Thursday, July 18, 2013
CORRESPONDENT – South Bergenite

   Ally Paskas is taking her bat and balls this fall about two hours away to Wilkes College in Pennsylvania.

Paskas is looking for any kind of title as she will be playing both volleyball and softball at Wilkes.

Fortunately for Paskas, she won a lot of games while at Rutherford High School in volleyball and softball for the four years.

Overall, she probably won three-quarters of the games she played and both teams won league titles. Unfortunately, Paskas and the Lady Bulldogs always seem to come a game short of winning a state sectional title.

When she was looking for a school, she settled on a familiar college, Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, PA. It is familiar because her brother, Michael, is a sophomore and plays football at Wilkes.

For Ally Paskas it came down to Wilkes, Lebanon Valley, Susquehanna  University and Albright College, all in Pennsylvania.

“I knew it was going to be a D-III school because I wanted to play two sports,” said Paskas.

“I liked that my brother was here and we are best friends. My parents can drive up here to see him in a football game and one of my volleyball games,” she said.

For Ally the question for the Wilkes volleyball and softball coaches was whether they would accept her playing both sports.

“Basically you can do what you want just so you make both coaches happy,” said Paskas.

For Paskas, the 2012-13 school year was again was another season of close, but not yet there. Both the Rutherford volleyball and softball teams had big years and both just fell short of a sectional title, especially volleyball. The Lady Bulldogs lost to Secaucus in the state sectional final.

Paskas excelled in both sports this year. In softball, she was named to the All Bergen County first team while in volleyball she was earned All Bergen County second team honors.

Paskas was a machine for Rutherford‘s softball team and churned out offensive stats every year especially in 2013.

The senior had 13 round trippers, adding to her school record of 33 career home runs. Paskas also blew out the school record for RBI’s with 149 for her career, 48 of which came this season. She finished with a .437 batting average this season.

“She obliterated the record,” said Rutherford head coach Helen Antzoulides about the home run and RBI records.

For the eight seasons that Paskas played volleyball and softball, Antzoulides was her head coach.

“We were very close in working together for eight seasons,” said Paskas. “I’m very happy for the eight seasons together.”

One of the best things that Antzoulides liked about Paskas was her consistency.

“You know what you’re getting out of her,” said Antzoulides before the 2013 season.

For Paskas, the two plays that stuck out to her in softball came during her junior year. The first was a game in the Chatham tournament where she made a great catch and the other was the state sectional title, Group 2 North 2, against Hanover Park, 3-2, loss that included Paskas smacking a triple. For Paskas it was more impressive since she had just come off a bout of mononucleosis.

In terms of volleyball, Paskas points to their games against Bogota. While Rutherford fell short against the Bucs, it was always a tough fight that included battling for a couple of state sectional titles.

At Wilkes she is hoping to win a regional or national championship, one of those that just got away from her while at Rutherford.

“I keep hoping one of these days,” said Paskas.