A-K Valley senior spotlight: Plum’s Nick Killinger

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Monday, June 20, 2022 | 8:17 AM


Nick Killinger spent four years of high school balancing soccer, basketball and volleyball.

The 6-foot-5 senior right-side hitter made an immediate impact in his first year of volleyball this spring and was named third-team All-WPIAL and first-team all-section in Section 2-2A, alongside junior teammate Seth Favero (libero).

His teammates also had success this season. Thomas Marzina (outside hitter), Ian Mawhinney (setter) and Cameron Moss (outside hitter) were second-team all-section selections, and Max Grice (middle hitter) was a third-team all-section pick.

Despite it being his first year in volleyball, he and the Mustangs came close to winning the section, finishing 5-3 in Section 2, just behind Gateway (8-0).

During his high school career, Killinger also excelled in basketball. The power forward/center averaged 10 points and shot 75% from the free-throw line.

As a freshman, Killinger played soccer for Plum and tallied three points, with a goal in 11 games.

Killinger took the time to answer some questions for this week’s A-K Valley Senior Spotlight Q&A.

What is one thing you have to do before every game?

I need to have something good to eat, and I need to listen to my music.

Who is your favorite athlete?

Giannis Antetokounmpo from the Milwaukee Bucks.

How do you balance sports and school?

I try and do my best with time management. I do as much homework during the school day so I don’t have to worry about it in the evening.

How did it feel to be all first-team all-section for volleyball?

I was really honored to be named to the first team. With my senior year being the first year I played volleyball, it was honestly a complete surprise. I would not have accomplished that honor without the help of my coaches and teammates.

What has been your defining moment in volleyball?

I think what really stood out to me was the Deer Lakes game at Deer Lakes. Plum had to fight back in one of the three games we won. I had a few pretty big kills in that game that seemed to impress a lot of my coaches, teammates and family. I think that is why that game sticks in my head so much.

What is it like to see your sister (junior Pitt recruit Kaitlyn Killinger) excel in soccer?

I can’t be happier for my sister. She has worked so hard to get to where she is in soccer. She deserves all the success that is coming to her. She has been very dedicated to getting better every year, and it’s paid off for her.

What does your family mean to you?

My family is very important to me. They are the ones that stick by me no matter what I am going through. I know they will always be there for me and be on my side. I could not wish for a better support system than my family.

How much have your coaches helped in sports?

I think coaches play a pivotal role in sports. They guide you to what you should be doing, inform you what the other team is trying to do, and they try to get the most out of you even when you are physically and emotionally drained.

What do your teammates mean to you?

My teammates are the ultimate support group. They are not only my teammates, but they are also my friends. They help me through any tough times and are also there to celebrate the big moments.

How does playing basketball help with skill in volleyball and vise versa?

The footwork and timing in basketball and volleyball go back and forth. The post moves in basketball translates to footwork in blocking or hitting in volleyball. The jumping and timing to grab a rebound in basketball translates into the timing it takes to block or hit a ball in volleyball.

What’s next for you after high school?

I will be attending Penn State main campus to study some form of engineering. I’m not sure which type I will be looking at, but I know the program is set up to figure that out in the first year. I would love to play volleyball at the club level and/or basketball at the intramural level just to stay active. I’m hoping to have the time, but I’ll need to see how much spare time I have.

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