Athlete of the Week: Youth serves CA’s Antonucci well

Natalia Antonucci recalls her middle school days at Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach and watching the varsity volleyball team practice in the old school’s makeshift gymnasium.

Little did she know she would one day lead the same program to its first SCISA Class A state championship in the sport. Even more impressive, she’s only a freshman, so her middle school days aren’t exactly distant memories.

“I remember the girls were still serving the ball underhanded and it was usually just three hits,” said the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week. “So our program has come a long way in a short period of time.”

And Antonucci has been a big part of that rapid improvement. After two seasons under Grand Srand Juniors and CAMB coach Alex Sing, she was a regular contributor to last year’s Lady Saints’ squad, which finished runner-up to Cathedral Academy.

This time, led by Antonucci’s strong play and youthful energy, they went back and beat the same team in a five-set tiebreaker in the title match. It was mission accomplished for a team that spent a full year focused on taking the next step.

“Last year we were so close, and it was really sad walking away without the win,” she recalled. “It was almost embarrassing to go back to school and and say, ‘We were this close.’ It fueled our team this year. We didn’t just want to go back to the championship match, we wanted to go back and win it. It was our year to shine.”

Not just as a team, but also for Antonucci individually. She excelled on both lines, leading the team with 188 kills while adding 116 digs, 42 aces, and a 2.25 passing percentage to earn All-Region and All-State honors as a freshman.

“Natalia plays the game with lots of passion. You would not know she is only a freshman,” Sing said of his outside hitter. “She is a great kid to coach and has been a huge part of the success of Christian Academy.”

So what does she do for an encore? Although Antonucci hopes to play college volleyball someday, that’s four years down the road. Until then, she hopes to keep improving as a player, keep her grades up and continue hanging state title banners in the rafters of the new school’s state-of-the-art gymnasium.

Comments

comments

Conway claims region title with special win at Sumter

Conway claims region title with special win at SumterA bizarre special-teams turnaround proved to be very special for [more]

Region 7-4A: Chiefs win, take piece of region title

Region 7-4A: Chiefs win, take piece of region titleThe No. 2-ranked North Myrtle Beach High football team apparently [more]

Football Roundup: Braves, Saints win; Panthers falter

Football Roundup: Braves, Saints win; Panthers falterThe Socastee High offense had another big night to beat [more]

Chants shock No. 2 Terps amid late-season surge

Chants shock No. 2 Terps amid late-season surgeFor the second consecutive match, the Coastal Carolina men’s soccer [more]

Week 10 Previews & Picks: Points aplenty this season

Week 10 Previews & Picks: Points aplenty this seasonYou don't have to be a math major to keep [more]

Volleyball: 4 area teams sweep playoff openers

Volleyball: 4 area teams sweep playoff openersThe North Myrtle Beach High volleyball team opened the Class [more]

Former CCU fan favorite Gray dies in car accident

Former CCU fan favorite Gray dies in car accidentFormer Coastal Carolina University standout basketball player Chad Gray was [more]

Tennis: Saints, Seahawks, Braves win playoff debuts

Tennis: Saints, Seahawks, Braves win playoff debutsThe Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach girls tennis team waltzed [more]

Socastee boys make it seven straight region titles

Socastee boys make it seven straight region titlesThe Socastee High boys cross country team captures its seventh [more]

Lady Sharks capture fifth straight Lower State title

Lady Sharks capture fifth straight Lower State titleThe St. James High girls golf team officially made it [more]

NMB girls, SJ boys run to region XC championships

NMB girls, SJ boys run to region XC championshipsThe North Myrtle Beach girls and St. James boys cross [more]

Carolina Forest, Socastee qualify for state golf finals

Carolina Forest, Socastee qualify for state golf finalsThe Carolina Forest and Socastee High girls golf teams qualified [more]

Washington strikes gold, silver at SCISA state meet

Washington strikes gold, silver at SCISA state meetChristian Academy of Myrtle Beach sent eight qualifiers to the [more]

Trio of Lady Chants sweep weekly conference honors

Trio of Lady Chants sweep weekly conference honorsCoastal Carolina nearly swept the Sun Belt Conference weekly volleyball [more]

CCU shoots under par as team for top-five showing

CCU shoots under par as team for top-five showingFor the ninth time in nine opportunities this season, the [more]

Two local swimmers claim gold medals at state meet

Two local swimmers claim gold medals at state meetCarolina Forest's Taylor Steele and St. James Casey Mitchell were [more]

Keane injured as Coastal routed by Arkansas State

Keane injured as Coastal routed by Arkansas StateArkansas State quarterback Justice Hansen threw five touchdowns to lead [more]

Melchor's hat trick helps Chants upend Monarchs

Melchor's hat trick helps Chants upend MonarchsMartin Melchor scored a career-high three goals in leading Coastal [more]

Seahawks blast Bulldogs for second straight rout

Seahawks blast Bulldogs for second straight routDoug Shaw Memorial Stadium recently underwent major renovations. Perhaps they [more]

Chiefs capture first-place showdown with Wilson

Chiefs capture first-place showdown with WilsonThe North Myrtle Beach High football team placed itself firmly [more]

Football: Tigers rip Bruins; Panthers falter at Sumter

Football: Tigers rip Bruins; Panthers falter at SumterThe Conway High Tigers made a homecoming statement Friday night, [more]

Syracuse stuns Clemson, damages title repeat plan

Syracuse stuns Clemson, damages title repeat planNo. 2 Clemson suffered its first loss of the season [more]

Seahawks outduel Chiefs for region championship

Seahawks outduel Chiefs for region championshipThe top two ranked volleyball teams in Class 4A played [more]

Golf: Sharks, Seahawks cap season with victories

Golf: Sharks, Seahawks cap season with victoriesThe St. James High girls golf team paid tribute to [more]

Chants storm past Czechs in October baseball treat

Chants storm past Czechs in October baseball treatDown 3-0 after four innings, the Coastal Carolina baseball team [more]

Conway claims region title with special win at Sumter

Conway claims region title with special win at SumterA bizarre special-teams turnaround proved to be very special for [more]

Region 7-4A: Chiefs win, take piece of region title

Region 7-4A: Chiefs win, take piece of region titleThe No. 2-ranked North Myrtle Beach High football team apparently [more]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2017 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach