Last year was a season to remember for the Vikings, but this season the girls are hungry for more. After an unprecedented season that saw them win the PAC and District 1 Championships, the girls basketball team is seeking not only to repeat those feats but to surpass them.
The centerpiece of the girls’ historic run last season was sophomore power-forward Grace Galbavy, who transferred from Upper Perkiomen High School after her freshman year in what was a learning curve for both her and her teammates.
After joining an already talented Vikings team that reached the PIAA quarterfinals a year prior, Galbavy helped elevate the team to a 28-2 record, all while averaging 13.3 points per game and leading the team in rebounding, steals and assists per game. Playing in a new system with new teammates, especially after coming from a PAC rival in Upper Perkiomen, was an admittedly awkward process for Galbavy at times. However, she was able to develop strong relationships with her teammates both on and off the court as the season progressed.
“At first, it was different, getting to know when my teammates would cut and their tendencies. Everybody on the team is at such a high level that it didn’t end up taking very long,” Galbavy said. “Getting to know these girls and the community has been such a positive experience for me.”
Now, heading into the 2023/24 season, Galbavy is one of the more experienced members of the PV team as a junior. Alongside her, the team retains lots of premier talent also going into their junior season, such as Quinn Boettinger, who shared All-Area First Team honors with Galbavy and Bella Bacani and Lena Stein, who both secured Second Team All-Area honors. Together, the Vikings look to defend their PAC championship and District 1 crowns, all while making a run at a highly-coveted state championship.
“[My goals are] to win the PAC, districts, and states. Individually, I need my 3 point shot to get better and to get better at making foul shots in the second half,” Galbavy said of her individual and team goals for the coming season.
Surprisingly, the sport was not Galbavy’s first choice. The decision to start playing youth basketball only came after Galbavy’s parents missed the deadline to sign up for youth soccer when she was in third grade.
Despite these unlikely origins, Galbavy became a local phenomenon, consistently playing above her age level for school and travel basketball programs. For instance, as just a third grader, she began playing for the sixth grade-level basketball team. For Galbavy, the love for the game came instantly, and she knew that the sport was something she could play at a high level someday.
“The love for basketball came right away. Mostly because I was good at it, but it was easy to understand. I realized how much I loved it since I also loved to practice it,” Galbavy said.
Now in high school, the 6-foot Galbavy remains an outlier amongst her peers and has received many offers to play at the NCAA Division 1 level from schools across the country, including from several Ivy League universities. As for which college she wishes to attend, she is still deciding, but she is certain that she wants to continue playing and take her academics into account.
“[I want to get] a good degree and find a school that will give me opportunities to play at the next level and in the workplace. I don’t really have a preference on size or location,” Galbavy said regarding what she is looking for in a college.
Off the court and in the classroom, Galbavy remains a standout, taking several Advanced Placement classes and maintaining high academic standards to supplement her athletic endeavors. For her, however, the dream remains playing professionally one day.
“[Playing professionally] is my goal. College is such a crucial part in that, which is why I am taking my time with my decision,” Galbavy said.
In the meantime, Galbavy will play out her final two seasons at Perkiomen Valley, with the Vikings kicking off a much-anticipated season tonight on Tuesday, Dec. 5 against Unionville.