On the right track

Roseville High volleyball leader earns Coach of the Year honor

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published November 14, 2016

 Roseville High sophomore Jo’el Stump, right looks to send the ball past a blocker during an Oct. 31 playoff match with Warren Woods Tower. Stump is one of five Panthers players who received All-Macomb Area Conference honors this fall.

Roseville High sophomore Jo’el Stump, right looks to send the ball past a blocker during an Oct. 31 playoff match with Warren Woods Tower. Stump is one of five Panthers players who received All-Macomb Area Conference honors this fall.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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ROSEVILLE — Upon taking over as head coach of the Roseville High volleyball team prior to the start of the 2015 season, Nick Juncaj vowed to turn the program into a winner.

Juncaj, who took over the varsity squad after a stint as Panthers JV coach, and his team had some early growing pains, going 1-12 in 2015. That team had just one senior on the roster.

The turnaround happened quickly, though, as Roseville went 21-11-1 overall in 2016 and captured a share of the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division championship.

The Panthers went 9-1 in the division, tying with Madison Heights Lamphere.

For facilitating that turnaround, Juncaj has been named MAC Silver Coach of the Year.

Juncaj shares the honor with Lamphere coach Patty Waidknecht.

The division title is the first for the Panthers since 2008.

“It’s nice to get the recognition, but this wouldn’t have happened without the team,” Juncaj said prior to his team’s Oct. 31 playoff match against Warren Woods Tower. “We’ve had a really good year. It’s good to see the program be on the right track to sustained success.”
Juncaj isn’t the only Panther to be recognized by the MAC.

Five Roseville players — seniors Autumn Anderson, Kaitlyn Hall and Alex Terry-Martin, and sophomores Jo’el Stump and Natalie Terry-Martin — each have been named All-Conference in the MAC Silver.

Juncaj, who has coached the seniors since they were freshmen, said the players’ acknowledgement is well deserved.

“They all work so hard every day, and they’re a big part of why we’ve had the season we’ve had,” Juncaj said. “The seniors, especially. They’ve been great at leading the team. We’ll miss them.”

Including Stump and Natalie Terry-Martin, the Panthers have eight players eligible to return next season.

Juncaj hopes the program’s success continues.

“We want to keep getting better every year,” he said. “We want to be a team that expects to win.”

East Detroit player honored
Eastpointe East Detroit senior Mashala Grimes has been named All-Conference in the MAC Silver.

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