August 19, 2020 – By NJP
In 2018, the Moorestown High School Girls volleyball program was a young team. With just one senior and 5 upperclassman on the roster, they still managed to finish 18-13 and secure a state playoff bid. The future looked a bit uncertain as the number of girls on the team was rather low. But a new family was headed from Flower Mound, Texas, which is about 15 miles North of Dallas, to Moorestown, NJ, that would breath fire into the program and ignite success for the Quakers.
Moorestown enrolled two new students for the Fall in 2018. One was senior Lauren Scully. The other was freshman Samantha Scully. Both were seasoned club volleyball players that had several years of experience in the intense Texas sports environment that has more girl volleyball players in high school than any other state in the nation.
“New Jersey and Texas are a lot different, and it took a while to get adjusted” Samantha shared. “The level of volleyball was different too”. Sam played for a couple of clubs in Texas before exiting to New Jersey. The Attack Volleyball Club in Lewiston, TX was one and Instinct Volleyball Club in Lake Dallas, TX, was the other. Unlike most NJ clubs which manage 3-12 teams, each of these clubs will have 24 girls teams this season, with some age levels having 5 teams. The experience gained at these clubs was invaluable for the Scully sisters.
Both sisters broke onto the scene and put up stellar numbers in 18-19. Lauren, as a senior, had 182 kills, 238 digs, 14 blocks, and 61 aces. And freshman Samantha put up equally as dominant numbers with 193 kills, 210 digs, and 54 aces. She finished the season with 6 straight games with double digit kills. The Quakers finished the season at 24-6 and the duo celebrated their lone high school season together in the new state they call home.
The 2019-20 season would be much different for Sam without her older sister Lauren by her side. Sam told us “I have played volleyball for 8 years. I played because my sister would always play, and I was inspired by her.” Sam settled in at Princeton Volleyball Club during the high school off-season. The 5’9″ sophomore played outside and DS at the club level.
The 2019-20 season started off strong for the Quakers. With Lauren graduated, Sam excelled, and the new team gelled quickly jumping to a 9-0 start. Two very tough three set losses to Notre Dame and Pleasantville turned down the momentum for the season. “I just think we kept getting in our own heads through the matches and lost some confidence” reasoned Samantha as the squad lost four in a row. They seemed to be getting back on track winning three of four games and then it happened. During a match, Sam sustained a concussion and her season was over. Moorestown lost 7 of their last 10 games and finished 15-12.
Despite missing the last 10 matches of the season, Sam put up some amazing numbers once again as a sophomore. 163 kills, 143 digs, and 29 aces were added to her high school portfolio. Sam is okay now, healthy, fully recovered, and looking to make her mark once again for her junior year.
“I think our team will be successful this season as we do have a lot of returning players. The key to success will be all of us coming together and playing as one team.” Samantha is optimistic about the 2020-21 campaign. “I think a lot of my teammates will come up and stand out. A lot of my teammates are new uprising players who have very good potential.” Sam has set some personal goals for the new season as well. “My personal goals for 2020 is to be a better leader for my team and work harder to help others.” That’s the stuff that leaders are made of and will serve her well for her remaining two high school seasons. As always, the Quakers will have tough competition from South Jersey rivals. “Rancocas Valley and Cherokee are our schools biggest rivals. We expect some great competition from them this year.”
We asked Sam if she had any funny stories or memorable moments from her volleyball career and she shared “One time during a game I was running for a ball and slammed into the wall, then 5 points later I ran into the pole”. At NJP, we certainly love self-deprecating humor, so Sam has become one of our favorites.
Sam plans on continuing to play volleyball at the college level after high school. We are sure there will be an avalanche of interest from collegiate coaches. And the one that is luck enough to get her will benefit from her seasoned and technical prowess on the court and beyond.
The Quakers will have a talented squad in addition to Samantha for the upcoming campaign. Rising junior Bree Wilson will be sharing outside hitter responsibilities with Sam. She also had a solid sophomore campaign with 84 kills, 69 digs, and 23 aces. Senior opposite Sophie Hampton will also play a major role after posting 44 aces and 20 blocks in 2019. Of the three players who graduated, two were middles, so this position will be up for grabs this fall. Rising junior Anne Connelly should assume the setter role after leading the team in assists last season.
NJP projects the stiffest competition in their Patriot Division will come from Sterling. Moorestown comes in at #66 in the state and #5 in the BCSL. WWPS is projected as the best team in the BCSL ranked at #24 in New Jersey out of over 300 teams.
The overall gap between Moorestown and the teams ahead of them in the BCSL is rather slim so if things come together for Samantha and the Quakers, don’t be surprised to see them in the BCSL tournament finals. A Texas barbecue celebration party would be pretty sweet.