Published 2:22 pm Monday, January 28, 2019
Maria Tumminello signs to play volleyball in college
Maria Tumminello of Windsor High School has put in writing her commitment to play volleyball at Randolph College starting this fall semester. An after-school ceremony took place on Jan. 16 with teammates and family — parents Rio and Laura Tumminello of Suffolk — there to witness the signing.
“This is a special day in Maria Tumminello’s life,” athletic director Chuck Parrish said about that occasion. In addition, Parrish also noted that, academically, she is second in her senior class.
Tumminello has been playing the sport since she was in seventh grade.
Wanting to do more after school then just homework to TV, she first got involved with volleyball by serving as a manager for the high school team. She said that it was while participating in travel competitions that first year that “fell in love with it.” That enthusiasm has only grown over the years.
“I have always wanted to play in college,” she said as to why she’s pledged to continue after graduation this spring. “My goal is to play libero,” which Tumminello explained is the defense specialist on the back row.
Also while at Randolph College, which is located in Lynchburg, she plans to major in psychology for children with special needs.
“I’ve always wanted to work with children, but not necessarily become a teacher. I’ve always been interested children who need extra help, to be there for them,” said Tumminello, adding that she’s not yet sure if that help will come through psychology or therapy.
Thinking back on highlights from her high school competition, Tumminello recalled one against Washington and Lee.
“It was a pretty intense game. Exciting,” she said. “Everyone brought their energy. We played at a higher level.”
The Lady Dukes won, of course.
She credits that event, as well as many other competitions, to Brandii Banty, her first coach, and Margaret “Maggie” Halstead their leadership in the sport.
“They’ve always supported me,” she said of them, and that sentiment applies also to her teammates and family.
Though Tumminello is the only person in her family to play volleyball — she also has an older sister, Emilia, whose interest is in equestrianship — they also have been encouraging her as well.