Sitting in a circle and screaming in unison, “P-A-T-S — Pats, Pats, Pats,” before the first serve of every game, the well-synchronized and diverse Revere girls’ volleyball team is off to an impressive 10-0 start, following a 3-1 win over Greater Lowell on Thursday.
Preparing for the 2022 season, the Patriots played together in a summer league for the first time, a move spearheaded by coach Lianne Mimmo and her four senior captains: Tassya DaCosta, Fiona Musaraj, Ayra Vranic and Sabrina Indorato.
“[The summer league] helped us play together faster,” DaCosta said. “It helped us get used to our habits and it helped us fix a lot of the mistakes that we don’t want to be making.”
‘Staying green means staying positive and it embodies our whole program as we need to be there for each other always’
Fiona Musaraj, one Revere's four senior volleyball captains on her team's mantra
But, the players noted, Revere’s unbeaten record would not have been possible without the positive energy the Patriots, ranked No. 20 in the Globe girls’ volleyball poll, bring to the court. Team leaders created a new tradition: drawing a green smiley face on their hands to remind them to “Stay green” and keep a positive outlook.
“The whole 9-0 [start] comes from our success as a team and we need to be there for each other,” Musaraj said. “Staying green means staying positive and it embodies our whole program as we need to be there for each other always.”
Added Vranic, “We started doing this because of the traffic light that we have. If anybody starts getting down to red or yellow, you kind of just tap on them and say ‘Stay green,’ and although this is a new tradition, we want it to be legendary.”
A number of the players battle hardships in their daily lives but when it’s time for the match, the mind-set is volleyball — with Mimmo noting players might not come from the best situations, but their spirit always remains high.
“We usually tell each other to leave everything off the court,” DaCosta said. “Forget whatever was happening in school or home and use your playing time to completely forget about it and just focus on the game.”
One impactful addition is outside hitter Gabriela De La Rosa, who enrolled at Revere from Puerto Rico last year, but was too late to join the team. The 5-foot-9-inch senior delivers fierce, powerful strikes — dropping a team-high 12 kills in Wednesday’s sweep vs. Everett.
The mix of players created a new hurdle: a language barrier.
“[De La Rosa] is a starter, and it was hard to communicate with her at first, but since we just play together all the time, it really got easier as the games went on,” Indorato said.
The variety of faces has enhanced the team culture.
“Understanding the diversity of our team is the first step,” Musaraj said. “Each person brings their own fire and all of their background . . . it makes us stronger.”
There are daily challenges. But at the beginning of the season, Mimmo supplied each captain with a leadership book.
“[The leadership book] allowed us to see the bigger picture in life because volleyball is a sport but it also has many life skills that we’ll take for the rest of our lives,” Musaraj said.
Morale is a high for a team eyeing the program’s first Greater Boston League title since 2019.
To keep up their successful start, Musaraj said the team must remain disciplined, communicate, support each other, and most important of all, stay green.
▪ Winchester senior outside hitter Lauren Tian is a force within the 10-foot line. Surpassing 500 career kills in a recent win over Middlesex rival Arlington, Tian is on track to amass more than 600 by season’s end.
“We’ve previously had a couple of freshmen make our varsity roster, but no one had stepped into the starting role from Day One, freshman year, the way Lauren did, so she’s obviously a talented player, and that was the case in 2019,” said Winchester coach John Fleming. “She might even be looking at 900 kills when it’s all said and done, which is pretty impressive.”
Tian joined the program as a freshman in 2019, but her sophomore season was shortenedbecause of the pandemic.
“We only ended up playing 13 matches that year, but, typically, we play well over 20,” Fleming said. “So had she had a full high school career, there is a chance where she might even have been able to get over 1,000 kills.
“I think all our younger players and even some of her peers know how talented she’s been and the career that she’s had, and hopefully will continue to have.”
▪ Cardinal Spellman coach Jack Olson earned his 500th career victory in Tuesday’s Catholic Central win over St. Mary’s.
“We’re a small school, so every year we only return a couple of kids, so that’s kind of the fun part, to see how they develop,” said Olson, who has been at Spellman for a decade after a long run at Brockton (1985-2012), where he also started the boys’ program.
“So far the kids have done a pretty good job. Our goal as a team is to just get as many home games as we can get in a playoff situation.”
“Basically, I’ve taught a lot of kids how to play volleyball, and they’ve done a good job,” Olson laughed.
▪ The initial MIAA Power Ratings for all five divisions will be released Friday.
At Wednesday’s MIAA volleyball committee meeting, Winchester AD Marc Arria proposed set dates for the tournament, and equal times between matches for schools in each division.
Games to Watch
Friday, No. 3 Old Rochester at No. 15 Dennis-Yarmouth, 5:45 p.m. — It’s a rematch of the Division 3 state final, in which ORR (6-0 this season) prevailed. D-R is 5-3.
Friday, No. 14 Concord-Carlisle at No. 6 Needham, 5:30 p.m. — In their first meeting since Needham’s 3-2 victory in the 2021 D1 quarterfinal, C-C (6-3) hits the road to take on the Rockets (4-1).
Friday, No. 16 Haverhill at No. 18 Tewksbury, 5 p.m. — An important Merrimack Valley match between the Hillies (7-0 MVC) and Tewksbury (5-1).
Monday, No. 1 Newton North at No. 13 Melrose, 6:30 p.m. — Top-ranked North (7-0) hits the road for a matchup against a perennially strong Melrose squad.
Sarah Barber contributed to this story.