Versatile Laforgia living up to hype as Prep standout

St. Francis Prep's Jaclyn Laforgia keeps the ball in the air. Photo by Christina Santucci
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Jaclyn Laforgia doesn’t have a set job on the court per se.

“I try to be an all-around player,” the St. Francis Prep junior outside hitter said. “Whatever the team needs I try to be there.”

Laforgia was everywhere for the Terriers in a 25-17, 25-17, 25-18 win over rival and host Archbishop Molloy in Catholic High School Activities Association Brooklyn/Queens girls’ volleyball in Briarwood last week. She didn’t have her biggest game hitting with just three kills, but recorded 14 digs and two service aces. It all contributed to a strong defensive effort and allows everyone else’s roles to fall into place.

“She is everywhere all over the floor,” senior Kelly Flynn said.

Laforgia was expected to be St. Francis Prep’s breakout star this season after a strong finish to her sophomore campaign. She lived up to those expectations against Molloy, which handed her team its first league loss since 2005 last year. Laforgia began SFP’s 8-0 first set run with a kill after the match’s longest volley to make it 18-11. She also made two tremendous hustle plays to keep balls alive, once running into the Terriers bench near the deep back corner of the court.

“She is going to be the most aggressive person,” SFP Coach Kevin Colucci said. “She is very fast. She is going to fly around.”

His team, unbeaten in league play, didn’t let Molloy hang around after each set was tight half way through. Last year, the team played three grueling five-set matches with the Terriers, winning twice, including in the diocesan title game. This group, which includes much of that squad, has learned from experience. They are playing with a more confident mindset after reaching their first CHSAA Class AA state final since 1999 last season.

“We had to shut them down and show them who is boss,” Laforgia said. “We stayed focused.”

The Terriers, who were pushed to five sets by Fontbonne Hall in their league opener, biggest strength remains its depth. Caroline Gorecki, Flynn and Laforgia dominated the net against Molloy. Libero Caroline Vallone had 19 digs and setter Kendra McCalla dished out 23 assists. Kiarra Pierre and Kaitlyn Sluyk also contributed to the attack. It has the Terriers primed for another big year.

Their array of talent and the players’ lack of egos gives the Terriers an advantage that has them primed for a big year.

“If one girl is struggling a little, Mr. C can just quickly put [another] one in and we will get the next [point],” Laforgia said. “The bond on this team is pretty much unbreakable.”

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