November 3, 2021 – By NJP

What a stellar season the St. John Vianney Lancers are having at the shore. After an opening day, 3-set loss to Donovan Catholic, the Lancers have run the table with just one exception, a loss to undefeated Williamstown. The team is impressive and deep and has stars that drive their success. One of those stars is Erin Gretsky.

Erin is the Lancers senior leader and Co-Captain. She is a 6′ outside hitter that contributes on both ends of the court. She has a super high VBIQ and is a lethal weapon in the SJV attack. With 159 kills on a team with multiple options, her output has been outstanding.

Erin is smooth as silk on the court. She has a textbook form and approach at the net and can deliver power and speed on her hits from the pins. Her vertical makes her hits difficult to defend and she also has excellent accuracy on her attacks and can pick spots in all areas of the court.

Vianney is uniquely positioned to have formidable competition on the non-public A state playoff grid. They draw the young and talented Notre Dame Irish where they will be favored to win and then will likely face undefeated Kent Place. If they can get by the Dragons, they will likely face Immaculate Heart in the semi-finals and could face Donovan Catholic again if they reach the finals. Now that is an intensely tough road, but this team has the talent to make it to the very end. With Erin and Co. ready to spark the Lancers hopes.

Here is our interview with Ms. Gretsky…

How are you, Erin? Thanks for joining the NJP player interview club. Tell us a bit about yourself?

Hi! Thank you so much for this opportunity to be a part of the NJP player interview club! I am a senior at Saint John Vianney High School and I live in Middletown. I have one sister, Mary Gretsky, who also went to Saint John Vianney High School and played volleyball as well. My two parents, Vicki and Alan Gretsky, always push me to be the best I can be whether it is school or volleyball. I will be a part of the graduating class of 2022. 

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

I have been playing volleyball ever since I was in 6th grade at Saint Leo the Great School. Funny enough, I had no interest in playing volleyball at this time. I had played basketball my whole life but my sister and parents convinced me to try volleyball. When I tried out in 6th grade, I automatically fell in love. I did not have any idea how much I would fall in love with this sport. 

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

I am a 6’0” outside hitter. I have a 28 inch vertical and I play for Garden State Attack. My favorite position to play will always be outside. I seem to have more confidence in my play when I am hitting from the outside position. 

Tell us about your Lancer teammates. Who else has been this year’s standout players during this season?

Where do I even start? My Lancer teammates are all the best players I could have ever asked for. From the top to the bottom of the roster every player has made an impact on our season. Our setter, Mackenzie Bloss, has been one of the most outstanding players this season and I think the state is starting to see that as well. She helps me and Kennedy Mayo, another outstanding player, captain the team and I think all three of us have made an impact in the state. 

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?

Me and college volleyball have had a love-hate relationship for the past few months. It has been a hard decision for me to pick whether or not I wanted to play in college. Currently, I want to continue my athletic career in college. I am seriously considering The University of Scranton as a college for me to progress with volleyball. I intend on studying journalism in college. 

Vianney has had an outstanding season thus far with just 2 losses to top 20 teams Donovan Catholic (on opening night) and Williamstown. How far do you think the Lancers can go this season in their state sectional or beyond?

In my eyes, this team has no limits. Every single player knows exactly who they are and what they can accomplish. I believe this team will go all the way in the shore conference and in the state championship. I have never been a part of such an amazing team and it would take a lot of unluckiness to shut us down.

Tell us about the Shore Conference landscape and where you think Vianney fits in compared to the other teams in the league?

I believe that Saint John Vianney volleyball belongs at the top of the shore conference. We have worked so hard to be where we are today. Every day I see each player become better and better. I do not see any team coming into the tournament and taking us down. 

Tell us about your relationship with fellow senior Mackenzie Bloss, your only setter for your entire high school career?

Mackenzie Bloss has been my setter ever since I was a freshman in high school. I have never seen someone with the passion, drive, and competitiveness that Mackenzie has. She has brought me to be the player that I am today. Without Mackenzie, I do not think I would be nearly as successful as I am. Every time I get a kill I look back at her and I thank her because I know without Mackenzie, what I do would not be possible. 

How did your sister Mary influence your volleyball career?

Mary has always been someone I look up to. Whether it was sports, school, friends, or drama Mary was always there to help me. As I said before, Mary was the person who originally “made me” play volleyball. If it were not for her I can assure you that I would not be having this interview with you today. As I watched her go through her high school career playing volleyball, I wanted to be just like her if not better. I do believe I have reached that goal, even maybe being better than her. All jokes aside, Mary has always been an inspiration to me, and I will never be able to thank her enough for the opportunity she gave me with volleyball. 

Tell us about your team’s head coaches the Gadaleta’s? 

Mr. and Mrs. Gad have always been amazing coaches to me. They are always pushing me to be the best player and version of myself. With their guidance and confidence in me as a player, I have been able to go above and beyond in my volleyball career. If it were not for my amazing coaches and role models, it is safe to say that I would not be nearly as successful as I am today. I am so grateful that I was able to be coached by the two best coaches in the shore and state. 

Tell us about your experience at GSA.

Without Garden State Attack, Erin Gretsky would not be on any stat list, Asbury Park Press Article, or NJ.com article. GSA has shown me the fundamentals of volleyball ever since I was in eighth grade. Ryan McNeil has been a mentor, coach, and father figure to me throughout my high school career. Every practice or game I would set goals for myself to try and impress Coach Ryan. Of course, impressing Coach Ryan was something that was nearly impossible for me to do, because he always expected these things from me. I know without him, I would not be where I am today. Coach Ryan has shaped me into the player I am today and I will always look up to him.

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