December 3, 2020 – By NJP
We get the opportunity to interact with so many student athletes, most of which are trying to figure a way to finish their high school experience on a high note, and get into a college where they can continue their academic and athletic careers. Every once in a while, we meet a young person who can see the big picture clearly. They have a greater sense of maturity than average and the focus to concentrate on what’s important and what can make a difference in the world. One of those young ladies is Madison Elsey.
Maddy is a senior at Donovan Catholic. She was a member of the Griffin high school volleyball team that went 29-5 last year and finished with a top 25 ranking of over 300 girls high school programs in NJ. She is a prime student athlete for college recruiters to focus on as she posted some amazing statistics as a junior and is an outstanding volleyball player.
But Maddy is focused on her career goals as a priority. She wants to become a pediatric nurse and care for kids that are going through health challenges. A bold decision during the time of pandemic. Which means this will be her last year on the court playing a game she loves alongside a group of seniors that have developed a special kinship. A unbreakable sisterhood that will last far beyond her high school years. There will be seven returning varsity seniors on the 2021 revised Spring squad who are all accomplished players. Donovan is once again projected to be in the top 25 and will target Southern Regional in the fight to be the best at the Shore.
As you read through Maddy’s interview, we think of the word “heart”. And we can tell she possesses one that is larger than life. If this was a hollywood script, we could envision this group advancing to a private school sectional final matchup with Immaculate “Heart” who has won 13 straight titles.
We will let your imagination figure out the ending…
Here is our interview with Ms. Elsey…
Tell us a bit about yourself, Madison?
I attend Donovan Catholic High School and I live in Toms River. I am graduating in 2021. My family consists of my Mom, Dad and younger sister Kerigan. We are very close, and I am also close with my extended family: grandparents, cousins, aunts etc.
How long have you played volleyball and what inspired you to take up volleyball initially?
I have been playing volleyball since 6th grade. I wanted to try something new, and ended up loving this sport with my whole heart!
What are your metrics/details? Height, vertical, position, club team, etc. What’s your favorite position to play?
I am 5’5. (I do not currently have my vertical measured). I am an outside hitter and I play for Ocean County Volleyball Club. My favorite positions to play are outsider hitter and opposite hitter.
Tell us about your Griffin teammates. Who do you expect will be this year’s standout and up and coming players?
Some of my Griffin teammates are like sisters to me! I love my team very much and I am so excited for my last year with them. I expect us all, especially my fellow seniors, to do big things this year and make this season a great one despite all the troubles with the CoronaVirus.
Donovan had an amazing season last year finishing 29-5, going to the Conference finals, and making to the Private sectional semi-finals. What is your expectation for this years squad?
Yes, last year was truly an incredible year for us. I hope that this year we can make it far and do our best with whatever is thrown at us! We all work very hard, especially with the help of Coach! I am so grateful for my Donovan Volleyball family.
You had a truly outstanding season as a junior with 141 kills, 24 aces, and 93 digs. What are your goals for this upcoming season?
My goal for this upcoming season is to work 100x harder and keep improving to be the best version of myself I can be on the court.
Tell us about your club volleyball experience at OCVBC.
I have made some of the most unforgettable memories while playing for OCVBC. I have made best friends and have had some amazing coaches! Tournaments are so much fun and have definitely taught me so much about the game. There is never a dull moment during club season, and I am so thankful for everything OCVBC has taught me and done for my volleyball experience.
Who inspires you?
Many people inspire me. My coaches and parents especially inspire me, along with myself and my teammates.
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 not plan on playing volleyball in college. I thought about playing in college but over the last few years I realized how much I wanted to help children and become a pediatric nurse and focus on my studies at college.
What do you do during the offseason to stay in shape and prepare for next year? Do you play other sports? (if so, which ones?)
During the offseason I like to go to the gym and eat better to stay in shape for volleyball.
Who is your support group?
My biggest supporters will always be my Mom and Dad! They have given up so much time, money and car rides all for volleyball, and I am forever grateful. I can always count on my mom to cheer as loud as she can at games, and on my dad to pack the cooler of the gatorade and snacks! Thank you for everything you guys do for me. And also shoutout to my sister Kerigan, who gets dragged to the multi- day tournaments.
What are your other hobbies or interests?
I love going to the beach!
What do you plan to study in college or what is your career path?
In college I plan to obtain a BSN in Nursing and become a Pediatric Nurse.
Is there a teacher or coach who really helped you along the way?
All of my coaches have always been so outstanding and supportive of me. Coach Nina Pace will forever be a stand out though. Coach Nina has been by my side since I was a freshman in highschool. She has helped me through every tear and always pushed me to be the best I can be. Coach Nina has been with me through my best volleyball moments, and my lowest. No coach has ever made me feel more wanted and loved, and I am so grateful for all that you have done for me, Coach Nina!