Vanessa Bigby has her East Boston High School girls volleyball team in a familiar spot: sitting on top of the Boston City League standings and heading to the Boston City Championships.
The Lady Jets are rolling along at 12-1 and have clinched a berth in the MIAA Tournament. They are looking to win their third consecutive city title.
Asked if she considers her program the best in Boston, Bigby, who is in her tenth season as head coach, answered humbly, “I like to think so. We’re very proud of our program.”
This year’s success was not entirely expected. After two straight seasons with undefeated records in the BCL, the Jets entered this season having lost some key players to graduation.
But senior captains Nicolette Brangiforte and Zaira Garcia and junior co-captains Rajai Ferguson and Evelyn Ocegueda have provided outstanding leadership and the team has jelled quickly, continuing the winning tradition.
Junior Jasmine Rigueur and senior Theresa Forbes have played well in starting roles. Senior Dahiana Gomez has also been a major contributor.
Brangiforte (who is the daughter of EBHS Principal Phil Brangiforte and Carrie Brangiforte) and Garcia are considered two of the best players in the city.
Bigby said the team showed up ready to defend its title at its first practice and the group has been dedicated to the cause.
“My girls are determined and the team wanted to show that, even though some of the starters from last year had graduated, they could step up and meet the challenge this season,” said Bigby. “The team is continuing to improve each week. I’m so excited for this team. There were a lot of new players and they have proven themselves. Our seniors want to go out with a championship.”
East Boston’s only loss of the season was to Charlestown. The two teams could meet again in the City Championships.
Bigby is assisted on the Jets’ staff by coaches Carmen Pittella and Clarita Prudencio, a former EBHS varsity volleyball player.
East Boston’s only loss of the season came at the hands of Charlestown.