Roselle Catholic McQueen sisters accomplished athletes and students; Volleyball and soccer players getting ready for basketball season

PHOTO COURTESY OF ROSELLE CATHOLIC - The McQueen sisters, from left, Tyffani and Tyara, are versatile athletes Roselle Catholic teams can count on.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ROSELLE CATHOLIC – The McQueen sisters, from left, Tyffani and Tyara, are versatile athletes Roselle Catholic teams can count on.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ROSELLE CATHOLIC - Tyffani McQueen was a volleyball standout for the Lions.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ROSELLE CATHOLIC – Tyffani McQueen was a volleyball standout for the Lions.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ROSELLE CATHOLIC - Tyara McQueen helped the girls' soccer team net the program's first state tournament victory.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ROSELLE CATHOLIC – Tyara McQueen helped the girls’ soccer team net the program’s first state tournament victory.

When Tyara McQueen hit the back of the net and assisted on two other goals in a state tournament victory, her sister and schoolmate, Tyffani McQueen, wasn’t one of the many Roselle Catholic students watching the action on Chakey Field.
While the action was taking place on the pitch, Tyffani McQueen was on Coach Hagan Court inside The Lions’ Den at Roselle Catholic practicing with the RC volleyball team as the girls’ soccer team was making history behind the school on Raritan Road.
“I’ve rarely seen Tyara play soccer for RC because we usually have games on the same day,” Tyffani McQueen said. “I know she had a good season and the team did well.”
Senior Tyffani McQueen and freshman Tyara McQueen, sisters and Rahway residents, recently completed successful fall seasons for different teams at Roselle Catholic High School. The McQueen Sisters – both of whom earned First Honors recognition following the first marking period in the classroom – are expected to play key roles in the Roselle Catholic girls’ basketball program’s upcoming winter season.
Tyara McQueen was one of the leading scorers for the RC girls’ soccer team that won the Union County Conference Sky Division championship (8-0 division record). It’s the second division title in program history.
“Tyara was a great boost to our team,” said coach Gary Carvalho, who completed his 10th season at the helm. “Her flexibility to be able to play multiple positions has been a great help to us.”
On Nov. 4, Tyara McQueen and her soccer teammates defeated Wildwood Catholic, 4-1, for what is believed to be the first state tournament victory in program history.
Roselle Catholic’s 2014 girls’ soccer season ended in Absecon, about 100 miles away from Raritan Road on Nov. 7, when the fifth-seeded Lions dropped a 4-1 decision to fourth-seeded Holy Spirit in a NJSIAA Non-Public B South Tournament quarterfinal.
“Soccer is a lot of fun and turned out even better than I thought it would,” said Tyara McQueen, who finished with three goals and three assists in a division victory against Hillside last month. “I didn’t think we were going to do as well as we did … Our team improved a lot since the soccer season started back in August.”
Also in August, Tyffani McQueen returned to official volleyball practices and action after two seasons away from the volleyball court due to a knee injury. She emerged as a starting member of the Lions this fall and one of the team’s most versatile performers.
Tyffani McQueen suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) that kept her out of a volleyball uniform her sophomore season. Torn meniscus in the knee kept McQueen out of volleyball action as a junior, too.
“After not playing the past two seasons, I was definitely excited to play volleyball again,” said Tyffani McQueen, who, as a freshman, played on an RC JV volleyball team that enjoyed an undefeated regular season. “I was nervous that I wasn’t going to be good any more, but it was actually a pretty smooth return.
“The one thing I missed the most from not playing volleyball was the feeling of getting a kill. It was always the best moment in volleyball to me.”
Tyffani McQueen helped the Lions secure the fourth seed for the Union County Tournament. Roselle Catholic won its initial UCT game before falling to Elizabeth in a UCT quarterfinal match.
“Tyffani McQueen is really athletic and as a volleyball player she just caught on so fast this season,” said RC senior Dawn Gergich, who ranked among the state leaders in digs all fall.
“She’s played in the past, but for somebody who hasn’t played in two years, Tyffani picked up right where she left off,” Gergich said. “Tyffani always hustles for the ball and rarely let’s anything drop. It’s been really nice playing with Tyff this season and she was a great addition to the team.”
The volleyball team’s 2014 season ended in a state tournament loss at DePaul High School in Wayne on Nov. 5. McQueen registered two service points, 12 digs, and 14 assists vs. DePaul.
In the Lions’ straight-set victory against Summit on Senior Night in The Lions’ Den, McQueen totaled 10 service points, 11 digs and 13 assists.
“Tyffani played great defense this season and became our best setter,” said third-year RC volleyball coach Jason Davila. “She was able to be moved to setter from the outside hitter position, which helped our team to be more consistent.”
Tyffani McQueen is expected to bring that same consistency to the hardwood as the starting point guard during the Lions’ basketball season.
A tenacious defender, McQueen was Roselle Catholic’s sixth man and a key contributor for the basketball team last winter that won the Union County Tournament for the fifth time in program history. The Lions won at least 20 games and a division championship for the sixth consecutive season and concluded the season ranked 14th in The Star-Ledger’s final statewide Top 20 poll.
“Tyffani is like having a coach on the floor because she sees everything that is going on,” said Roselle Catholic assistant basketball coach and former softball head coach Charlie Wischusen. “Her decision-making is sound and although not a flashy player she stands out because she is relentless on defense and on offense she makes few mistakes. I had the pleasure of coaching Tyffani in softball as a freshman and she had all the requisite skills to be a very good softball player.”
Tyara McQueen enjoyed a pretty good view of her sister’s basketball accomplishments as one of the water girls (along with Colleen Badalis) for last year’s Lions.
“I didn’t mind Tyara having to serve me water and doing things for me for a change,” Tyffani McQueen said. “Having Tyara as a little sister in high school isn’t as bad as I thought it could be … She’s funny. As an athlete, she plays tough and I love cheering her on and playing with her.”
“Tyffani is a hard worker and puts her all into it,” Tyara McQueen said. “She’s a good leader and can take charge, control of a situation … I wanted to go to the same school as my sister and see how far we can go together.”
The McQueen sisters played scholastic basketball together for the Lions during the summer and in the fall. They last played together during the 2010-11 season for Saints Mary & Elizabeth Academy in Linden.
The McQueen’s father, Tyrone, played football at Rahway High School and Rutgers University, where he finished his career (1986-89) with 95 receptions and 1,142 yards. “He tells us he was good at football,” Tyara McQueen said. The McQueen’s mom, Rhonda, was a Drill Team member at Bishop Ahr High School in Edison.
“While only seeing Tyara over the summer I think she will be a very big asset to the basketball team,” Wischusen said. “Perhaps it is genetic or a product of growing up under proper tutelage, but like her sister she is a very fundamentally-sound player who plays wise beyond her years.
“The skills the McQueens possess are transferable sport to sport … When you see a player who ‘gets it’ they are a pleasure to coach. The McQueen sisters get it. Above and beyond that they couldn’t be nicer young ladies.”

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