Class of 2008
Danielle Gasser, Class of 2008, gracefully combined remarkable court sense, eye-hand coordination, net dominance and leadership to spark Green Wave volleyball to SWC and state prominence. Athletic versatility also earned her recognition in girls’ tennis and track & field.
As catalyst for an ambitious volleyball side, Danielle was three times a co-captain, the team MVP all four seasons, all-SWC three times, all-state twice and, as a senior, state Coca Cola “Player of the Year.”
Her net career began quietly for a 4-10 Green Wave in the autumn of 2004, yet South-West Conference rivals duly accorded Danielle for her court efforts with all-Colonial Division honors.
Coach Lisa Stein’s squad began a steady rise in the SWC and state during Danielle’s sophomore season. An 11-7 regular season was followed by a narrow loss to Newtown in the SWC playoffs and a state tournament win over Naugatuck. A defeat to touted Shelton closed the book on the 2005 season.
The Green Wave improved to 13-5 during Danielle’s junior regular season. The girls proceeded to follow a disappointing SWC defeat with a state tournament conquest of Bristol Central. Once again, powerful Shelton ended the Green Wave’s season.
The experience gained from those trial runs through post-season action served coach Stein’s court crew well in Danielle’s senior season. She performed ably as the clear focal point both offensively and defensively for a Green Wave team that also featured future AHOF inductees Meghan Johnson Lyon and Emma Crowcroft.
A 14-2 regular season set the table for the SWC playoffs, in which the Green Wave ousted Weston before succumbing in the semifinals to a skilled Joel Barlow side.
Motivated by the league playoff disappointment, Danielle and Co. registered state tournament triumphs over New Britain, Greenwich and nemesis Shelton to advance to the state ‘LL championship match. Cheshire spoiled the Green Wave’s state title dream, yet not before coach Stein’s squad had etched an 18-4 record and Danielle had established herself as a premier player in the state realm.
As a reward, she was invited to play in the state’s prestigious senior all-star game.
Danielle’s springtime athletic endeavors produced less dramatic results, but nevertheless helped to demonstrate the breadth of her athletic talent.
As a sophomore, she earned all-SWC honorable mention for her doubles play on the tennis court; as a senior, she capped her Green Wave sports career by placing sixth in the javelin throw at the SWC meet.
Following NMHS graduation, Danielle took her volleyball skills to New Britain where she enjoyed a net career for Central Connecticut State University.