vianney when he lives in Old Bridge, the public school which has won back to back NJ Championships. “We do have a friendly rivalry as all of my friends are on the volleyball team at Old Bridge High School. But it is all in good fun!” Gotta love it!

Here is our interview with Alex…

Tell us a bit about yourself Alex?

I attend Saint John Vianney High school, I live in Old Bridge, New Jersey and I graduate in 2020!

How long have you played volleyball and what inspired you to take up volleyball initially?

I have been playing volleyball since my freshman year so roughly 4 years.

What are your metrics/details?

6’8, opposite hitter, LVA club team. My favorite position is opposite but I also enjoy hitting from the outside!

Where do you get your height from? Is your Mom or Dad tall also?

Hehe, my Mom is 5’10 and my Dad is 6’0, but I honestly just lucked out with the height lol!

NJP considers you as one of the top players in the state. Do you plan on playing volleyball in College? (If so, which ones are you looking at?)

I do plan on playing in college and I am still deciding the school that I love the most. Since last summer I was actively recruited by Penn State and was invited to participate in their summer camp. I am also currently being recruited by Kean and NJCU, and just started talks with Sacred Heart University.

Are you considering playing basketball in college as well?

Absolutely! I am currently being recruited by 12 colleges and universities for basketball.

Image result for st john vianney lancers

Which player last season was the toughest competitor that you faced and why?

Andrew Zaleck is the most skilled hitter I have seen. He always knew the right play to make no matter the circumstance.

How will your high school team do in the upcoming season? Do you have a lot of returning players? What will be the key to success?

I think this is a season to remember. We have plenty of returning players that are experienced at the varsity level. Our key to success is our drive to win. If we give it our all every match the results will be positive.

(Photo courtesy of Richard Prehart Sr.)

Who is your support group?

My Mom and Dad are my biggest supporters. They come to every game and cheer me on and I love the constant support.

Tell us about your high school coach?

 Jessica Gadeleta is one of the best coaches I have ever played for in any sport. There isn’t one person who loves volleyball more than Coach Gad.

Have you won any awards such as All County or All State or others?

2nd team All -Shore conference and 3rd team all Central Jersey team.

What are your other hobbies?

Basketball and traveling.

What do you do during the offseason to stay in shape and prepare for next year?

Yes, my other sport is basketball.

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