Maiya Bergdorf and Oliva Matela were interviewed by reporters from the Globe, Herald, Daily Item, and Lynn Journal following the Spartans’ 89-64 victory over Cathedral.
Bergdorf, who transferred to St. Mary’s from Belmont High School, said she’s enjoying her new school and basketball team.
“Everyone on the team has been very welcoming,” said Bergdorf. “The school is amazing. It’s exactly what I really wanted. Our team bonds really well. Our chemistry off the court is amazing. It’s not like any other team that I’ve been on. It helps when you have a kick-out and your shooters are wide open and they hit their shots.”
Bergdorf scored 32 points in the 89-64 win over Cathedral. “Yes, I think it is a career high,” said Bergdorf in response to a question.
Newhall said Bergdorf has been a tremendous addition to the St. Mary’s basketball program.
“Maiya has been great – every day, every practice, she’s worked as hard as she possibly can,” said Newhall. “She’s done some good things inside the lane. She can obviously play outside, but tonight [versus Cathedral], she’s rebounded, she’s making good passes – she opened up the whole game for us. But when one of you top players is one of your hardest workers, you would expect nothing less.”
Matela, whose electrifying basket in the TD Garden last March sent St. Mary’s on to the 2019 state finals, said she felt energized by the supportive home crowd.
“There was a good presence in the gym and a lot of energy and it just kind of kept me going,” said Matela. “When I hit that first 3-pointer in the first half, I felt my outside shooting was on. I was able to take good shots and they were falling.”
Matela said she worked hard in the off-season, competing in summer and fall leagues. “We all worked hard in the off-season. We’re all very excited about the progress we’ve made and it’s nice to beat Cathedral in our home gym.”
Newhall said when Matela is benefiting from her big-game experience that includes several post-season contests, notably last season’s unforgettable wins over Bishop Fenwick [in the State Tournament] and Archbishop Williams at the TD Garden.
“Olivia is an outstanding shooter who really steps up in the big games,” said Newhall. “When she’s open and sets her feet, she can be unstoppable.”