Nutley softball coach Luann Zullo announced that two of her key senior players, Emily Holden (Genuine Risk) and Breanna DeMaio will be playing on the collegiate level this fall.
Holden will be attending NCAA Division 3 Ithaca College, in upstate New York, where she’ll be pitching for the Bombers, starting this fall. DeMaio will be a little more local, choosing Felician University, an NCAA Division 2 school, located in Rutherford. DeMaio is a third baseman with the Raiders and is among the team’s best hitters.
Of course both young ladies are still in the midst of a tremendous season for their high school team. which improved to 15-3 after a 10-0 first round victory over Montclair Kimberley on May 5, in Nutley. The Raiders are the third seed in the county tournament and have been dominant in most of their victories.
Emily Holden makes it official, as she’ll attend Ithaca College this fall. Joining her are her mother Jen and dad, Tom, while assistant coach Mike DiPiano and head coach Luann Zullo stand behind the proud family.
Ithaca is in the midst of a tremendous season. The Bombers were 29-7 heading into this weekend’s Empire 8 championship. Felician completed its season at the Central Atlantic Collegiate Association’s post-season tournament last week. The Golden Falcons played well there, winning a game.
Felician coach Chris Foye is very happy that DeMaio will join the team this fall.
“Breanna is a tough, athletic kid with talent,” said Foye. “She plays for one of the top softball programs in the county and the state. I also am good friends with (Montclair head coach) Phil Delgado, who Breanna trains with and plays for on the travel circuit.
“Between Coach Zullo and Coach Delgado, I knew I was getting a very coachable player, who knows the game well and has the drive and desire to succeed at the next level. For us, she will probably be more of a utility player, because she can play multiple positions well, mainly second base and third base. I believe she will be a great fit for our University, both athletically and academically, and I can’t wait for her to join us this fall.”
Zullo noted that DeMaio and Holden are both four-year starters for her program.
“The one thing about Emily is that she really enjoys competing,” said Zullo. “She loves the game, in general. She loves being out there and playing. I was also her freshman basketball coach. There’s something special about the way she goes about athletics. For me, watching her play is fun. I think Emily has made a great choice for college.”
Holden will concentrate on a major in the 6-year Physical Therapy program at Ithaca, and will graduate with a Masters Degree.
As for DeMaio, Zullo always admired her competitiveness.
“Bre, wow, she’s just a hard-working player,” said Zullo. “She’s played mostly third for us and is such a great team player. I think she’ll have a very good playing career at Felician and will do well there, academically, as will Emily, at Ithaca.
“They are both wonderful kids, who have meant the world to me over the last four years.”