MIDLAND PARK — As an All-Bergen outside hitter for Midland Park High School, Katie Moquete built a reputation as a quiet star who preferred to lead by example.
As the first-year head volleyball coach at her alma mater, the 2008 MPHS grad has done a 180.
“Now, I see players being quiet and I get frustrated, wanting them to talk,” Moquete said last week, acknowledging the irony of the situation. “But I do remember being that way. And so, I also understand that sometimes, it doesn’t mean that you’re not into the game or not focused, but that you’re focusing so hard, you just play [without saying much].”
The talkative and taciturn among Panther players have responded well to this season’s new coaching staff, which actually includes two alumnae.
Moquete, who went on to play at Moravian College, and assistant Carolyn Asch (MPHS ’09) were part of the 2007 and 2008 Midland Park squads that won back-to-back league titles — going unbeaten in their division both years — and reached consecutive State Group 1 finals.
Coming off the program’s first losing campaign (11-12) since the turn of the century, the current Panthers welcomed back that winning aura with open arms.