September 4, 2021 – By NJP

Senior Myla Domazet has a passion for cooking and is looking to combine and align her love for volleyball in her collegiate choice. So how many schools offer Culinary Degrees as well as a great volleyball program? Might be some limited choices there. But the prestige of Johnson & Wales in Providence, Rhode Island might fit the bill. And Myla is focused on gaining admittance there.

Myla is attending the Atlantic County Institute of Technology for Culinary Arts (ACIT) in Mays Landing and has been a two-year varsity starter at middle. As she enters her junior year, NJP is predicting a breakout season for the future chef. The 5′ 10″ Red Hawk can be a force at the net on both the attack and the block.

ACIT returns 6 of 10 varsity players for the Fall but does lose some major assets to graduation such as Sam Dangler (54 aces, 132 assists, 81 digs) and Alex Helduser (50 kills, 24 blocks) as well as Emily Hanselmann (72 digs, 12 aces) and Gianna Reddy (10 kills, 3 blocks).

Domazet will team with rising junior and setter Kyara Paduani and solid varsity returners on both attack and D, seniors Sophia LaPorta, Abbigail Sibley, Grace Speer, and junior Carleigh Morris. ACIT is just outside the top 100 in NJP’s pre-season rankings and will battle Our Lady of Mercy and Cedar Creek for top honors in the West.

To be a great Chef, as well as a great volleyball player, you need focus and passion for your trade. You need a strong work ethic and a strong sense of urgency. Ultimately, you need to perform and keep your fans happy with your finished product. We are confident that Myla will excel on both sides of her passions…

Here is our interview with Ms. Domazet…

Hi Myla? Thanks for joining the NJP player interview club. Tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m Myla Domazet. I attend Atlantic County Institute of Technology for Culinary Arts. I live in Hammonton NJ with my parents. I’m 16 in the Class of 2023.

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

I have played volleyball since elementary school, but my first year on a team was in 2019 when I was in 8th grade (when I made my club team). My mom was big into volleyball when she was younger so as soon as I showed an interest in it, she was happy to get me into different programs and helped me learn.

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What are your metrics/details? Height, vertical, position, club team, etc. What is your favorite position to play?

I’m 5’10” with a 19” vertical. I play any hitting position and although I am often played in the middle because of my height outside might be my favorite to play. I have played for Marlton Volleyball Club for 3 years now.

Tell us about your Red Hawk teammates. Who do you expect to be this year’s standout players in the Fall?

I love all my teammates and I am so excited for this season. I think there are a few girls that are finally going to have their time in their spotlight this season. Obviously, Sophia LaPorta is an outstanding senior who is only getting better by the minute and is going to absolutely dominate the court this season. Then girls like Carleigh Morris and Kyara Paduani are amazing players. Carleigh is loud and can cover that back row while Kyara puts her everything into any position you place her in which I admire about her. I think our secret weapon this year is Grace Speer playing middle. She is so aggressive on the net and quick on her feet nothing is getting past her and I’m really excited to see her play.

NJP considers you as one of the top players in the state. Do you plan on playing in college? If so, which ones are you looking at? What do you plan to study in college or what is your career path?

 I do plan on playing in college. I’m looking at a few schools, but my dream school is currently Johnson and Wales University. I would like to major in culinary arts so there aren’t too many schools who offer both culinary and volleyball. Therefore, I am super open to any school that gives me an opportunity.

NJP Projects Atlantic Tech to be right near the top of the CAL-West, battling Cedar Creek and OLMA for top honors. Where do you see the team finishing in the upcoming season?

I honestly couldn’t even guess right now. We are facing a lot of challenges because we recently took on a completely new coaching staff as well as losing a lot of phenomenal seniors last year. So, I think it’s going to take us some time to settle into the new varsity squad. Only time will tell how it all goes but I have a lot of hope for the team we have coming into this season.

Tell us your best memories of your sophomore volleyball year.

My favorite memories from sophomore year were definitely during our big win against Mainland Regional. That whole day was just filled with anticipation, and we really came together as a team, understanding one another and working as a unit. I remember the last point and the joy that we all had when we won because it was so, so close. It was definitely a win I will never forget.

Tell us about your Coach Bailey Johnson…

Bailey was a great coach, and I really liked her view on the game and the way she coached in general. Sadly, she was not able to continue coaching us this season, so we have once again adopted a completely new coaching staff and are adapting to a new set up. Coach Sean O’Neil (our new head coach) is learning with us, and we are all working together to get things straight for the season.

Tell us about your club experience at Marlton VBC.

I absolutely love my club and the opportunities that I have had through playing with Marlton. I didn’t even fully realize it when I first started playing but Marlton has taught me so much, not only about the sport of volleyball, but sportsmanship. I feel there’s often a lot of pressure in club ball that makes girls feel lesser or pushes them away from the sport while Marlton’s goal is having a good time and teaching girls how to play volleyball rather than needing to win every single game or every single tournament. I couldn’t imagine playing for anyone else.

What mental tool do you use under pressure?

I get in my head a lot and start to mess up basic things, especially serving. So, to get myself back I will sing stupid song in my head and focus everything on that so my body can just follow through with muscle memory and take it back to the basics. Every time I tell someone that, they laugh at me, but it has been a life saver in the middle of a game when I’m in a funk.

What words describes you best?

Driven, Positive, and Committed.

Do you think attitude is a factor in winning?

Absolutely! I have experienced firsthand how a bad energy can make a team lose a game they should have won, and a good one can make all the difference. If you are able to keep a positive attitude you will not only encourage your team, but you can discourage the opposing team even if they are winning. I have seen games have complete turn arounds based almost solely on a team’s energy and attitude.

How does athletics make you a better student or worker? 

I think being an athlete has taught me discipline over time. It has taught me to be a hard worker and keeps me in line when it comes to getting my work done.

What is your favorite inspirational video or music that you like to watch or listen to before games?

Before games, especially away games on the bus, the whole team loves singing throwback music to get us pumped up for the game. It’s all stupid stuff like Big Time Rush and Justin Bieber, but jamming out is essential to our pregame routine.

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