Staten Island, NY | Head Coach Lak Wai (Larry) Ng and the College of Staten Island women’s volleyball program is proud to announce the celebratory signing of Tottenville High School senior Celina Mendez. The outside hitter finished up a sensational career with the Pirates, as is looking forward to making a marked difference for the Dolphins in just a few months’ time.
Tottenville’s 2016 and 2017 Most Valuable Player on the volleyball hardwood, Mendez is an attacker who hopes to fill a multitude of roles for the Dolphins at the front of the net. A sound student and teammate, she was impressed with what CSI had to offer and decided to make it her landing spot for the next four years.
“CSI was the college for me because it offered everything I looked for in a college,” she said. “I would be able to play volleyball, stay home, and pursue my academics.”
The Dolphins are going through their first full recruiting cycle under Head Coach Ng, and in Mendez get a great presence at the net. Mendez led Staten Island in kills last season with 77 in total. At Tottenville she was given the award for Outstanding Achievement in Athletics for Girls’ Volleyball, and was a Diggin’ for a Cure All-Tournament Player two years running, adding to her 2015 Outstanding Sportsmanship Award. She is hoping the success translates to CSI’s developing program.
“I think I can bring a positive impact to the team,” Mendez said. “By bringing a different perspective to the program I hope to help the team wherever needed.”
Head Coach Ng is ecstatic to have Mendez on board, and knows his unit will be better with her input beginning this coming season.
“Celina is a strong player and a hard-working individual who will bring that work ethic to our program,” said Ng. “She is used to a role as being a main contributor for her team and a leader out there on the court, and I think she will step right in and help us defensively and with our serve-receive game. Celina is a quiet leader whose work ethic will make those around her better. Those are the attributes we look for and she has them.”
The daughter of Nelson and Debbie Mendez, Celina has a younger sister, Melissa Mendez-Watson, who currently plays high school softball. Alongside her accolades on the volleyball court, Celina boasts an Attorney General Triple “C” Award, recognizing her courage, character, and commitment.
The Dolphins finished 7-18 a year ago, and are looking to build after graduating just two seniors a year ago. The Dolphins, who went through four coaches in the past five seasons, are looking for consistency with Ng at the helm, and the recruiting class is his first since taking over the position just weeks before the 2017 athletic year.